Unique Property Bulletin 18 August 2013

Monarch of the Glen – Perhaps?

Monarch of the Glen Ardverikie MAIN David Pickersgill

Ardverikie Estate – Not For Sale (c) 2013 David Pickersgill

Monarch of the Glen – Killwillie Castle as most would remember it.

Given the significant media attention during the first two weeks of August 2013 – ranging from the BBC to the Daily Mail about the Monarch of the Glen house being for sale, we think it important to clarify some things. Several readers will already know how films and television series are made. Some folk will be less than tuned into the process. It can be fascinating.

A classic example of an enigma surrounding film and television production is that an “interior” scene may be hundreds of miles from the supposed “exterior” of the property where the action is taking place. This is a prime example.

If we look at the Daily Mail feature ….

Daily Mail – Monarch of the Glen Article

… you could be forgiven for thinking that a reported £7,000,000 property that is being sold was “the” actual Kilwillie Castle which was so recognisable from the BBC television series Monarch of the Glen. So popular that Ecosse Films were commissioned to make seven series.

BBC Series Guide – Monarch of the Glen

 Monarch of the Glen DVD 7 Series

Monarch of the Glen DVD Series (c) 2000 – 2005 BBC & Ecosse Films

Monarch of the Glen Photo Reminder – Montage

However, the actual “exterior” filming of the fictional Monarch of the Glen – Kilwillie Castle took place at …

Ardverikie Estate

The Arderikie Estate is definitely NOT for sale.

What IS for sale as mentioned on the BBC, the Daily Mail etc., is the splendid Balavil House, where it is advised much of the “interior” filming of the series was conducted.

Balavil 1

Recent Media Interest – Balavil House, Kingussie (c) 2013 Strutt & Parker

£7,000,000 is a lot of money to spend on an estate, albeit well over 6,000 acres plus lovely buildings, but it is important to note that you would be buying the “interior” elements of this famous television series. We will of course feature the Ardverikie Estate IF it comes up for sale. But the received wisdom this end is that such an even won’t happen anytime soon. Though if the very picturesque, real version of the fictional Kilwillie Castle does come up for sale, we will feature it on our front headline page.

Balavil 2

Balavil House – Familiar Interior? (c) 2013 Strutt & Parker

Below is the brochure weblink for the “interior” version of the Monarch of the Glen Castle. That online brochure provides a full Agency Narrative for the inside parts of the fictional Kilwillie Castle, a.k.a., Balavil House.

Balavil 3

Balavil House – More Interior Views (c) 2013 Strutt & Parker

Location: Balavil House & Estate, Kingussie, Inverness-shire, PH21 1LU.

Tenure: Feuhold (Scottish Equivalent of Freehold).

Guide: P.O.A. reported Circa £7,000,000.

Contact Strutt & Parker Agencies Tel: 0131 718 4591 – Mr James Butler. Please can readers help the Unique Property Bulletin stay free to use by letting the estate agent know that you found their property on the Unique Property Bulletin website. Thankyou.

Online Brochure For Balavil House & Estate….



Ambulance Abode

Ambulance House

Former St. John’s Ambulance Depot, Conwy (c) 2013 Roy Pugh

This is a decent lump of property for the guide-price. Formerly an ambulance depot, it has the all important planning permission in place for conversion to a house.

Auctioneer’s Narrative: A vacant two storey former ambulance depot approximately 236.91 sq m (2,548 sq ft) with planning consent for a change of use to a three bedroom house. The property is located in a residential area. Beach Road is accessed from Abergele Road (A547) and from the North Wales Expressway (A55). Colwyn Bay town centre is approximately 1 mile to the west.

An end terrace two storey stone built commercial premises with driveway and a garage was formerly used as an ambulance depot, but now has planning consent for a change of use to a single residential dwelling. The property is offered with vacant possession.

The following accommodation is approximate. Buyers should satisfy themselves as to accuracy:-

Ground Floor: Hallway, WC’s, Meeting Rooms Offices, Stores, Garage 168.62 sq m., (1,814 sq ft).

First Floor: Meeting Room, Kitchen, Stores 68.29 sq m., (734 sq ft).

Total: 236.91 sq m., (2,548 sq ft).

Location: Former St. John’s Ambulance Depot, Glan Aber, Beach Road, Old Colwyn, Conwy, LL29 9PH.

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide: £35,000Auction Lot 73 – Auction Date 12 September 2013.

Contact Roy Pugh Auctioneers Tel: 0844 2 722444Please can you help the Unique Property Bulletin stay FREE to use by letting the estate agent/owner/auction house know that you found their property on the Unique Property Bulletin website. Thankyou.

Online Brochure ….



Competition: 10/- Prize

Blast From The Past Ten Shillings Prize

A blast from the past. When pocket money really was worth a few bob. Following the very popular £100 prize a few weeks back we thought it a good idea to pop another competition on the Bulletin. Alright, there will be a few readers thinking: what on earth is that sort of money? [anyone younger than 40 years old], whilst the rest will be thinking what a bunch of miseries over there calling that tight-wad specimen a prize. Ha, that is where you are wrong. This is a special piece of monetary memorabilia. We will explain more to the winner. Above shows the prize for this Unique Property Bulletin competition. Here is the clue:-

Competition HintWhat Was The First Unique Property That We Lived At ?

Free to enter. Competition Closing Date: 12 Noon 12th September 2013

Unique Property Bulletin Competition Entry Contact Page

P.S. The 10 shilling note prize is not technically valid currency anymore. However they can be cashed in at various sources. Indeed we can let you have a cheque for the monetary equivalent. There are even websites that exchange left-over-currency at a less than equitable rate. Avoid these. Ebay will show you how decent collectors pay a fair price for these older keepsakes.


Sally Unsold

Sally Blaydon

Blaydon Salvation Army Hall, Tyne & Wear (c) 2013 Roy Pugh

This former “Sally Ann” a.k.a. Salvation Army building will have made a difference during it’s lifetime. A good amount of decent milk of human kindness. It is a shame that it has had to close. Ideally a new owner might think about a change of use planning application that could incorporate part use as perhaps a home, and part use for community or some function that can continue providing for the community. We are passionate about bringing buildings back to life as anyone who has read any part of our sister website Real Dragons’ Den will know.

So what do we have here? A Failed-To-Sell-At-Auction property. Normally an FTSAA represents a possible bargain. But to haggle with an endeavour such as the Salvation Army seems innately wrong. The building is detached and set in its own grounds. It appears well worth the guide price. Though of course prospective buyers need to exercise their due diligence effectively before putting in an offer.

Auctioneer’s Narrative: A vacant two storey former Salvation Army Hall.

Accommodation: Ground Floor: Meeting Room, Kitchen & WC’s

First Floor: Hall & Kitchen Area.

Total GIA: 226 sq m(2,433 sq ft) – measurements given in good faith. though prospective buyers should satisfy themselves as to veracity.

Outside: Garden area to front and small yard to rear.

The premises are situated approximately 6 miles to the South West of Newcastle upon Tyne city centre and 2½ miles to the west of the A1M. The property is situated in the centre of Winlaton a primarily residential area. The premises are accessible via Church Street and North Street which also provides links to the A695 (Blaydon Highway) and subsequently the A1 motorway.

Location: Blaydon Salvation Army Hall, Front Street, Winlaton, Blaydon on Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE21 6AE.

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide: £85,000Auction Lot 145 – F.T.S.S.A. – Original Auction Date 23 July 2013.

Contact Roy Pugh Auctioneers Tel: 0844 2 722444 Please can you help the Unique Property Bulletin stay FREE to use by letting the estate agent/owner/auction house know that you found their property on the Unique Property Bulletin website. Thankyou.

Online Brochure ….



Handsome Huf Haus

Huf Haus Aldwick 1

 Huf Haus, Aldwick, West Sussex (c) 2013 Jackson-Stops & Staff

These buildings are in a class of their own, and are becoming an iconic design.

Agency Narrative: A stunning Huf Haus set in glorious gardens with direct beach access on a private road in Aldwick. Wonderful sea views across a golden beach.

Huf Haus Aldwick 2

Huf Haus, Aldwick, West Sussex (c) 2013 Jackson-Stops & Staff

Accommodation: Entrance Porch, Reception Hall, Open Plan Dining Room and Kitchen, Cloakroom, Utility Room, Study, Sitting Room, Vaulted First Floor Landing, Master Bedroom with En-Suite Bathroom and Dressing Room with access out onto South Facing Balcony, 2nd Bedroom Suite comprising of Bedroom and En-Suite Shower Room with access out onto South Facing Balcony, 2 Further Bedrooms – which also have a Shared Balcony, Bathroom with Shower. In and Out Driveway, Ample Parking, Detached Double Garaging and Store, Beautifully Landscaped Rear Gardens having direct access out on to the Beach

Huf Haus Aldwick 3

Open Plan By Design – As You Please (c) 2013 Jackson-Stops & Staff

Further information about the engineering, production, delivery, assembly, bespoke elements, and a whole spectrum of information …

Huf Haus Official Website

and also … 

UK Huf Haus Owners Group

Location: Aldwick Avenue, Aldwick, West Sussex, PO21 3AQ.

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide: £1,750,000.

Contact Jackson-Stops & Staff – Tel: 01243 786316. Please can you help the Unique Property Bulletin stay FREE to use by letting the estate agent/owner know that you found their property on the Unique Property Bulletin website. Thankyou.

Online Brochure …



Unique Feature Articles – Restarting Soon

Readers may have noticed that our Unique Feature Articles – for example …

The National Asset Register – Unique Feature Article

… had gone off the radar and off of the Bulletin for a while. Correct. Apologies for this. Pesky health issues elsewhere have meant it has sometimes been difficult to even keep a weekly Unique Property Bulletin going. Fortunately with help, we have not let the side down and almost never miss an issue at the regular 9pm Sunday night slot.

National Asset Register RSZ Link

The National Asset Register (c) HMSO. Reproduced Under Government PSI Licence C2010002126.

We are intending to reinstate the “Feature Article” added element. Quarterly until health and unique helpers make it possible to increase the frequency. If you would like to receive the email and link to our next Feature Article, please make ure you pop a destination email via the “Feature Article” box as marked to the right of the page. Our .CO.UK website currently has 399 folk, and our .ORG website just 9 as of this moment. Please note, if you are one of the regular 25,600 readership, we DON’T automatically send a copy of the Feature Article out to you. If you would like to receive an email copy of the next Feature Article, please make sure you have popped the destination address in the “Feature Article” box to the right hand side of this text, and we shall do the rest.


Remand Or Demand? Police Station

Police Station Norwood 1

Former Metropolitan Police Station, London (c) 2013 Knight Frank

By popular demand – we have had several emails asking for former police buildings to be listed. This is a whopper. Two of our various emailing readers did ask for a London Cop-Shop. Well here is a Plod-Palace !

Former police station. Residential development potential subject to the necessary consents.

Land: Approximately 0.63 acres (0.254 ha).

Buildings: 54,729 sq ft (5,084.2m) GIA (19,902 sq ft of total GIA is underground car park). Planning report available on alternate website via selling agents.

Police Station Norwood 8

Former Police Station, South Norwood, SE25 (c) 2013 Knight Frank

Located approximately 8 miles south east of central London in the London Borough of Croydon on the west side of Oliver Grove. Norwood Junction train station, with services into London Bridge in c. 15 minutes is located circa 0.2 miles from the property.

Location: Former South Norwood Metropolitan Police Station, 11 Oliver Grove, London, SE25 6ED.

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide: £ Lots of Coppers – P.O.A.

Contact Knight Frank Agencies – Tel: 020 7861 5429 -Tom Scaife. Please can readers help the Unique Property Bulletin stay FREE to use by letting the estate agent/owner/auction house know that you found their property on the Unique Property Bulletin website. Thankyou.

Online Brochure ….



Unique Organisations – Clarenco

Spitbank Fort C Clarenco

Spitbank Fort, The Solent (c) 2013 Clarenco LLP

In the original paper format Unique Property Bulletin we did cover some pretty unusual people and organisations that came across our bows. However, the online Unique Property Bulletin has been an evolution, and a learning curve. The start was, and to some extent remains fairly simple as described Bulletin Format – Q & A . As a result of reader feedback, and also reviewing some of the [now very old] dusty paper versions of the Bulletin we have slightly altered the format of the online version. Adding an extra part to cover Unique Architects; Unique People; Unique Organisations.

Spitbank Fort Graham Horn RSZ

Spitbank Fort – Interior Parts (c) 2013 Graham Horn

Recently we came across an amazing company – Clarenco LLP. Founded by Mr Mike Clare, this company has grown into a very interesting endeavour. From the outset, it is clear the portfolio of venues are absolutely the ones we would happily tick off of a wish list here at the Bulletin. The brilliant thing is readers from any part of our spectrum can visit and enjoy what is by any standard an extensive and full range of unique places to experience. It also has some very decent founding principles and balances one part of the organisation decently with another. The fine work/philanthropy balance being accomplished via:


At the Unique Property Bulletin it is important to feature these sort of unique people and organisations, as it allows some of our spectrum of readers who are at different stages of the “property ladder” to study and take part in the real as well as the virtual property world; to understand a little more of how things are, and how processes work. On top of which, it is very, very important to get away from the keyboard and computer from time to time, and actually go and look at some of the unusual buildings – especially if you can find the genre that really does it for you.

Spitbank Fort MAIN 1

Spitbank Fort – Splendid Sea Structure (c) 2013 Clarenco LLP

Hopefully for some readers, Clarenco have a sample to offer from their broad menu of venues. We thoroughly recommend having a pleasant read of their website, and if the urge takes you, go visit. Please let us know how you get on? It is a core belief here that property eccentrics of a certain flavour [in this case, both reader and writer of this page] can do a lot of good by sharing property details, property interests, and experiences.

Over to you.

For this part of the current Bulletin we would recommend you have a look at Spitbank Fort….

Spitbank Fort Atop C Clarenco

Unique Evening – Unique Place – Spitbank Fort (c) 2013 Clarenco

Historic Summary:-

Man Made Island Fort – 162 ft in diameter at base. Walls 48ft thick at base. Single gun floor.

Now: 9 Bedroom Luxury Exclusive Use Venue with Sauna, Hot Pool, Function Suite, Three Luxury Bars, Fire Pit and Sun Decks

Further details and reading ….



The best of unique people – many, many smiles at Spitbank Fort ….


For more information about this week’s Unique Organisation, we recommend a web-click and a visit to….


Alternatively you can telephone Spitbank Fort at 02392 513 887. Though before so doing, have a quick scope out of the company FAQ sheet….


Here at Unique Property Bulletin, our attention was drawn to Clarenco from their Solent Forts. Especially Spitbank Fort [sometimes known as Spitsand Fort]. However, the company have a very interesting, in fact very unique range of venues to experience…


Anything not covered in the narrative, or weblinks above, and a polite letter to Clarenco should meet with the desired answer:-

Spitbank Fort,
Royal Clarence Marina,
Weevil Way, Gosport,
PO12 1FX

One last point in relation to letters from the mainland – and it affects many, many more UK citizens than you might imagine. You may join those ranks too one day!

Spitbank Fort Diane Sambrook RSZ

Spitbank Fort Sunset (c) 2013 Diane Sambrook

It is apparent that the Postie doesn’t deliver to the Spitbank Fort. We had the same problem at Ailsa Craig. In fact the local sorting office asked if their Postie waved at us from the mainland could we come across in the boat to collect the mail? Eight miles offshore? To this day we are not sure whether the lady at Royal Mail was exercising a sense of humour, or possibly the thought was there that this might be a solution. Anyways, if you are considering either staying at [or even buying] an offshore haven, it is an important thing to consider – having a mainland mailing address. Yes there is a strong and principled argument about universal delivery, and some small islands in the U.K. have argued the case successfully for the poor old Postie to row across. But sometimes it is more pragmatic and fairer to have a mainland facility for mail.


Try Before You Buy …..

Ogle At Glenbogle

 Monarch of the Glen Gatelodge Ardereikie MAIN

 Glenbogle – Gatehouse Holiday (c) 2013 Ardverikie Estates

We started this Bulletin with a popular Sunday-Night-Light BBC drama: Monarch of the Glen. We end this edition by the option available to readers to actually visit a while and stay at part of the recognisable Monarch of the Glen filming location.

A confession. We have a very large Monarch of the Glen DVD Boxset sitting on the shelf, and it hasn’t been watched for years. Maybe save that treat for cheering up a dark winters night. But here in summer, we have to take the word of friends [as here the memory of the BBC series has faded a little and the Box Set is gathering dust] that the picturesque Glenbogle Gate House was utilised in the BBC on-screen series. What we do know for certain is you can go holiday there. Indeed we hope to cover this and several other properties in an unusual Unique Property Feature soon. Something titled “The Major” after the Fawlty Towers character and a way of life that suits quite a few unusual folk. That is for another day.

For now, back to Monarch of the Glen, and Glenbogle House


Nice set of photographs …


Also an interesting video view …


 To sample the delights of a few days retreat to Monarch of the Glen, just contact…



Telephone the Arderikie Estate Office on: 01528 544300.

Or use old fashioned Royal Mail via …

Ardverikie Estate Office, Kinlochlaggan, Newtonmore, PH20 1BX.

Glenbogle Gate House Dave Fergusson

Glenbogle Gatehouse (c) 2013 Dave Fergusson

Monarch of the Glen Glenbogle Gatehouse Dave Fergusson

Or Picture Postcard Glenbogle Christmas (c) 2012 Dave Fergusson

One last piece of information. It is a very pleasant 70 odd mile drive – in genuinely beautiful countryside, from Kilwillie Castle to Balmoral Castle, should the urge take you to visit a neighbouring estate – subject to Royal Invitation




Previously on Unique Property Bulletin …

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