In a cautionary tale of how ambitious restorations can come unstuck, Melville House has been sold for a ‘knock-down’ £1.6m by agents Knight Frank. The 17th-century Palladian mansion boasted 11 bedrooms, seven receptions plus stables, a tennis court and even a cricket pitch. It was built in 1697 for George, the 1st Earl of Melville, then secretary of state for Scotland by James Smith. The 1st Earl died a few years after his creation was finished but the house remained in the Melville family until it was sold – along with the contents – in 1949.
It had been requisitioned by the Army as a barracks during the war (the probable damage from which led to the sale) and then became a hospital and subsequently a residential school before being sold to a developer for £400,000. It was then sold on again in 2003 for £1m and the new owner then spent over £2m on restoration. The latest owner has secured a bargain – here’s hoping it’s now in safe hands.
Full story: ‘Repossessed mansion sold for ‘knockdown’ price‘ [stv]