Mossdale, Castle Douglas, Kirkcudbrightshire


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Mossdale, Castle Douglas, Kirkcudbrightshire
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Strutt & Parker
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Mossdale, Castle Douglas, Kirkcudbrightshire
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Hensol House – A-listed House in a private position, overlooking the River Dee, with 4 reception rooms, conservatory, 10 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms. Exceptional gardens, grounds and policies; with a private drive and useful outbuildings.
Residential properties including a farmhouse and 5 cottages.
A productive in-hand farm.
Agricultural land including grass leys, permanent pasture and rough grazings.
Commercial forestry and amenity woodland.
An established driven pheasant shoot with scope for the development of several partridge drives; wild duck flighting, roe deer stalking, woodcock and snipe shooting and fishing for trout and coarse fish.
Frontage to Loch Ken, Woodhall Loch and the River Dee, which includes a boathouse and superb bird watching on Ken-Dee Marshes.

Hensol House

This category A-listed country house is at the northern end of the estate and is accessed via a private tarmacadam drive which leads for a distance of about one mile through mature woods underplanted with rhododendrons, azaleas and other mixed shrubs. After passing Hensol Lodge, the drive continues past overhanging trees creating an avenue effect and then revealing the stunning house. In the spring, the driveway and other parts of the policies are full of colour with snowdrops, daffodils and bluebells.

On approach to the house, views open up over the river and beyond. A gravel sweep on the north side of the house provides parking for a number of cars.

The house is constructed of granite, sourced locally from a quarry on Bennan Hill, under a slate roof. Features of the architecture include three-storey ogee-roofed square turrets, a canted corbelled oriole with gable above and slit windows with diamond-pane glazing.

The external alterations to the original structure occurred firstly,in the 1920s, when a porch was moved from the southern façade to the north, secondly, in the 1960s, when the conservatory was builtin the original position of theporch and, thirdly when the northwestern part of the house (an extension comprising former staff accommodation and utilitarian rooms) was demolished.

Internally the house has high ceilings and large windows. On the ground floor there is an entrance hall, a large inner hallway with a vaulted ceiling incorporating a sitting area and wood-burning stove, a conservatory, three reception rooms, drawing room, library and billiards room. Features such as the architraves on the doors, shutter and cornices are mainly original.

The drawing room is naturally lit by three large windows. A Jacobean carved wooden mantelpiece complete with a marble fireplace, incorporating the wedding stone of Richard John Cuninghame and Helen Ethel McDouall, forms a striking centrepiece to the room.

From the hall a cantilevered staircase rises to a mezzanine landing and continues to reach a hallway which is flooded with light from a beautiful cupola, off which is a family bathroom and five bedrooms: Louis Philippe bedroom, The Admirals bedroom, The Marquis’ bedroom, The Nursery and a fifth bedroom which includes an en-suite.

The Marquis’ room is the master bedroom; its large bay window overlooks the garden, as does the Admirals bedroom.

There are an additional five bedrooms, two family bathrooms, and a laundry and linen room.

The layout and dimensions of the accommodation are as shown on the floorplans within this brochure.


The gardens at Hensol were originally designed by Helen Ethel Cuninghame and they encircle the house. To the south there is a well maintained garden with yew trees. A stone pathway leads through the garden. Here, on a pedestal, the 17th century Lainshaw sundial is located. Distinctive in style, it is carved with the initials of Sir Alexander Cuninghame and Dame Margaret Stewart, thought to date back to their wedding in 1673. It is complex with many dials, some hollowed and some heart shaped. The sundial was transported to Hensol in the 19th century when Lainshaw estate was sold.

Features of the gardens include gravelled areas and a variety of flower borders and beds of shrubs. There is also a summerhouse and a tennis court. Half a mile from the house is a large walled garden which originally provided fruit and vegetables but is no longer in active in production.

The policies are incredibly peaceful and provide a sense of seclusion. They are an outstanding feature of the estate and include some specimen hardwoods and conifers.


To the north of the house is a range of outbuildings arranged around a courtyard and accessed via steps at the rear of the house or by a branch of the drive through an archway. Incorporating a cottage, the outbuildings include a garden tool shed, former stables, garaging and general storage.

Courtyard Cottage

This is a single storey cottage sitting above the garages. The accommodation includes two bedrooms, a kitchen, bathroom and sitting room.

Hensol Lodge

This is an attractive B-listed gate lodge, situated at the entrance to the estate. Constructed in 1822 of granite, this Gothic style lodge has a sitting room, dining room, kitchen, utility, shower room, two bedrooms and bathroom over one and a half levels. Externally there is a well maintained garden to the rear which leads down to The River Dee. The cottage is offered for let on a weekly basis as a holiday cottage.

Riverside Cottage

An attractive and detached cottage painted white, located beside the drive on approach to Hensol House. It overlooks the river and the accommodation includes a kitchen, sitting room, dining room, two bedrooms and bathroom. The property is offered for let on a weekly basis as a holiday cottage.

Pine Cottage

Located off an internal estate road, this is a semi-detached stone-built cottage with a slate roof. The accommodation includes a kitchen, sitting room, two bedrooms and a bathroom. There is a small garden.

Garden Cottage

Adjoining Pine Cottage, with the potential to be incorporated into a single house if required, is Garden Cottage. The accommodation comprises a sitting room, kitchen, two bedrooms and a bathroom. It has recently been re-roofed and has a small garden. There is a lean-to store, shared garden and parking area.

Walled Garden

The walled garden is located to the west of Pine Cottage and Garden Cottage. It is no longer in active production as a fruit and vegetable garden.

Home Farm Farmhouse

This is a single storey, traditional stone-built farmhouse, painted white with a slate roof. The accommodation includes two reception rooms, four bedrooms, a kitchen and bathroom. It is accessed via a spur off the drive and has its own enclosed garden to the front. The house has recently been installed with central heating.

Farm Buildings

A traditional steading arranged around a courtyard sits alongside the farmhouse. It is constructed of white-washed stone walls under a slate roof. The steading is used for general purpose storage and for wintering sheep. Towards the rear are livestock pens and a silage pit with concrete floor and earth walls.

Land and Woods

The estate extends to about 632 acres in total. It is ring-fenced and comprises of grass leys, permanent pasture, rough grazings and woods.

According to the James Hutton Institute, the majority of the land is classified as grade 4(1), 4(2), 5(1) and 5(2), most suitable for producing a narrow range of crops, primarily grassland, and for
improved grassland. Some of the land is classified as Grade 3(2). The land lies between 50 metres and 100 metres above sea level. The soil type
consists of brown derived from lower Palaeozoic greywackes and shales.

The farm receives income through the Basic Payment Scheme and Less Favoured Area Support Scheme.

The estate has an in-hand flock of about 1,625 cross bred ewes which are predominantly mules. Lambing takes place outdoors and begins
in early April. Store lambs are sold between October and December.

At least two cuts of silage are taken from the estate with the owners currently renting additional silage land locally on an annual basis.


Almost a quarter of the land on the estate is dedicated to forestry and woodland, which is a particular feature of both Hensol Estate in particular and also this part of southwest Scotland in general.

The woods are a key part of the landscape. They provide amenity, shooting coverts, timber production and livestock shelter.

The vendors have a long-term forest plan (prepared by Langholm based consultants, Forest and Land Management Ltd) which began in 2014 and runs until 2034. It identifies plantations which can be maintained, thinned and, in due course, felled.

The objectives of the forest plan incorporate a cash flow for the estate, create a long-term positive carbon sequestration sink, protect
and improve environmental and archaeological features and increase the sporting capability of the estate.


For many years prior to the current owners’ purchase of the estate in 2012, commercial driven pheasant shoot as operated at Hensol in conjunction with the adjoining estate to the north. The shoot had a reputation for producing drives
of great variety with coverts comprising a mixture of small conifer woods and larger areas of
mixed species woodland.

During their ownership, the current owners have chosen to scale down the shoot to the extent that they release a relatively small number of pheasants to provide about 4 or 5 informal days of mixed sport for between 30 to 50 head per day. A
keen shooting enthusiast will identify with the contours, habitat and scale at Hensol and has the opportunity to re-establish this aspect of the estate
if desired. The proximity of the river provides the opportunity for excellent wild duck flighting whilst the extent and variety of woods on the estate
provide excellent roe deer stalking.

The mild winter climate and combination of vegetation and ground conditions can attract
significant numbers of migratory woodcock during the winter months.

The wild sport this can provide – including shooting over pointers – is excellent. With a number of areas of marshland, particularly around the fringes of Woodhall Loch and Loch Ken – the wild snipe shooting at Hensol can also be first class.

The brown trout and coarse fishing both within the estate and in the local vicinity is also a significant attraction.


A particular feature on the estate is a nature area known as the Ken-Dee Marshes, a wetland and woodland reserve which is beside the River Dee and Loch Ken. The reserve is situated on the largest lowland river and floodplain system in
the south of Scotland. Its remote location provides the perfect location for viewing a number of species including, white-fronted and greylag geese, redstarts, willow tits, red kites, otters, and red squirrels. A car park is located at the entrance to Mains of Duchrae farm and the site includes a
nature trail and bird hide.

Included is two miles of ownership of the south bank of the River Dee.


Built around 1931, the boathouse beside Loch Ken is a feature of the estate. It provides access to the
loch for fishing and kayaking. The boathouse is situated just off the main drive on the edge of Loch Ken.


Hensol Estate is situated in the heart of Kirkcudbrightshire in the southwest of Scotland, situated beside the Black Water of Dee river and Loch Ken.

Dumfries & Galloway is a region of contrasting landscapes ranging from the high tops of the Galloway hills to the sandy coastline of the Solway Firth. It is an area of Scotland which is renowned for its dairy and livestock farming, due to the mild climate. The estate is located in relatively close proximity to a busy livestock market in Castle Douglas which hosts weekly sales. There are also markets at Carlisle and Longtown.

The nearby Mossdale village is serviced by a local shop. It is one of the gateways to The Galloway Kite Trail where Red Kites and other wildlife can be observed from a network of cycle paths and walks, which form part of Galloway Forest Park, the UK’s largest forest park. The estate lies within the dark skies catchment area from which viewing the night sky is particularly clear.

Castle Douglas is 9 miles distant. It is an 18th century market town now known as Scotland’s ‘Food Town’, and provides a range of services including supermarkets, shops, banks, cafés, restaurants, a post office, secondary school, hotels and leisure facilities. The town also hosts the Stewartry Agricultural Show annually in August.

The Royal Burgh of Dumfries, 26 miles to the east, is historically famous as the town where Robert Burns lived out his final few years prior to his death in 1796. It is now an important centre of commerce serving southwest Scotland and has a good range of shops, leisure facilities and professional services plus a college of higher education.

Though nestled into a lovely private setting, the estate is easily accessible by transport networks. The M74 which connects Scotland to England is situated to the east and provides easy access to both the north and south. Prestwick Airport is 48 miles to the northwest and provides international links to destinations outwith the UK. Glasgow airport and Edinburgh airport have domestic and international flights. The nearest mainline train station is in Dumfries with regular services to Glasgow and Carlisle. Cairnryan ferry port provides daily sailings to Northern Ireland.

The region has plenty of sporting opportunities. For the golfer, there is a selection of courses to choose from. The closest 18-hole course is located at Gatehouse of Fleet and there is a nine-hole course nearby at New Galloway. There are international championship courses at Royal Troon, Prestwick, and Turnberrry. For the watersports enthusiast, Galloway Activity Centre on Loch Ken offers sailing, windsurfing, kayaking and canoeing.

The southwest of Scotland has a mild, Gulf Stream climate which promotes the growth of a much wider range of plant species than in other parts of Scotland. Within the region there are some spectacular gardens which are open to the public including Threave Gardens at Castle Douglas, and both Logan Gardens and Castle Kennedy near Stranraer.

Date posted: 14/06/18