Mossdale, Castle Douglas, Kirkcudbrightshire

£6,835,000 - SALE

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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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Description

Hensol House – an A-listed House in very 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.
10 additional residential properties including 3 farmhouses and 7 cottages.
A productive in-hand farm with an extensive range of well-equipped buildings including modern dairy unit.
Agricultural land including 384 acres of grass leys, 635 acres of permanent pasture and 640 acres of rough grazings.
513 acres of 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.
The site of a radio mast yielding an income of £4,500 per annum.
An old mill and redundant agricultural buildings with development potential.
Frontage to Loch Ken, Woodhall Loch and the River Dee, which includes a boathouse and superb bird watching on Ken-Dee Marshes.
About 2,249 Acres (910 Ha) in total.
For sale as a whole or in 5 lots.

Hensol is an all-round residential, agricultural and sporting estate with a useful combination of houses, cottages, farm buildings, productive farmland, commercial and amenity woodlands, various sportings, the site of a telecommunications mast, a development opportunity and a wildlife reserve. The privacy of the setting – being situated beside the River Dee and Loch Ken – is a particular feature of the estate.

Residential Properties

At its core, overlooking the River Dee, is Hensol House, a magnificent category ‘A’ listed property of Gothic/Tudor design, constructed from local granite stone. The house has lovely views down the River Dee towards Loch Ken.

In addition to Hensol House, the estate includes 10 residential properties, including a courtyard cottage situated in the grounds of Hensol House, a gate lodge, three farmhouses, one situated at each farm, and five cottages. Some are let under Short Assured Tenancies, others used as holiday lets providing an additional income stream for the estate.

An old mill, which once had planning permission to be renovated into a three-bedroom house, offers development potential. In addition, redundant steadings at Home Farm and Ullioch also offer potential for residential conversion.

Land and Farming

The estate extends to about 2,249 acres in total. It is ring-fenced and most of the fields and woods are enclosed by attractive dry stone walls. From an agricultural perspective, the land comprises 384 acres of grass leys, 635 acres of permanent pasture, 640 acres of rough grazings, 513 acres of woods and 77 acres of miscellaneous/unclassified land (including water features).

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 139 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.

An intensive dairy and sheep business is run in-hand on the estate, the central focus of which is at Urioch Farm where the modern dairy unit, cubicle and machinery sheds are situated

The dairy comprises a ‘flying herd’ of about 430 Friesian Holstein cows, including followers. They are milked twice daily and produce approximately 9,500 litres of milk per day, of which the average butterfat content is 4.05%. Milk is currently sold under contract to Arla.

The cows are run with Limousin and British Blue bulls year round and the calves are sold at 3 weeks old through Carlisle market. As no replacements are bred on the farm, they are purchased as and when necessary.

The estate has a 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.

Sporting

For many years prior to the current owners’ purchase of the estate in 2012, a commercial driven pheasant shoot was 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 together with the existence of two small lochs/ponds (Blates Mill Dam and the Round Loch) close to Urioch Farm provide 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.

Woods

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.

Of the 513 acres of forestry/woods, about 326 acres are productive conifers and 187 acres are mixed broadleaves. The woods are a key part of the landscape. They provide amenity, shooting coverts, timber production and livestock shelter.

Two blocks of commercial forestry compartments equating to about 59.75 acres (24.18 ha), within Ullioch Farm (Lot 2) and Drumglass Farm (Lot 4) were clear felled during 2014 – 2016 and are required to be re-stocked by the purchaser(s).

The vendors have a long-term forest plan (prepared by Langholm-based consultants, Forest and Land Management Ltd) which beganin 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.

There is considerable potential for a large-scale afforestation programme over Lot 1.

Situation

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