A “JAW dropping” highland estate is up for grabs with an asking price of over £15 million.
The Eilean Aigas estate in Inverness-shire on the River Beauly, is being sold by Canadian millionaire Brendan Clouston.
Mr Clouston admitted his decision to sell was in part due to power lines being erected nearby for the controversial Beauly to Denny line.
The telecoms tycoon, and friend of Bill Gates, spent £20 million buying and developing the property, which is on a picturesque island.
The estate, which dates back to the 1830s, includes 480 acres of woodlands and Highland countryside and a mansion on the river island.
Mr Clouston said: “I have decided to sell Eilean Aigas because I have found a new property development project in Guernsey.
“We love Inverness-shire and have made wonderful friends here so we’ll miss many things about our life in the Highlands.”
Ran Morgan, partner at selling agents Knight Frank, said: “It’s a truly jaw dropping house. People will be talking about it in 200 years time.
“It could be open to the public. The main house has eight bedrooms and a fabulous cinema room.
“The architecture inside is incredible, it has amazing plasterwork.”
The house took six years to build, he said.
A brochure for the property says: “The house has been designed to show how it could have evolved over the centuries and the owners, together with conservation architects, and a multitude of craftsmen and designers collaborated to create a home that appears to have been in existence since before the 1700’s, but which benefits from every modern convenience to allow for an exceptionally high standard of modern family living.”
The island includes a restored 19th Century hunting lodge as well as the new mansion which was built from scratch using local materials.
Though it is to be used as a guest house, the lodge is eye-watering in its own right.
Mr Morgan said: “It has three receptions, four en-suite bedrooms and a huge kitchen.
“The house itself is brand new. It’s an extraordinary house which will appeal to the international market.
“The customer would likely be someone with in international life, someone who has properties all over the world.”
Any new owner will be able to stalk red deer and fish for salmon and trout on the vast property.
Experts were brought in from all over Britain to construct the house, which includes a cantilever staircase and intricate plasterwork in the main hall.
It also boasts a drawing room measuring 13meters by 11 meters, and a library, sitting room, two dining rooms and a garden room.
The former president of Tele-Communications Inc bought the estate after Malaysian businessman put it on the market for £3million in 2001.
Selling agents Knight Frank are marketing Eilan Aigas as “A hidden Highland estate,” and are seeking offers in excess of £15million.
They describe it as “A magnificent country house set on a private river island and further protected by over 480 acres of estate lands and woodland.”
It includes Eilean Aigas House, previously a seat for Lord Fraser of Lovat, which is joined to the river bank by a white bridge.
A spokesman for Mr Clouston said the millionaire had now completed his development project at Eilean Aigas.
He has been a vocal opponent of the Beauly to Denny power line, which saw the construction of the first 200ft tower near his mansion home earlier this year.
Scottish and Southern Electricity (SSE) bought a 225 meter strip of land at nearby Eskdale under a compulsory purchase order.
The power company wanted to widen a road to allow for traffic working on the overhead line.
Mr Clouston’s spokesman said: “Of course, the power line has had something to do with it, but his primary reason for selling up and moving on is to start on the new development project.
“Mr Clouston has spent a lot of time and money on rebuilding the original building, buying additional parcels of land to increase the size of the estate and building a new house on the island.
“The total cost of the project, including the initial purchase price, was around £20million.”
The 400kV power lines include building 600 new overhead power cables, which opponents have said would be a scar on the landscape.
Mr Clouston, who has funded the anti-power line group, has said: “It would be a tragedy to have this thing built up through this part of Scotland and I think time will prove that to be true.”