For sale – comfortable family home with Pictish stone circle in the garden

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The monument is 3,500 years old, legally protected, and must be accessible to the public
The monument is 3,500 years old, legally protected, and must be accessible to the public

 

A FAMILY home is up for grabs in the highlands – complete with a 3,500-year-old Pictish stone circle in the garden.

The four-bedroom property south of Inverness boasts stunning views from its three storeys, en-suite bathrooms, and a conservatory.

But any buyer of Stonehenge House will have to accept that there’s nothing much they can do with the legally-protected ancient monument that takes up part of the back garden.

And they will also have to prepare for a knock on the door from visitors – some from abroad – who have the right to visit the stone circle.

The £275,000 property in Farr, about eight miles south of Inverness, is only about 40 years old.

Remarkably, the original builder got away with enclosing the stone circle, called Croftcroy, within the garden and just 6ft from the kitchen door.

The 30ft-wide stone circle has been dated to the end of the Bronze Age in Scotland.

The house is a mere 40 years old
The house is a mere 40 years old

 

Professional opinion is divided about whether it was used by Picts as a burial tomb or a “moon circle”.

Current owners Iain and Margaret O’Brien bought Stonehenge House in 1996 but want to downsize.

The 55-year-old former army engineer said: “In the 1970s, the building laws were relaxed so people could build anywhere.

“It’s registered with Archeology Scotland so we have to let people into our garden if they want to view it.”

Visitors don’t even have to make an appointment. And one occasion a “guest” from North America was spotted chanting among the stones, said Iain.

He added: “We’ve had several professors and doctors up here telling us stories. One told us it was a moon circle, he said it’s when the moon lines up every 23 years.

Iain and Margo bought the house for the views, not the history
Iain and Margo bought the house for the views, not the history

 

“Other people from the area say an important person was buried here. Some of the papers say that it is based on one person and that the burial stones are still there but the roof has gone. “

He added: “We have to look after it but we don’t get any grants or anything. “

“People are fascinated by it. You either love it or hate it. We used to go out on the solstice and have a dram.

“I love it, but my wife absolutely hates it. She wants a proper garden outside the kitchen.”

“It’s been there 3,500 years, it belongs to the country. This was a perfect home for us, we’ve loved it. ”

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