THE ancestral Highland estate where one of Britain’s best-known Prime Ministers took refuge from the trials of office has come on the market for more than £9m.
William Gladstone was Prime Minister on four separate occasions between 1868 and 1894.
To this day he is remembered for his outstanding oratory – and his poor relationship with Queen Victoria, who famously complained: “He always addresses me as if I were a public meeting.”
Gladstone was born and raised in Liverpool but frequently visited the family estate of Fasque, near Fettercairn, Aberdeenshire.
The estate has remained in the family since his death – but is now coming on the market for £9.3m.
The sale includes 6,228 acres, a recently renovated castle, and a mixture of cottages, grouse moors, and farmland.
It also includes a Christmas tree plantation and lake.
Because of the vastness of the property, it is being offered as either 28 individual lots or one whole estate, with offers over £9,320,000.
Gladstone spent a total of 20 years of his life at the estate – walking 15 miles from the nearest train station to reach it every time he arrived.
Current owner Charles Gladstone – William Gladstone’s great great grandson – said: “Fasque has been part of our family for generations and we are very sad to let it go.
“In particular, I am immensely proud of the work we have done to Balbegno Castle and the house it is today.
“However we do not live there and cannot do justice to it or the estate. We feel the time has come to move on and allow a new owner to take it on and nurture it in a way we are unable to do.”
The newly renovated A-listed Balbegno Castle – with six bedrooms – is one of the individual lots for sale.
It is set in 21 acres of gardens, grounds and parkland.
New buyers may also be attracted by the Great Hall – which has a vaulted stone ceiling showing the coats of arms of 13 Scottish peers.
All told there are 31 buildings on sale at the estate. The 28 individual lots range in price from £45,000 to £2.1m.
Estate agent Robert McCulloch who is handling the sale for Strutt and Parker said they were expecting to be “exceptionally busy” with inquiries.
He went on: “The lotted sale of Fasque Estate represents the potential fragmentation of a largely privately-owned estate which provides a rare opportunity for buyers with a range of budgets to realise their ambitions to buy a rural property in a very pretty part of Scotland.”