A FORMER Post Office used by Queen Victoria during her summer stays in Scotland is on sale for £375,000.
The 200-year-old building in the Royal Deeside hamlet of Crathie was regularly visited by monarch while she was at the neighbouring Balmoral Estate.
The Queen even saved the Old Post Office from closure when the original owner died, paying for one of his sons to leave his job in London to take up the vacant post.
The building, next door to the Crathie Kirk, the place of worship for the Royal Family when they are holidaying at Balmoral, was turned into a family home 20 years ago although a post box is built into one of the walls.
The three-bedroom property was originally built by Charlie Thomson as a house, but the post office was added soon after.
As well as being used by Queen Victoria, subsequent Royals used the post office to keep in touch with the outside world once a telephone switchboard was installed.
The property, which includes five acres of land, is being sold by Bruce Thomson, the 77-year-old great-great-grandson of Charlie Thomson.
Mr Thomson, who grew up in the house, said: “My great-great-grandfather built it on the turnpike road. It was just a but and ben originally with a croft behind it.
“With the advent of Queen Victoria to Balmoral he became involved in working for the estate.
“When the penny post became a viable proposition my great great grandfather decided that it was a good place for a post office.
“I think he originally sold stamps through the parlour window, then they built on an extension and it became a proper post office.
He added: “It extended beyond being a post office and became a village shop and the heart of the community.
“People would come together and gossip and catch-up. It was an important place in those days.”
“Originally when the old man died, Queen Victoria was still about and she said she required family continuity at Crathie post office. And the only available of the seven sons was a banker by that time. He said he couldn’t possibly do it – so she paid him a royal pension to come back and be the postmaster.”
“Queen Victoria was a major local busybody, she used to visit folk in their houses, and annoy them. She wanted to keep things as they were in the village.”
Mr Thomson also pointed out that John Brown, Victoria’s ghillie, was born in Crathie in 1826.
It is thought Mr Brown would have been among the post office’s many customers.
Estate Agents Fraser & Mulligan describe the property as “a unique house for sale for the first time and occupied until now by the family who built it around 200 years ago.
“Built on the old turnpike road, it has behind it about five acres of secluded and long neglected paddock and woodland.
“The house is in need of extensive refurbishment but it is uniquely situated across the river Dee from the Queen’s summer residence at Balmoral and closely adjacent to Crathie Church which Her Majesty attends each Sunday.”