A MAGNIFICENT Scottish lodge that comes with a baronial title has been given a price tag in Russian rubles.
The sellers of Johnston Lodge are so confident of massive overseas interest, including from Russian oligarchs, that they have quoted a price of 120 million rubles and $2.1m USD as well as £1.7m.
The eventual buyer of the two-storey Georgian pile in Aberdeenshire will have the right to call themself Lord Gardenstone, a title which dates from 1780.
As well as 32 acres, a helicopter pad, and nine-hole golf course, Johnston Lodge is steeped in history. The lands were once occupied by the brother-in-law of Robert the Bruce.
The six-bedroom property in Laurencekirk is being promoted to international to buyers by Reid Estates.
They state in the brochure they are “delighted to bring to the market this highly desirable Georgian Mansion House.
“Price in US$ 2,119,050 Russian Rubles: 119,572,058.10.
“It is very rare that a property of such magnificence comes on the market in Scotland.
“Johnston Lodge dominates the Howe of Mearns and holds a major part in Scottish History.
“Purchasers would not be buying a home, but a piece of British heritage.”
Also included in the amazing sale is a wine cellar, a hot tub, four reception rooms, a study, two cloakrooms and a reception hall.
The brochure adds: “From this grand reception hall with bespoke solid oak sweeping staircase, ornate spindles, newels and balustrade.
“It immediately has the feeling of attention to detail, and spaciousness upon entering the property.”
An earlier lodge was built on the land in the 1700s and occupied by Sir Alexander Fraser, the brother in law of Robert the Bruce.
The current lodge was constructed by parliamentarian James Farquhar in 1780.
The third owner of the lodge was Frances Garden, Lord Gardenstone. His patronage boosted the population of nearby Laurencekirk, eventually giving it the status of a Burgh of Barony.
This means the owner of the lodge is allowed to use the title Lord Gardenstone.
Dominating the skyline above the historic home stands Johnston Tower, on the Hill of Garvock.
It was built by Farquhar from excess building materials from the lodge, to commemorate Wellington’s defeat of Napoleon in the Peninsular War.
The sellers will be confident of finding an overseas buyer as wealthy foreigners have flocked to Scotland in the wake of Brexit.
According to this month’s National Geographic, “an invasive species is spreading over the great Highland estates of Scotland”.
It claimed: “Buyers from Russia, Saudi Arabia, Chile, and European countries like Sweden and Denmark, [are] lured by the weakening British pound in the wake of Brexit and by the cachet of playing Lord of the Manor.”
From 2015 to 2016 foreign buyers snapped up half the 16 estates sold in Sc