A STUNNING regal mansion that was once frequented by Coco Chanel has been slashed in price -with £500,000 knocked off the asking price.
Rosehall Estate in Lairg, Sutherland – once the secret bolt hole for the fashion designer and her lover the Earl of Grosvenor – was originally on the market for £3m.
But after failing to sell for two years, the ramshackle stately home is now being offered with a price cut of almost 17%.
The building, which boasts 12-bedrooms and has planning permission to be converted into a hotel, is badly in need of refurbishment.
Built in the 1820, the property’s most fascinating period was over 100 years later in the 1920s when it was bought by Hugh ‘Bendor’ Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster.
The ultra-wealthy Duke spent his summers at Rosehall with the French designer during their affair that lasted from 1923 until 1929.
Whilst staying at the mansion Chanel reportedly decorated each room with tailored wall-paper, imported from France.
She apparently watched over the workmen as they installed the designer details and is believed to have been modelled many of the rooms on her own Parisian apartment.
Whilst recoving from an illness, Winston Churchill also stayed on the estate in 1928.
Writing to his wife, Clementine, Churchill mentioned his stay at the remarkable property.
He wrote: “The air is most exhilarating, keen and yet caressing. Coco got three fish yesterday.
“This morning it is raining, which is good for fishing. We all play Bezique so that the time is not burdensome.
“Coco is here in place of Violet. She fishes from morn till night, and in two months has killed 50 salmon. She is very agreeable – really a great and strong being fit to rule a man or an Empire.
“Bennie is very well and, I think, extremely happy to be mated with an equal – her ability balancing his power. We are the only three on the river, and have all the plums.”
The mansion comes with 550 acres of land, including a loch that can be stocked for fishing, lush gardens and hunting rights.
Sellers RE/MAX admit the property is need of a “complete refurbishment”.
In their brochure the estate agent said: “The Estate and mansion has a rich history.
“It was owned in the 1920s by the Duke of Westminster who resided there with his lover Coco Chanel.
“Winston Churchill, a close friend of the Duke, recuperated on the estate around 1928. Winston Churchill’s letters about his stay to his wife have since been published.
“Dornoch beach with its miles of golden sand located on the tranquil Dornoch Firth is 40 min drive from the estate.
“The house is listed and requires complete refurbishment.”
It is thought that the 2nd Duke of Westminster and Miss Chanel were introduced in 1923 at a dinner in Monte Carlo.
At the time Chanel was becoming one of the world’s most well-known fashion designers, and the Duke was Britain’s richest man with an estimated income of a guinea per minute.
He is said to have spoiled her with extravagant gifts, jewels and expensive art and even bought her a home in London’s lavish Mayfair area.
Although the Duke was left heartbroken when, despite his grand gestures, Chanel turned his proposal of marriage down saying: “There have been several Duchesses of Westminster, there is only one Chanel”.