A STUNNING hunting lodge that was used a secret picnic getaway for the Queen Mother has gone on the market for £475,000.
The beautiful Dorrery Lodge was built by the Crown over 100 years ago even features King Edward VII’s Royal cypher on its tower.
Built in 1904, the historic Highland home in Halkirk, Caithness, was frequented by the late Queen Mother who apparently enjoyed visiting friends at the lodge.
Less than 20 miles from the Royal residence at Castle of Mey near Thruso, Elizabeth I even fished on a nearby loch on the grounds for brown trout.
Although Dorrery Lodge’s original use and reason for construction is unknown, only Royal buildings or government property was permitted to use the Royal cypher.
The lodge was latterly owned by the general secretary at Dounreay’s nuclear power station,
Donald Carmicheal, who according to current owner was friends with the Queen Mother.
John Ferguson, owner of Dorrery Lodge, described the links between the secluded grand home and the Elizabeth I.
He said: “She was good friends with the previous owners of the Lodge and would visit regularly for pinics on the grounds as it’s very private and Castle of Mey is nearby.
“When I first bought Dorrery Lodge it came with a set of keys to a fishing hut on Loch Caluim but interestingly on the keyring it read ‘Loch Caluim Fishing Hall’.
“This was because the Queen Mother would go fishing on Loch Caluim that was once on the Dorrery ground, it’s now owned by the RPSB, and she would use the hut for lunch.
“So they named it called it a Hall instead of hut.”
He conitnued: “In one of her obituaries from 2002, there was even a reference made to the Dorrery Lodge, it read ‘The Queen Mother enjoyed trout fishing and often fished in remote Caithness lochs, including Loch Caluim on the Dorrery Estate.'”
Since the early 1900’s the scenic house has been used as a hunting lodge and even for promotional events.
John added: “Around 10 years-ago we even had a Land Rover launch event take place here and the lodge was used for media from around the world and even Top Gear turned up.
“But it’s always been highly regarded as a shooting lodge and has featured in many books.”
Astonishingly, the original Edwardian billiard table that was brought to the house from Soho, London the year it was built is included in the sale.
Sellers Bell Ingram, have said this is a “unique opportunity” to purchase a property “steeped in history”.
In their brochure it read: “This is a unique opportunity to purchase this imposing former shooting lodge which was built circa 1904.
“The property is steeped in history with the tower bearing the Royal cypher of King Edward VII.
“The current owners have retained many of the original period features throughout, including the Edwardian Billiards room/library.
“The land extends to approximately 7.9 acres including paddock and offers a quiet private retreat yet only a short distance from the village of Halkirk.”
Also included in the sale is a steading building that is available for development as well as a gun room and deer larder.
Bell Ingram added: “Attached to the property is a large gun room, ideal for storing kit. A deer larder, paint store and wood store.
“The steading sits away from the property and has two storeys and is ideal for conversion. This could also be converted back to stabling if required.”