A VICTORIAN villa that was home to the author who inspired Dr Finlay’s Casebook and the NHS has gone on sale for under £400,000.
Oakbank House occupies a stunning location overlooking Loch Long and mountain scenery, in Arrochar, Argyll and Bute.
It was here that AJ Cronin and his wife lived during the 1930s after he moved back to his native Scotland to recuperate from a duodenal ulcer.
Cronin is likely to have planned or even started writing his novella Country Doctor, published in 1935, at Oakbank. The work inspired the 1960s television classic Dr Finlay’s casebook.
Two years later, he wrote The Citadel, based on his experiences as a GP, which is widely credited as inspiring the creation, in 1948, of the National Health Service.
Cronin’s former home, which was built in the 1850s, boasts four bedrooms, three bathrooms and three reception rooms, and is situated in Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.
The villa, on sale for offers over £390,000, has a magnificent view of the Arrochar Alps, which include four Munros, hills over 3,000ft, six Corbetts, hills over 2,500ft, with the best known being The Cobbler.
Sellers Savills wrote: “The current owners have lovingly restored and extended Oakbank House and their careful eye and visual sense are apparent everywhere.
“The accommodation is superbly proportioned and natural light and a sense of space are key characteristics of the property.
“Oakbank House occupies a beautiful elevated position surrounded by some of Scotland’s finest scenery with open aspects to Loch Long.”
Writing about a previous owner in the 1930s, they add: “A.J. Cronin, the author of Dr Finlay’s Casebook also resided there before moving to a practice in Garelochhead.”
Cronin was born in 1896 in Cardross, Argyll and Bute, as Archibald Joseph Cronin and went onto study Medicine at the University of Glasgow.
During the First World War he served as a sub-lieutenant in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserves and undertook further training at various hospitals around the country.
He undertook a general practice in Tredegar, a mining town in South Wales. Cronin worked at Tredegar Cottage Hospital, where workers paid contributions and in return received free care for themselves and their families.
The arrangement featured in The Citadel, which exposed the incompetence and greed of many doctors, and inspired the creation of the NHS a decade later.
The iconic BBC Radio drama TV series Dr Finlay’s Casebook was centred around a fictional Scottish town called Tannochbrae during the late 1920s.
Bill Simpson played Dr Finlay in the Radio drama and TV series alongside Andrew Cruickshank who played Dr Cameron ran from 1962 to 1971