Currently considered the most expensive house in Scotland on the open market, Dalhebity House is a striking house set in landscaped grounds reminiscent of a historic country house.
In fact, it’s relatively new construction, dating from 2009. It’s home to Stewart Milne, head of the construction company and former chairman of Aberdeen Football Club, and his partner Joanna Robertson.
The property also has royal connections. The original Dalhebity House, which Milne owned for 25 years before being completely replaced, was once the home of Baroness Fermoy, Princess Diana’s grandmother. The future Princess of Wales spent her holidays here as a child.
Stewart first saw the original house in the early 1980s when he passed it on his way to work. He recalls, “Initially I saw it as a development opportunity, but as we looked at the house and grounds we fell in love with it as a home.
“We’ve done various conversions and additions over the years, but the layout has always been less than ideal – I’ve considered tearing it down and building a new house.
“Finally, I made that decision in 2007 and we embarked on the exciting but very challenging journey to build something that would do justice to the location and history of the original Dalhebity.”
The inspiration for the new mansion came in part from the original architecture in Dalhebity, with its Scottish Baronial style. The luxury of size is evident from the outside, but the sheer size of some rooms inside is breathtaking.
The new home was built by Stewart Milne Construction as the main contractor using specialist subcontractors and craftsmen
Handyman. Stewart adds, “We hired outside architects to help us design, even though we had a very clear idea of what we wanted. The finished home is something that is close to our hearts – and everyone involved in its design and construction
proud of. We believe we have created something extraordinary.”
Stewart says his goal was, in part, to showcase the traditional skills that still exist in his industry. “We were determined to show that a traditional classic home, which was the original Dalhebity, with all the fine woodwork and panelling, ornate ceilings and plasterwork, could be delivered with modern construction methods with all the energy saving benefits built in.”
Technology sits alongside handcrafted features, with entertainment systems, underfloor heating, mood lighting, fire alarms and security systems throughout.
Sumptuous finishes include the extensive use of marble floors, walnut, oak and marble fireplaces and the stunning central staircase with the stained glass dome above. The fully stocked library is in ornate American oak.
Of the 10 or so public spaces, Stewart says there’s a perfect place for gatherings of any size and for any purpose — work, meetings, relaxation, entertainment, sports and socializing.
Prestige property: rich in history and horticulture
“But possibly my favorite is the first floor reading lounge with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the pond, the pretty garden and the surrounding hills.”
He says of the house: “It has a layout that is suitable for both family and entertaining. The swimming pool and leisure facilities add an extra dimension and all family and friends have benefited from it over the years.”
The exterior is equally impressive, with cobbled courtyards and terraces winding around the house. On the lower lawn is a cottage with patio and kitchen overlooking the pond. The floodlit tennis court has a gazebo and there is a summer house.
Despite its size, the house was easy to fill as Stewart has a large family. He explains: “We’ve raised three different ones over the years
family groupings [here]. First Barbara and I raised Gary and Mike in Dalhebity, then Joanna and I raised Charlotte, Amy and David, and for the last almost 20 years it has been the home of Jamie, Charlie, Jo and I.”
With their youngest sons now at university, they have decided to sell. Dalhebity was a wonderful party house. Stewart recalls:
“Christmas and birthday parties, but also some big charity events. The fundraising events for Maggie’s were special and very memorable occasions.”
Still, he admits: “It’s going to be a big quandary to go on. We will miss so much from Dalhebity – having a gym to work out in the mornings, spending lazy hours each week on the tractor mowing the lawn, walking down the stairs in the morning and admiring the beautiful entrance hall. We had so many beautiful memories in such a wonderful setting.”
Dalhebity House, Bieldside, Aberdeen is priced at over £7.5 million.
For more information, contact Savills on 01224 971 110