Scotland’s most expensive private residence for sale for 47% less than its 2005 asking price; it was designed by Robert Adam and is currently owned by self-made tech tycoons
Sporting estates in Scotland often sell for big numbers and amongst their largest scale purchasers is the Danish billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen, a man who now owns and is rewilding an astonishing 221,000 acres of land.
Whilst some estates go for bargain basement prices – take for example American billionaire Brendan Clouston’s 546 acre Eilean Aigas estate (sold for just £3 million in 2015 against an original asking price of £20 million in 2012) – bidding wars on some estates, especially where Holch Povlsen has been involved, have seen prices of in excess of £15 million achieved.
Now, a different kettle of fish – a building considered to be Scotland’s most expensive private house – has come to the market (along with three Highland Cattle) and though it may be grand, Seton Castle at Longniddry, near Edinburgh stands in just 13.4 acres of land.
Built on the grounds of Seton Palace, described as “the preferred retreat of Mary Queen of Scots, in the 1700s as Robert Adam’s final project in Scotland, neoclassical Seton Castle was owned by the Wemyss family from the 18th century to 2003. It was then sold to a property developer for £1.3 million, whom despite ambitiously tried to sell it for £15 million, managed to sell it on for £5 million in 2007.
From then until now, this Grade A listed building has been owned by Internet entrepreneurs and co-founders of the Bigmouthmedia group, Stephen Leach and his wife Heather Luscombe (AKA ‘Mr & Mrs Bigmouth’). In the time since their purchase, the couple have lavished vast sums “richly refurbishing” the building in an “eccentric style” and now alongside there being 6 bedrooms in the main castle, there are two 3 bedroomed wings.
Of its more unusual features, the castle includes a grand hall, a “classical” library and a 10,000 bottle wine cellar. There are also secret staircases, hidden doors, a traditional oak paneled bar, a cinema and an essential for any tycoon – a helicopter pad.
Of why he is selling, in August 2019, Stephen Leach – who sold 50% of the company he co-founded with his wife for £60 million in 2006 – told the BBC:
“We are privileged to have had a very special time at Seton, it’s a truly magnificent place to live, entertain and to bring up a family.”
“Even after 12 years there, it still takes our breath away to drive into the courtyard and remember we are retracing the steps of Mary Queen of` Scots.”
“As our children get older, we find ourselves spending more time at our homes overseas and therefore it’s time to hand over the keys for the next chapter of Seton.”
The Numbers – Seton Castle, Longniddry, East Lothian, Scotland, EH32 0PG, United Kingdom
September 2019 – For sale for £8 million ($9.8 million, €8.9 million or درهم35 million). Contents, fixtures and fittings and vehicles, machinery and equipment are available by separate negotiation.
April 2007 – Sold to Stephen Leach and Heather Luscombe for a reduced asking price of £5 million ($6.1 million, €5.7 million or درهم22.6 million).
2005 – For sale for £15 million ($18.4 million, €16.7 million or درهم67.7 million).
2003 – Sold to developer Mary McMillan by the Wemyss family for £1.3 million ($1.6 million, €1.4 million or درهم5.9 million).