Sunday, January 17, 2021

Bedding a bargain

Scottish estate once marketed at £4.5 million now available for just £1.6 million


The Melville State Bed is considered “the most spectacular single exhibit in the Victoria and Albert Museum’s British Galleries”. Hung with 85 metres of velvet, 114.5 metres of damask and 62 metres of supporting linen and buckram, the “theatrical” crimson bed was created in 1700 to reflect the status of its owner and now the very house it was originally the centerpiece of is once again on the market.


The front elevation of Melville House, Monimail Cupar, Fife, Scotland, KY15 7RJ
The front elevation of Melville House, Monimail Cupar, Fife, Scotland, KY15 7RJ

The Melville State Bed is now housed in the Victoria & Albert Museum and is probably surprisingly worth more than the building that originally housed it
The Melville State Bed is now housed in the Victoria & Albert Museum and is probably surprisingly worth more than the building that originally housed it

Grade A listed Melville House at Monimail in Fife in Scotland has been dubbed “Britain’s most expensive repossessed property” by titles such as the Mail Online but frankly that is neither true nor does this James Smith designed mansion justice. As far as we are aware, the “most pricey repo” accolade should go to the especially vile Updown Court in Surrey – which eventually sold at a price of £35,000,000 against an original asking figure of £70,000,000 – whilst Melville House, built in 1692, surely deserves to be lauded as “Scotland’s finest Palladian house” instead.


Built in a classic H-shape, the 25,000 square foot three-storey house stands on a plot of just 16.5 acres. It’s a bit of a sad soul as its parkland is no longer part of the estate and a 19th century coach house was damaged by fire in 2012. Melville House is being marketed in “sold as seen condition” by Strutt & Parker’s Edinburgh office and even comes complete with a rather wacky tree house.


The rear elevation of the mansion
The rear elevation of the mansion

The spectacular reception hall
The spectacular reception hall

One of a number of impressive and sizeable reception rooms
One of a number of impressive and sizeable reception rooms

The house has been partly modernised and includes features such as this modern kitchen
The house has been partly modernised and includes features such as this modern kitchen

There is even a tree house within the grounds
There is even a tree house within the grounds

Originally home to the Melville family, the property and the Melville State Bed were separated in 1949 when the estate was sold after being used to billet Polish soldiers during the Second World War. It subsequently became a private school and then a reform school for young offenders. In the 1990s, the estate reverted into private hands after being sold for £400,000.


In 2003, the mansion was transferred to another set of owners who paid £1 million for it. They lavished over £2 million restoring it and marketed the property for £4.5 million in 2005 but it failed to sell. Repossessed by a South African bank, it subsequently sold for a much lower figure of £1.6 million in 2009 to a Mr and Mrs Harvey and now, once again, its for sale.


The price in 2013? Once again, just £1.6 million.



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    1. It never cost anywhere near £2million in refurbishments – FACT. A lovely place bought to life, upkeep costs are at a price that reflects the cost of the house, someone that can afford it! Believe it’s now under offer again for around £1,250,000

    2. I use to live in that house for 3 years, the out building has an indoor footall/basketball court and 5 or 6 large rooms off that, which could be converted into 3 bungalows alone, 2 gazibos at the bottom of the drive and upstairs the rooms are bigger than most people’s flats, so 2 million in renovation and fixtures sounds about right, sadly they removed a lot of the original wood from the walls and made it dark and mirky in a lot of the rooms, if I had the money I would buy it… Even if it was 2m


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