The current owners of 6 Warren Park, Durris, knew they were buying a home with history – but had no idea just how much history until after they moved in.
Fiona and Calum Martin fell in love with the four-bedroom house in winter 2014 because of its character and location, then discovered even more things to like about it as time went on.
Describing what initially attracted them to it, Fiona said: “Firstly it was the area, the house is in the beautiful Deeside countryside but we can be in Banchory in 10 minutes and Aberdeen in 15-20 minutes.
“We have so much choice when it comes to being in the outdoors with lots of forests and countryside routes nearby for walking and biking.
“There are also some stunning paths beside the River Dee just a short drive/cycle away. However, being close to Aberdeen was also important as when we bought the house both of us were working in Aberdeen and we didn’t want a long commute.
“Secondly, it was the potential and character of the house. We love property with character and history and this house has plenty of both!
“When we bought the house we didn’t realise how much history is has. The steading dates back to the 1800s and it was originally the steading for nearby Home Farm before being used as a nursery for growing plants for Durris Estate.
“In 1933 Aberdeen Council converted the steading building to a ‘modern kitchen’ and it was used to prepare meals for the Aberdeen schools. It then went back to being a steading before being converted into 10 houses in 1996.”
And its history wasn’t the only surprise.
Fiona said: “We bought the house in November, so having only viewed it on cold autumnal days we hadn’t appreciated what a sheltered and sunny spot the house is in, and one of our favourite things is how much light floods into the upstairs rooms.”
Forming part of a steading development set within extensive, communal grounds, the house offers a blend of traditional features and modern conveniences.
Of particular note is the dining kitchen with ample space for entertaining, and the living room with its multi-fuel stove.
“The wood-burning stove that we installed shortly after we moved in is also one of our favourite things about the house; it gives the place such a cosy feel. From October onwards we have it on most days as it just makes the whole house feel very snug,” said Fiona.
“Nearly every room has been renovated at some point since we bought the house.
“Both of our children arrived during that time too so there have been lots of changes to make it a comfortable family home.
“Our favourite upgrades were installing the wood-burning stove and completely remodelling the kitchen. Our kids’ favourite upgrade was the remodelling of the garden last summer, they now have a safe place to run wild!”
The ground-floor bedroom currently serves as a playroom but could be a formal dining room or bedroom.
Upstairs there are a further three bedrooms, the master benefitting from an en suite shower room, and an office providing ideal space for home working.
Externally to the front of the property, the fully enclosed, private garden is mainly laid to lawn. There is also a stone chipped driveway for off-street parking.
To the rear is a well maintained communal courtyard. The landscaped grounds surrounding the property are communal and maintained under a factoring agreement.
Fiona added: “The surrounding countryside is stunning and offers us so much right from the front door, our kids especially love exploring the Durris Estate woods across the road from us.
“Both Crathes Castle and Drum Castle are less than 15 minutes away and if we fancy a trip to the beach then Stonehaven is only a 20-minute drive.
“We also love the space within the house, it is so deceptive from the outside. We were easily able to make adjustments to create a comfortable space to work from home during the pandemic.”
Fiona thinks that the property would especially suit “anyone who enjoys the countryside” and added: “Our house is currently particularly well-suited to families but it would also work really well for young and older couples alike.”
As for the reason for the move she said: “As with a lot of people, the pandemic made us reassess what is most important to us in life and we realised that we wanted to be closer to our extended family. So, we are relocating back to the Black Isle where we both grew up and where our kids’ grandparents and many of their cousins, aunties and uncles all live.”
Number 6 Warren Park, Durris, Banchory, is for sale with Aberdein Considine at offers over £375,000.