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Highland merchants house and gallery shop on sale for £700k

End of an era: Susan Plowman has put her beloved home and gallery shop on the market in Fortrose.
End of an era: Susan Plowman has put her beloved home and gallery shop on the market in Fortrose.

As the only remaining merchants house left in Fortrose, Braemoray is a rare historic gem which has been lovingly restored to its former glory.

From the outset, it’s clear that this timeless beauty was built purely on love as the names of the newlyweds who moved into the house back in 1704 is still carved into the lintel above the front door.

Historic home: Braemoray is the last remaining merchants house in Fortrose.

Five bedrooms

Located next to Chanonry Point, one of the world’s best-known bottlenose dolphin-watching spots, it’s no surprise that Susan Plowman and her husband Stephen fell in love with the charming five-bedroom detached house and adjoining gallery shop.

For the past 18 years, the couple have thrown themselves into enhancing the merchants home while running a successful jewellery shop next door.

Heart of the home: Susan and Stephen Plowman with their beloved dog Evie.

Cathedral views

It is with a heavy heart that the couple, who are both jewellery designers, have put their home and gallery shop on the market as they move to Orkney to set up a jewellery school with their daughter Rosie, who is also a jeweller, and their beloved pooches Hamish and Evie in tow.

Susan still remembers the moment she first set eyes on beautiful Braemoray.

Period beauty: Every room boasts charming period features.

“We looked everywhere in the Highlands for a suitable property but to no avail,” said Susan.

“Then we saw this merchants house which was owned by the Co-op and we were impressed at its size and period features, it’s also got a stunning view of Fortrose Cathedral.”

Renovation project

The couple bought the property back in 2003 and embarked on a mission to restore it.

“It needed a lot of work done,” said Susan.

“So we created a patio garden overlooking Fortrose Cathedral and we fully renovated the building and shop; we had a team of six builders constantly working on it over a period of 10 months.”

All the right ingredients: The kitchen has been lovingly upgraded.

As proud custodians of such an important piece of local history, Susan and Stephen took it upon themselves to improve every inch of the property while retaining its period features.

“The windows were removed, restored and fitted with double glazed units, the roof was overhauled and the stonework was restored to both front and rear facades,” said Susan.

“The house was rewired throughout and a new central heating system and oil tank was installed and the plumbing renewed.”

Bedroom of dreams: With plenty of light and space, this bedroom is the perfect place to lay your weary head.

New floors

Not stopping there, the couple then set about improving the flooring.

“Inside, the floors were all restored and the period fireplaces and coving restored,” said Susan.

“We used William Morris wallpaper and Farrow and Ball period colour paints and fitted an electric Aga and butler sink in the kitchen.”

Relax: The beautiful bathroom is the ideal sanctuary in which to unwind.

Period features

Inside, the property is brimming with character with original period features as well as a large dining kitchen which is fully tiled and has an electric Aga cooker, butler sink and fitted units.

Access through to the gallery shop could be retained or closed off.

Comfort is key: The bedrooms are all bright and spacious throughout.
Together with the wonderful accommodation, the Plowman family have also loved the scenic location.

“We enjoy watching the beautiful sunrises over the cathedral and the closeness to the beach to walk the dogs and dolphin spotting,” said Susan.

“We also love walking down to the Fairy Glen to see the red squirrels, especially at this time of year with the trees in their array of autumn colours.”

Vibrant community

Community spirit is also in abundance in Fortrose.

“We enjoy going to the local bar at The Anderson, it’s a really great place to meet friends and neighbours and we love getting freshly baked bread from the bakers every morning,” said Susan.

“We have horses, so being close to Broomhill riding school is also great as we have used the indoor school there for training our horses.”

Full of character: The property is full of charming period features.

Susan believes the property’s history, character and wonderful location near schools and the golf club will appeal most to buyers.

“The character and warm welcoming feeling in the house and the lovely neighbours and the community spirit in Fortrose is sure to appeal,” said Susan.

“Also the history of the place and all the opportunities to expand and grow the business, to put their mark on it.”

New chapter: Susan and Stephen Plowman are preparing to move to Orkney.

Interest in the property has been high.

“We have had interest from other jewellers and it would be lovely if it was to continue as a jewellery workshop and gallery,” said Susan.

To book a viewing

Braemoray, Cathedral Square‚ Fortrose, is on the market for offers over £700,000.

To arrange a viewing contact Yopa Estate Agents on 0333 305 0202 or check their website.