Stepping through the doors of The Old Rectory in Ellon feels like stepping back in time, and it’s hardly surprising considering this beautiful mansion dates back to the 1800s.
From people of high importance within the church to changes which saw this home become a doctor’s surgery, The Old Rectory is steeped in history.
Since moving in with her then husband five years ago, Hilary Fleming, 51, saw the home undergo major renovations. Now, with two daughters away at university, she has put the house on the market at offers over £620,000.
Hilary is ready to downsize and believes everything will have turned full circle when she leaves for the final time.
“I’m very sad to go because there will never be another Old Rectory. This has been a very unique house, but I believe we were only ever custodians,” she said.
“You can never truly own a place like this, you simply take care of it for the next generation and I’m very proud that my family will now become part of its history.”
Upon walking through the door, you are immediately hit by the sheer amount of light flooding through the vestibule and grand hallway which has original panelling.
There is a large dining room and study area downstairs followed by the lounge come drawing room.
The latter has high ceilings and is quite simply a fabulous place to entertain, reminiscent of times gone by when the drawing room would have been the focal point for guests.
A further dining room can be found downstairs, which Hilary currently uses for breakfast as an airbnb host, alongside a cloakroom, box room, boot room and laundry room.
The kitchen leads into a further family room and utility room, but all the necessary plumbing has been put in place for a possible kitchen extension.
“We’ve had some wonderful parties in the drawing room; we know that these rooms were used as a waiting room for the doctor’s surgery and it’s lovely that there are little snippets of history like that,” said Hilary.
“When we first moved in, half of the house didn’t have heating and a lot of the work has involved renovations that you can’t see.
“We also put in a sound system which has been brilliant when we have people round; this has always been a very busy house.”
Hilary has kept colours neutral throughout the home, in a Farrow and Ball paint colour described as “elephant’s breath”.
The decor gives a wonderful sense of light and airiness which is often missing in old houses.
Five bedrooms are found upstairs along a wide galleried hall and the master bedroom has wall-to-wall sash and case windows. It also offers an en-suite shower room and a dressing room, adding to that sense of luxury.
Four further double bedrooms are also a good size, one with an en-suite, and the house would be perfect for a growing family.
There is plenty of storage space throughout the house. But perhaps it is outside that The Old Rectory really comes into its own.
“The gardens are very much established and some of the trees are ancient; records also indicate that there is a tunnel in the gardens leading to Ellon castle, although we’ve never found it,” said Hilary.
Perhaps the most charming feature is the coach house, which looks like something out of a fairytale, and would have been originally used as a stables for the horses.
Indeed, the cobbles where carts would have trundled are still in existence.
The coach house has been converted with heating and electricity.
“The old Rectory is incredibly spacious and the coach house would be the perfect opportunity as a guest house or a granny flat,” said Hilary.
“There’s nothing better then sitting in the courtyard, which is completely secluded, and we also have a small paddock and roughly 1.5 acres of land.
“It would be ideal for horses and we’ve been able to create our own little world here.”
Access to the gardens is via the back hall which also leads to the internal garage, although there is plenty of space for parking on the driveway.
Hilary has also loved been part of the Ellon community, whilst still living a short drive away from her work at Aberdeen Airport.
“It’s very vibrant and traditional here, it’s a lovely escape from Aberdeen, but we’re not that far from the city,” she said.
There are three primary schools in the area as well as an academy with adjoining community centre, and there are plenty of events throughout the year.
Hilary hopes that the next owners will love The Old Rectory just has much as she has and believes it would be perfect for a growing family.
“I think it’s time to let the next custodians take over, perhaps someone with a big family who can make the most of the space,” she said.
“There will never be another house like The Old Rectory and that’s really rather special.”
Contact Raeburn Christie Clark and Wallace on 01358 720777.