In the same year that Crazy Horse, a native American Indian, and his comrades fought their last battle with the United States Cavalry at Wolf Mountain in Montana, Queen Victoria was being proclaimed Empress of India.
Other highlights of 1877 included the birth in Orkney of future Scottish poet and writer, Edwin Muir and the formation of Celtic Football Club in Glasgow.
In Inverness, around this time, things were also stirring.
At Balnafettack Farm, an elevated site on the north west of the town, a unique Victorian sandstone detached villa was being built for members of the Birnie family, who had links to Glen Albyn Distillery which sat on the other side of the Caledonian Canal and within easy reach.
What is amazing about Balnafettack House is that until a few years ago when the owner passed away, it had been owned by members of the Birnie family since being built all those years ago.
Today, it still has an elegant, timeless air as it retains an abundance of original features throughout such as bay windows, fireplaces, a Belfast sink and wonderful woodwork.
Set within beautiful private grounds and enjoying fine open views across the Beauly Firth and beyond, it even comes with its own private tennis court. As in Victorian times, it wouldn’t be strange to hear the cry: “Anyone for tennis?”
This is a house which offers a huge opportunity for the discerning buyer looking for a unique family home.
The ground floor has been partly refurbished and upgraded, with the upper floor retaining much of the original charm and character of the house. The accommodation here includes, on the ground floor, a formal lounge, dining room, family room, a kitchen/family room, large utility room, modernised bathroom and two WCs.
The hallway, meanwhile, has the original terrazzo floor tiles and a staircase with a wrought iron banister.
The first floor has five bedrooms, each of which has an original fireplace with one bedroom being the former maid’s room with en-suite shower room and kitchen. There is also a Jack ’n’ Jill en-suite bathroom which has the original roll-top bath, toilet and sink.
The upper floor has a walk-in store room, large loft space and a family bathroom.
Step outside and you could be forgiven for thinking you had stepped back in time as the beautiful Victorian gardens, which are just under an acre and fully enclosed by a timber fence, have not only been well maintained but upgraded in recent years.
Along with a full-size former tennis court, the garden includes a good selection of mature trees, shrubs and plants, and lawn areas. There is also a summerhouse, two greenhouses, an old stone-built byre, an outside store, and a double garage with ample parking for several cars.
Although it has a rural feel, Balnafettack House is within a popular residential area and close to the Caledonian Canal.
Nearby facilities include the Telford Street shopping area, while primary schooling is available at Muirtown Primary school; and secondary education at Charleston Academy, both of which are within walking distance.
On the market at offers over £485,000, the new buyer isn’t just getting a fantastic, grand home, but a property steeped in Highland history too.
Contact: Tailormade Moves on 01463 233218.