A man was seriously ill in hospital last night after a freak accident in the grounds of a historic north-east mansion.
The 34-year-old was struck down by a car as he walked through a go-slow zone near Banff’s Duff House.
Emergency services were scrambled to the Historic Scotland-run visitor attraction just before 1.30pm.
The man was taken to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary by air ambulance. A rugby field next to the Georgian home was cleared to make way for the helicopter.
A police spokesman said the victim had been walking near the car park when he was knocked down by a passing red Honda Jazz hatchback.
“His injuries were serious, but are not thought to be life threatening,” he added.
Part of the road leading to the house was closed off while collision investigators examined the scene. Police have urged any witnesses to get in touch.
Last night, Banff councillor Mike Roy said the house was an unusual place for a road accident.
“I’m extremely surprised that such a significant accident could happen at Duff House,” he said. “Its such a popular, child-friendly environment.”
A Scottish Ambulance Service spokeswoman said the victim was being treated for “multiple injuries.”
A Historic Scotland spokeswoman declined to comment.
Two years ago, the 18th century mansion was transferred to Historic Scotland from Aberdeenshire Council. The move, which was sanctioned by local councillors, followed fears that the gallery inside would be forced to cut its opening hours and close over the winter months.
Duff House opened to the public in 1995 after being left empty for about 40 years. It was previously used as a military base during World War II and, following the conflict, as a base for Polish soldiers waiting for resettlement in the country.