An apartment in the former Scottish mansion of a British prime minister has hit the market for £1.85 million (US$2.25 million).
Whittingehame House in East Lothian was the home of Arthur Balfour, prime minister of the U.K. from 1902 to 1905, and as such some of the rooms in the apartment have played host to the likes of Winston Churchill, H.G. Wells and Arthur Conan Doyle, according to listing agent Strutt & Parker.
The house was commissioned by Balfour’s grandfather in the 1800s and designed by architect Sir Robert Smirke, who was responsible for a number of neoclassical buildings, including the British Museum in London’s Bloomsbury neighborhood.
Balfour inherited the estate at the age of seven in 1856 and later lived there during the summers. A few years after his death, Balfour’s nephew and heir turned the house into Whittingehame Farm School for Jewish refugee children coming to Britain through the Kindertransport rescue program during World War II .
In 1963, the Balfour family sold Whittingehame House, and it became an all-boys school. That closed in 1980, after which it was split into apartments.
At 9,022 square feet, the renovated four-bedroom, four bathroom apartment that has just hit the market is the largest in the mansion, according to the listing.
Features include three opulent state rooms (the drawing room, music room and library―the latter of which has a secret door which leads to the terrace and garden) and a conservatory which has been converted into a bathroom.
The house sits on 16 acres of grounds, including a lime walk, a terraced garden within a balustrade, a six-car garage block and a tennis court. The buyer of the apartment will have access to all of this.
“It is redolent with history but equally offers very comfortable contemporary living,” said the listing agent, Malcolm Leslie, Partner in Strutt & Parker’s Edinburgh office.
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