Jan 4 2013 by Perthshire Advertiser, Perthshire Advertiser
A property buyer with a spare £1.2 million is being sought to take on a ruined garden and build a new country house.
The site of Old Dunira House, between Comrie and St Fillans, is being offered by Savills property agents. It currently has planning consent for a spacious 875sqm new house, separate accommodation for staff and a generous area for garages and stores.
Old Dunira House was once a Victorian mansion built for Sir David Dundas in 1852. Later it was modernised, used as a military convalescent home during World War II.
Soon after the troops left, it was burnt down in a fire in 1948. The last bits of the property were finally demolished in 2006.
The garden around the house was designed in the 1920s by noted landscape architect Thomas Mawson and in its heyday, Dunira was considered to be the finest garden in Scotland. It took three years to create and cost over £3000 - a huge sum at the time.
In the post-war decline, Dunira’s boarders and shrubs were lost and returned to grass. A Channel 4 television series featured Dunira as one of eight ‘Lost Gardens’, followed up by a book of the same name.
Mawson’s rose garden was restored for the television series but has not been maintained and Dunira was recently given coverage in David M Robertson’s new publication, Lost Gardens of Perthshire.
Part of the planning consent to build an new house at Dunira requires the new owner to restore the gardens back to a managed and cared for condition. “This has to be looked on as an exciting restoration project, which would ultimately create a very special place to live,” say the agents.