For sale: historic Scottish estate with own gold mine. A snip at £700,000

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The Independent Online

This highly desirable residence is offered with an unusual attraction. The 4,200-acre farming and sporting estate on the site of a battlefield incorporates some of the most spectacular views in the country and has a salmon-stocked river. For an asking price of less than £700,000, would-be lairds could buy the Cononish estate in Perthshire, complete with an extra feature not often found on the brochures from estate agents – its own gold mine.

This highly desirable residence is offered with an unusual attraction. The 4,200-acre farming and sporting estate on the site of a battlefield incorporates some of the most spectacular views in the country and has a salmon-stocked river. For an asking price of less than £700,000, would-be lairds could buy the Cononish estate in Perthshire, complete with an extra feature not often found on the brochures from estate agents – its own gold mine.

Although the mine is mothballed, the workings are maintained in readiness for the day that world gold prices, now at $270 (£187) an ounce, recover sufficiently to make it economically viable again. The Canadian mining company that rents the site is also obliged to pay the estate's owners a handy 3.5 per cent slice of the profits.

Christopher Hall, of the Edinburgh-based estate agent Langley-Taylor, said the mine offered the prospect of a good income when production was resumed. "The mine could certainly be used again because the shafts and equipment are only about 10 years old," he said. "The mining company spent millions on the infrastructure. The problem is that the price of gold is about $80 to $100 per ounce short of where it needs to be to make it commercially viable to mine in Scotland."

Dalrigh House and Cononish Farm, which make up the estate, are on the site where King Robert the Bruce and his small band of knights were defeated by the Lord of Lorne and his MacDougall clansmen in 1306. The area is less than two hours from Glasgow or Edinburgh by road.

Cononish also includes the north and east slopes of Ben Lui, a 1,130m (3,707ft) mountain reputed to be the most beautiful in Scotland, as well as the northern slopes of Ben Oss, Beinn Dubhchraig and the southern slopes of Ben-a-churin. The land is an area of Great Landscape Value, part of a National Nature Reserve, a candidate for Special Area of Conservation status and home to the rare mountain ringlet butterfly, golden eagle, merlin (a small falcon), ravens, ptarmigan, golden plover, red deer, fox and mountain hare.

The Cononish river runs through the estate, with about two miles of the north bank and 1.5 miles of the side belonging to the landowner, to form the head water of the Tay river system, which is among the best salmon fishing in the country.

"There have been a lot of requests from people in this country and abroad asking for details," Mr Hall said. "There aren't any other gold mines in Scotland and you get two good houses, a good range of farm buildings, an attractive landscape, and more than 4,000 acres for a price well under a million.

"That puts it within the region of a large number of prospective purchasers."

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