Here we have documented a little about our journey restoring Assynt House.
When we bought Assynt House in 2002 we were looking for a project and found one in Assynt House, after three and a half years of renovation the house is fit to stand another 100 years.
We first came to view the house in the summer of 2002, it was suffering from a nasty combination of both wet and dry rot and we weren't allowed to view inside the house before bidding as a ‘dangerous buildings order’ was in place. Perhaps the 5 foot tree growing from the chimney and the crumbling exterior should have put us off.
We saw the house as it was, a magical building in a perfect setting which had been left to the wild and deserved to be saved, a house with historical interest and it is documented in village records that President Franklin D Roosevelt and Eleanor spent part of their honeymoon here at Assynt House.
Assynt House caught the press’s eye when it was for sale, Richard and Judy featured the house in their program and the Telegraph wrote the story entitled: ‘just imagine…then forget all about it!’ “Assynt House has got rooms on its first and second floors whose floors and ceilings are so rotten that anybody who puts a foot on their timbers is likely to make a rapid descent to the basement floor. Originally a late 18 th century small mansion house with crowstep gables and pepperpot turrets, the B-listed Assynt House has been empty for decades. Strutt & Parker says: “you could argue that it’s barely worth £1” – but it has sent out more than 800 sets of details….what value can be placed upon imagination?”
The renovation work included taking the walls, inside and out, back to the stone and replacing all the floors in the house, complete re-wiring and plumbing. Moulds were taken of the original rotten cornicing and replicas specially made and applied, piece by piece. We saved everything which was possible to save, for instance, an old safe and a beautiful roll-top bath which survived a ceiling collapse and an argument with a steel beam.
Assynt House is now a luxury holiday house and 5 star exclusive use rental and guests needn't worry about the state of the house now as it has been completely renovated and sympathetically restored to its former glory. We think Assynt House is a remarkable building and we hope you do too.
Graham & Elizabeth Waugh