This jewel of Palladian architecture, Melville House in Fife, Scotland is for sale at the knockdown price of GBP2.5m. It is suggested that an offer of GBP2m might secure it. This represents a hefty discount from the original GBP4.5m price tag, (and even more so in US Dollar terms, with the current weakness of Sterling). You can read the story here.
The decision to build the present house was made in 1697, just after the Earl of Melville was appointed to the lucrative position of President of the Privy Council, from which he earned the princely sum of GBP1,000 per annum. In 1689 King William (of Orange) had made him Secretary of State for Scotland.
It is believed that the original architect was Sir William Bruce, but the subsequent design by James Smith, who pioneered the style of Palladio in Scotland, seems to have prevailed, and I believe we are the more fortunate for it.
The sale is as a result of a repossession by a bank. The refurbishment has been completed, and as a Grade A Listed building this is a tremendous bonus to any buyer; working through planning laws for listed buildings is challenging to say the least.
The original land size has been reduced, and is now only about 16 1/2 acres, and excludes the magnificent tree-lined grand avenue that lead to the south front, (top picture). But the entrance to the north, (lowest picture), is by no means too modest. Obviously good landscaping will be required to create more interest, as the substantial lawns are fine on a sunny day, but of less joy during the majority of Scotland's weather.