Grobdale Of Balmaghie
This is a unique opportunity to obtain a comfortable family home in a tranquil and secluded setting. It stands on a small natural platform with a 360 degree vista of the Galloway hills and some of the most beautiful views that South West Scotland affords.
Although private and peaceful, and well-clear of the road, it is only a twenty minute drive to Castle Douglas, a local and popular market town providing all necessary services; whilst ten minutes away in the other direction is the Solway coast and the pretty village of Gatehouse of Fleet, adjudged one of the three safest place to live in Scotland.
Immediately north of the property there are hundreds of square miles of mountains, forests and lochs. Black grouse, goosander, curlew, oystercatcher and greylag goose all nest in the valley. Resident or visiting birds-of-prey include merlin, kestrel, peregrine, buzzard, hen harrier, red kite, osprey, golden eagle, and barn, brown, and short-eared owls. It is home to the rare small pearl-bordered fritillary; whilst red squirrel and roe deer abound in the woods. Designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, it is protected from any further forestry encroachment.
The property too has its own history. 'Grobdale' in Anglian means the 'dividing valley', separating the parishes of Girthon and Balmaghie, home-village of the McGhies. These latter 'the kindred of Alfren', and unusual in the local parishes in being of Gaelic origin, may have fled east from Ireland after the Battle of Clondarf, or, as has been recently suggested, brought south to augment the depleted peasant workforce after the Black Death. Thus the very name of the property indicates the ethnic diversity of the region. Balmaghie figures prominently in the early eighteenth century when Galloway was virtually the only region to resist enclosure by force of arms. The final stand of the 'Levellers', as they were called, took place a few miles away on the shores of the Dee at Duchrae. The property itself is a later testimony to that process: a hill farm rearing sheep and cattle with extensive dykes and a plantation for timber; whilst evidence of subsistence agriculture before improvement is to be found in the Infirmary, once a stackyard, with five stone stack-bases (for oats), foundations of an earlier farmstead in the Acre Field, and a rig of nine ridges in the small field by the Wood.
Gatehouse provides a primary school, community centre, hotels, post office, bank, chemist, doctor's surgery, coffee shops, and two small supermarkets. A popular tourist spot, there is a keen sense of community within the town, with the annual Gatehouse Gala and Midsummer Music festival being particular highlights of the year. A wider range of shops, supermarkets and services can be found in the surrounding towns of Kirkcudbright, Castle Douglas and Newton Stewart, with the regional capital of Dumfries offering university campuses, a major hospital, leisure complex, a range of high street shops, retail parks and large supermarkets.