The house where the Harley Davidson motorcycle story began has gone on sale.
Davidson Cottage was the childhood home of William Davidson. The cottage, which dates from the 1720s and was originally known as Netherton Cottage, is located between Forfar and Brechin and enjoys views over Strathmore to the Angus Glens.
In the 19th Century Alexander ‘Sandy’ Davidson lived there his family until 1858 when they emigrated to the United States, settling in Milwaukee.
His middle son, William C Davidson (1846-1923), was born at Netherton Cottage and had a fascination for all things mechanical. His three sons, Arthur, Walter and William A. Davidson saw the potential of the new world of motorisation. They joined forces with Arthur’s friend, Bill Harley, and started the legend that was to become Harley Davidson.
Their father built their first workshop, where the iconic motorcycle was born, in 1903.
By the late 20th Century the cottage had fallen into severe disrepair, although it was lived in until 2002. It was bought by its current owners in 2008. They are themselves Harley Davidson enthusiasts and set about restoring the house to how it would have looked in 1858 when the Davidsons emigrated.
It is now a wonderfully authentic piece of history, having been stripped right back to the walls using lime mortar and other natural materials to be in keeping with the period. Internally new floors were laid and wiring installed but in order to stick meticulously to the preservation of authenticity the power sockets are hidden and the light fittings are built into the wall panelling.
The accommodation comprises a hallway with stone flag flooring, timber lined walls and a beamed ceiling; a downstairs bedroom with a range, wooden box bed; and a sitting room with open fire and a wooden floor. There is also a stone shelved larder on this level. Wooden steps lead up to two attic bedrooms also with wood flooring.
In the absence of water or drainage to the cottage, a cedar-clad, double glazed amenity block has been built. This is, in effect, a moveable building which has timber decking, a hallway, two walk in store cupboards, one with a sink, and a living room/kitchen, with fitted units and integrated appliances. The living space has full height windows maximising the impact of the panoramic views. Two wet rooms and separate WCs complete the accommodation.
Since the owners completed the restoration Davidson Cottage has become a tourist attraction that has drawn Harley Davidson fanatics from all over the world.
Ruaraidh Ogilvie for marketing agents Savills said: “a truly unique proposition, Davidson Cottage has already gathered quite some following from Harley Davidson aficionados around the world, as a place of pilgrimage and an intriguing holiday destination. It has been a real labour of love by the sellers who have re-created an entirely authentic early Victorian rural dwelling. The new service block provides the modern comforts required without jeopardising the historic nature of the original cottage and together they make a fascinating addition to the market.”
Davidson Cottage is on sale with Savills for offers over £320,000