Even on a gloomy winter’s morning it’s easy to envisage what a delightful place the White House’s garden must be when it’s filled with sunshine and children.
Little secret paths run behind the woods and bushes at the bottom of the expanse of lawn. Small clearings are hidden away and the remnants of old rope swings dangle from sturdy tree branches.
For the past 42 years house and garden have been owned by Dr Ion Grove-White.
The 78-year old retired anaesthetist and his late wife raised their four children at the house.
The White House sits in the Angus village of Hillside, a couple of miles outside Montrose.
It was built in the 1820s and 30s, although the earliest parts of the house predate even that period, having incorporated parts of a cottage that lay on the site.
Originally the Dower House for the Rosemount Estate and was then known as Bellevue for its position.
It remained in the estate’s hands until the 1930s when it was bought by a farmer called Neil Pattullo, who extended it – putting in a staircase and three bedrooms over the front part of the house. He also harled and painted it white, giving the house the name it still bears today.
Ion bought it from Mr Pattullo’s son in 1976 and has lived there ever since.
The entrance hall has striking curved walls and is lit by a cupula in the ceiling.
To one side is the drawing room, with bay window and open fireplace, while to the other is the sitting room which also has a bay and a gas fire.
There are three downstairs bedrooms, one of which is used as a study, and another that has a dressing room and en suite.
Upstairs are two more bedrooms, a dressing room and a bathroom.
A large dining room has a curved bay window looking to the side of the house, while a pantry leads through to the dining kitchen. To one side of this is a play room, a utility room, and a store room. To the other side is a conservatory added by Ion in 1990. He also had a double garage built at the rear of the house.
Although the house could do with a degree of modernising, it’s a charming property and, at nearly 4,500 square feet, offers huge scope for refurbishment.
The garden stretches to around an acre and was once even bigger – Ion sold a parcel at the back for another house. A driveway sweeps past a parking area before circling round the house.
“This place was built at a time when the British Empire was at its height and there was a fashion from importing trees from all over the world,” Ion explains. “There’s a Himalayan cedar tree and giant redwood that were probably planted not long after the house was built – making them nearly 200 years old.”
“This has been a fantastic family home in a lovely village,” Ion says. “I hope to find something a bit smaller nearby.”
The White House, Hillside by Montrose is on sale with Savills for o/o £490,000.