A former blacksmith’s cottage in the rural Fife hamlet of Kilmany has undergone a loving restoration process. The architect-led result marries a historic exterior with modern levels of insulation and all the comforts of 21st Century living.
Rose Cottage is a charming house with a storied history.
Built in the hamlet of Kilmany, just off the A92 in Fife, around 1800, it was home to no fewer than five generations of blacksmiths.
“The Wilson family of blacksmiths had the house from 1813 until the 1960s,” owner Cecilia Hope explains. “And in fact the blacksmiths have only moved as far as Balmullo. David Wilson’s five times great grandfather became a blacksmith and his sons have carried on the business. You now have seven generations of blacksmiths from the same family.”
Retired economist Cecilia (66) bought the next door property, the Old Smiddy, in 2012.
“Rose Cottage is where the blacksmiths lived and the smiddy was where they worked,” she continues. “The smiddy was a complete ruin but as soon as I saw it I knew I had to live there.”
Cecilia used Cupar-based Arc Architects to design the restoration and an extension to the cottage, which she now lives in. A few years after she completed the renovation, in 2016, Rose Cottage came up for sale.
“It was very unloved,” she says. “It had been a two-room cottage until the 1920s when stairs and dormer windows were added, then a lean to extension was put on in the 1970s.”
Employing the same architect and expert craftsmen she used on the Old Smiddy, Cecilia rolled up her sleeves and got stuck into work. “I have wonderful tradesmen and they did all the skilled stuff, but I make a mean batch of cement and I can push a wheelbarrow.”
The house has been completely reformed with an entirely new layout on the ground floor. “The old house was two rooms with a central staircase,” Cecilia explains. “We decided to make it one big room with a feature spiral staircase.”
A small storm porch and vestibule leads into the lovely open plan living/dining/kitchen. The living end of the room has a cosy log burner which casts a warming glow around the room – making me feel smug as I watch yet another winter storm whip tree branches around outside the window.
The ‘70s extension has been clad in larch, making it look much more modern and complementing the stone of the original house. The entire property has been thoroughly insulated with an expensive German insulation product.
On the ground floor the extension houses a WC and a utility room, while upstairs there’s a family bathroom. Double doors from the kitchen open onto a large enclosed garden.
Upstairs, Cecilia had the old dormers replaced with modern Veluxes. The two large double bedrooms both have wardrobes built into the eaves.
At the top of the stairs there’s a wide landing suitable for a desk and computer.
Touchingly, the last blacksmith who lived in Rose Cottage, David Wilson, came out of retirement to make its wrought iron sign.
“He did the sign for the Old Smiddy and then for Rose Cottage when it was completed,” Cecilia smiles. “I think it’s rather lovely.”
Rose Cottage, Kilmany, is on sale with Galbraith for o/o £249,000.