Shut the driveway gates at Westray Lodge and it feels like you’re closing the doors on the world.
The moderate amount of passing traffic on Strathkinness Low Road vanishes from view and becomes a muted background hum.
A sense of peace takes over. The cut stone walls of the house, fruit trees, an archway with flowering vines twined through it, and immaculate lawns all contribute to the tranquillity.
Westray Lodge was the home of former Fife Council chief executive Douglas Sinclair until he sadly passed away last year at the age of 71.
His daughter Eilidh, 41, shows me round.
“My parents moved here in 2011 and did quite a lot of work to the house,” she explains.
“My dad was a really keen gardener and loved to be outside working in the garden. Towards the end of his life he wasn’t able to do as much so he used a good local gardener.”
Westray Lodge sits on the western outskirts of St Andrews. Built in the late 1800s, it has traditional features such as the handsome arched dining room windows that look over the neighbouring cemetery to the Fife hills beyond.
Eilidh’s father bought the house in 2011 and immediately set about renovating and improving it.
He bought a small parcel of spare land from the cemetery and incorporated it into the garden. He also bought and then demolished the cemetery’s toilet block and fenced it off. “His plan was to make an additional parking area here,” Eilidh continues. “But he fell ill before he got round to that so it’s something the next owner can look at.”
The large reception hall has a window looking across the cemetery. Off to one side is the dining room, with a feature curved wall and arched windows.
Eilidh’s father converted the garage into an en suite bedroom with French doors overlooking the front garden.
Across the hall from the kitchen which has also been refitted with solid wood worktops, a range cooker and Belfast sink.
The living room faces west, capturing the evening sunlight, and a gas fire.
A rear hall gives access to the master bedroom, with en suite. The third double bedroom also has a bathroom off. “It’s quite unusual for all of the bedrooms in a house this age to be en suite,” Eilidh says. “We wonder if it was used as a bed and breakfast at some point in the past.”
A utility room houses the boiler, plumbing for a washing machine, and a drying pulley.
None of the rooms are overlooked by other houses and all have views of either the garden or cemetery.
Eilidh’s dad worked with a local gardener to landscape the garden and the thought and effort shows.
Little patios and seating areas are dotted around, cunningly placed to capture the sunshine at various times of the day, while high stone walls provide good shelter on even the windiest days.
Westray Lodge, St Andrews, is on sale with Savills for o/o £565,000.