Built over three centuries, the grand Leith Hall sits at the centre of a 286-acre estate including 6 acres of gardens filled with flowering trees, shrubs and roses that provide interest all year round for visitors.
Since the original tower house built in 1650 by James Leith, the property has been greatly altered and extended over the years to meet the needs of the Leith-Hay family. Between the 1790s and 1860s a huge amount of work was carried out on the property which saw it more than double in size, after this the Hall continued to be the home of the Leith-Hay family until 1946 when it became the first property in Aberdeenshire to be gifted to the National Trust for Scotland.
Since then, the Trust has continued to care for the property and has recently revamped and restored its impressive rooms after closing the property to visitors in 2008 in order to carry out the restoration work. Now that the five-year, £500,000 project has been completed, the Hall has been reopened to visitors who are free to admire the treasure trove of tapestries and fine china that adorn the rooms, as well as an interesting collection of clock. It is also well worth noting the mid 19th century wallpaper in the Music Room and the tapestry corridor which is a rare, and remarkably complete, surviving example from this era.
As well as the grand interiors, visitors to the property will also glean a fascinating insight into the Leith-Hay family and their military exploits in particular. Meanwhile, the fact that the property has been altered so much since 1650 means that its exterior of drum towers and angle turrets adds architectural interest with several very distinct phases of building giving an overall impression of 18th century grandeur and fairytale charm, while the surrounding gardens and parkland only adding to the overall aesthetic appeal of the property.
Leith Hall Garden & Estate, Huntly, Aberdeen & Grampian AB54 4NQ. Tel: 0844 493 2175. www.nts.org.uk