Wardhouse, Insch

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Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved. © Copyright and database right 2019.

General Details and Location

Name of Building
Other Name(s)
Planning Authority
Divisional Area
Reference No
Listing Category
OS Grid Ref
NJ 56332 30714
Location Type
HS Reference No


Roofless Palladian mansion, symmetrically disposed and rising to 2 storeys with basement. The local pronunciation is 'Wardhus', with the house variously attributed to John Douglas or John Adam, though these attributions are disputed. The interior is now mostly lost. The centre block features a Venetian window to the piano nobile, surmounted by 2 windows and an oval panel. A raised pediment sits above. A small datestone reads "(A)RTHUR'S SEAT BUILT IN THE YEAR 1757 AND 17(?)" and refers to John Hardyng's verse on his map of c.1465 which describes King Arthur as having held court at 'Donydoure' (Dunnideer). A plain canted bay sits to the rear. The centre block is joined to 2 storey 2 bay wings by quadrant links. The east wing features later extensions. (Historic Scotland)
Building Dates
Possibly John Douglas(?) or John Adam(?)

Category of Risk and Development History

Category of Risk
Exemptions to State of Risk
Field Visits
November 1992, May 1994, August 2001, 10/01/2008, 28/10/2010, 20/8/2013
Development History
November 1992: External inspection reveals the house to be gutted since c.1953, though well-preserved. Occupied until after the war, Wardhouse was then vacated and sold to a local firm who stripped it of its fittings and materials. The house was resold in 1953 and bought by a descendant of the original owners, the Gordon family. More recently, it has been owned by a local farmer. 23 April 1999: The Daily Express reports on the inclusion of the house in the Buildings at Risk Bulletin. August 2001: External inspection reveals no change. February 2003: Acanthus Architects Douglas Forrest (AADF) reports that it is about to complete the purchase of the house and 33 acres of ground. It plans to convert the house into 7 flats. April 2004: Historic Scotland reports that Listed Building Consent and Planning Permission applications are currently being prepared. July 2004: Permissions are sought for conversion into 7 dwellings and the erection of a further 5 dwellings. SCT welcomes the application. 5 November 2004: The Donside Piper reports that councillors have granted permission to convert the house into 7 flats, with the coachhouse, summer house and gamekeeper's cottage also restored. The Huntly Express repeats the story. September 2006: AADF report that Wardhouse has detailed planning and LBC to convert to 7 private appartments with a number of discrete dwelling houses in the grounds. The project will also see the restoration of the a number of other buildings including the stables. Works have already started on the enabling development and removal of vegetation from the main house.
January 2008: External inspection finds that the surrounding vegetation (as previously noted) has been removed from around the house.
October 2010: External inspection finds no significant change from the previous site visit. Some of the surrounding enabling development has taken place.
20 August 2013: External inspection finds the building remains in much the same condition as seen previously.
11 April 2018: Wardhouse is now being marketed for sale as a development opportunity with consent for conversion to form seven dwellings at a guide price of £500,000. Peterkins Solicitors have been appointed as agent and can be contacted for further information/ drawings etc. as well as the current owner and architect of the consented scheme, now retired, Douglas Forrest.

Guides to Development

Conservation Area
Planning Authority Contact
PAC Telephone Number
01467 620981


Current Availability
For Sale
Appointed Agents
Sabine @ Peterkins 01466 792101 or Douglas Forrest 0777 9095003 (as at April 2018)
Guide Price £500,000 (as at April 2018)
Occupancy Type
Present/Former Uses
Name of Owners
Wardhouse Estate Ltd.
Type of Ownership

Information Services

Additional Contacts/Information Source
Dean and Miers (1990), p59; Shepherd (1994), pp54-55.
Online Resources
Country Houses, Mansions and Large Villas
Original Entry Date
Date of Last Edit