This stunning Victorian mansion with sprawling historic gardens and magnificent views over a Scottish loch costs less than a one bedroom flat in London, MailOnline has learned.
The magnificent house and gardens of The Linn Estate were featured in the first episode of the new series of the BBC’s long running favourite Gardeners’ World.
And now MailOnline can reveal the backstory of the property which incredibly cost just under £400,000 – or slightly less than a one bedroom-flat close to the Westway urban dual carriageway in West London.
We have learned that the buyer was former indie-record label boss Matthew Young, 47.
Matthew, a former record label boss made the purchase over the internet from the Carribean in 2021, having retreated there with his wife and their two children during the pandemic.
This stunning Victorian mansion in Helensburgh, Scotland, is less than a one bedroom flat in London, MailOnline has learned. The magnificent house and gardens of The Linn Estate were featured in the first episode of the new series of the BBC’s long running favourite Gardeners’ World
The property costs just under £400,000 – or slightly less than a one bedroom-flat close to the Westway urban dual carriageway in West London
The stunning mansion boasts high ceilings with large bay windows and traditional wooden flooring
He saw a listing for the rundown mansion set within three acres of botanical gardens overrun with thousands of plant species from all over the world and views that are to die for and bought it ‘sight-unseen’ while browsing on the internet in Barbados during the pandemic.
He said on the BBC show: ‘We somewhat accidentally bought a botanical garden on the west coast of Scotland.
‘You know, as soon as the kids came along, I’ve been a stay at home parent and to be absolutely honest with you, I need a mission.
‘I need something else to get my teeth into. If you’re gonna make a life change, why don’t you make it a wild and ridiculous life change?’
Young bought the home, described by estate agents Savills as a ‘Stunning period house which may be in need of refurbishment’ in 2021.
It is set within its own botanical gardens’ comprising three acres, yet cost just £395,000.
The sale included the B Listed seven bedroom property in need of renovation, an additional cottage, private botanical gardens, a beautiful stream and plunge pool.
The beautiful Victorian mansion house in Helensburgh, Scotland, is less than an hour long drive from Glasgow, 45 minutes from Glasgow Airport and occupies an elevated setting above the most beautiful gardens in the area.
The property has sadly been neglected while the garden was nurtured and is now in need of significant repair and restoration
The mansion is less than a one hour drive from Glasgow, 45 minutes from Glasgow Airport and occupies an elevated setting above the most beautiful gardens in the area
The mansion is set within its own botanical gardens’ comprising three acres, yet cost just £395,000
The gardens boast a rich and well documented history. It belonged to a horticulturalist who built up the Botanical Gardens over his lifetime with the help of his son, planting thousands of species of ferns, plants and trees from all around the world before tragedy struck
It also affords stunning views to Loch Long.
The property and gardens also boasts a rich and well documented history.
It belonged to a horticulturalist who built up the Botanical Gardens over his lifetime with the help of his son, planting thousands of species of ferns, plants and trees from all around the world before tragedy struck.
Since then, the property has sadly been neglected while the garden was nurtured and is now in need of significant repair and restoration.
Built of stone and slate over two floors the floor plans depict a magnificent seven bedroom house with period features and huge character, waiting to be resurrected by the new owner who is in the process of bringing the home and gardens back to its former glory.
It boasts wooden staircases, bow and bay windows, ornate cornicing and intricate stained glass windows can all be found intact within the house that commands views to the west across the mountains of the Cowal Peninsula and southwest, over the Firth of Clyde and the island of Bute to the mountains of Arran.
The Linn Gardens were once the most visited gardens on the picturesque peninsula, which is thronged with tourists particularly in the summer months.
Mr Young said: ‘My wife and I have bought it and it is now basically our responsibility to resurrect the gardens. When we really start to tackle it, I think that’ll be the first real care and attention that place has had in possibly two or three years now.’
The Scotland mansion is £5,000 cheaper than this one-bedroom flat in London, currently on the market for £400,000
The flat is close to many local amenities, according to Rightmove, and has one bathroom and one reception room
It is significantly smaller than the Scotland mansion, with lower ceilings and a more modern interior
Nearby Cove, Kilcreggan and Peaton were established around the mid 19th century and initially were used mainly as destinations for summer houses, but as time went on, full time occupation took place.
Originally there were ferries to Cove and Kilcreggan, but today Kilcreggan Pier remains the only traditional pier on the Clyde still in daily use.
The peninsula has a rich architectural heritage of Victorian mansions, castles and cottages with famous architects such as Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson, William Leiper and John Honeyman among the many to build impressive homes for wealthy clients.
Today, many permanent homes remain, with villagers commuting to Glasgow by road in approximately 1 hour in normal driving conditions.
Glasgow Airport can be reached in around 45 minutes under normal driving conditions.
Kilcreggan has its own primary school with the local secondary school in the nearest town of Helensburgh. Lomond School in Helensburgh provides private schooling at primary and secondary level.
Helensburgh is renowned as one of Scotland’s most desirable towns with first class local shopping, swimming pool, golf course and nearby Rhu Marina.
Loch Lomond and the world renowned Loch Lomond Golf Club are approximately 20 miles away and some of Britain’s most testing sailing waters can be found on Scotland’s west coast.
The one-bedroom flat in London has one bathroom with a shower, toilet, sink and storage shelves
It also comes with its own private roof terrace with space for a small table and chairs
Since Mr Young’s purchase, a local group which has supported the renowned Linn Gardens in Cove for over 20 years, has made a donation to help him with his plans to bring the Linn Gardens back to their former glory.
The Friends of the Linn, which includes the Scottish journalist and broadcaster Ruth Wishart among its members, recently handed over a cheque for £9,272.15.
The group was set up 23 years ago to support the work of Dr Jim Taggart and his son Jamie in the gardens, which drew international visitors to the Rosneath Peninsula.
But a tragedy involving the Taggarts lies behind the reason why Mr Young has been able to buy the home at such a knock down price.
Jamie died in 2013 while searching for rare plants in Vietnam, and Jim died six years later.
The Linn Botanic Garden came onto the open market but after a couple of false starts with new owners, Mr Young stumbled across the sale particulars whilst in Barbados, having decamped the family to the Caribbean to ride out the lockdown year.
He plans to stay at Linn along with his wife and young family. His parents will be moving into a small cottage on the site to lend a hand.
But it was only once he returned to Scotland, the enormity of what they had taken on started to sink in.
Such was the structural work needed simply to make the site safe to walk around that the garden is currently closed to the public.
Mr Young, who also has a family home in Edinburgh, said: ‘Jim turned into a botanical garden with the help of his two sons, one of whom Jamie went on to become absolutely integral to the place in the later years and there’s about 4000 different plant species in this place.
‘And Jim and Jamie were both the kind of collectors who wanted some of everything…
‘There’s collections of carnivorous plants, there’s something like 400 species of rhododendron alone, so I think they were just interested, just absolutely passionate collectors.
‘This is technically a temperate rainforest.’
The money from the Friends of the Linn will be used to restore or replace this bridge in the gardens in memory of Jamie and Jim Taggart.
Ms Wishart said that for the Taggarts the gardens had been ‘a quite amazing labour of love, and a real horticultural gem’.
She and her late husband, cartoonist Rod McLeod, had asked friends and media contacts to donate a tenner and Rod devised a logo based on a fritillaria – the group went on to grow dramatically.
‘We were absolutely thrilled to find such a treasure on our doorstep and every time we had visitors a tour round the Linn was compulsory,’ she told the Lochside Press.
‘The late first First Minister of Scotland (Donald Dewar) was even “encouraged” to explore it not long after he’d been discharged from hospital following a back operation.
‘It was a real tragedy that the vision of the Taggarts should end in the way it did, the final irony being the loss of Jamie during another expedition to locate and bring back rare plants.
‘It gives me huge pleasure to know that someone has acquired the house and the garden and appears to have fallen in love with it as so many people have before.’
Mr Young describes himself as a keen amateur gardener.
He ran a small record label called Song, By Toad, and had become a house-husband before buying the Linn.
His innovative Edinburgh record label released records by indie acts Broken Records, Withered Hand and his first signing, Meursault. He wound up the label in 2019 to look after his young family.
He is now studying for a BSc in horticulture and plantsmanship at the Royal Botanical Garden in Edinburgh.
Mr Young said: ‘I’m a decent amateur gardener and that’s it. There’s so much knowledge that you need to do something like this.
The mansion comes with sprawling historic gardens and magnificent views over a Scottish loch
Gardeners’ World plans to update viewers in the coming months as he restores both the property and gardens despite what he admits is a lack of experience
‘I don’t think that figuring it out as you go along, for all that’s how I’ve done more or less everything in my whole life so far, I think in this particular case I kind of owe it to what’s here to take the job a bit more seriously than that.
‘So I’ve been accepted onto the BSc in horticulture. I think that will make a huge difference and it will make the whole thing seem more manageable.’
Asked why he’d taken on the Linn, where both the house and gardens have been neglected for several years, he said: ‘I like a project. I need a mission.
‘I’m fully committed and I don’t mind how long it takes.
‘We’ll open the gardens as soon as we can, but that won’t be as soon as we thought.
‘The paths have deteriorated really badly and some of the banks along the burn are starting to collapse so it would be quite dangerous to let people in.
‘But that’s our first priority, to rebuild all the paths and get the deer fences reinforced.
‘If we’re lucky we can maybe open next year, but maybe not all parts.’
Gardeners’ World plans to update viewers in the coming months as he restores both the property and gardens despite what he admits is a lack of experience.
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