SELLER: Ashley Judd and Dario Franchitti
LOCATION: Port of Menteith, Stirlingshire, Scotland
PRICE: offers in excess of £3,800,000 ($5,918,920)
SIZE: 7+ bedrooms, 7 full and 4 half bathrooms/water closets
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Rakish race car driver Dario Franchitti won his third Indy 500 over the weekend and—thanks to the Scottish Snitch—Your Mama learned over the weekend the Italian-named Scotsman and his American actress wife Ashley Judd recently heaved their 485-acre estate in the Scottish Highlands on the market. The asking price on listing information and marketing materials reads “offers in excess of £3,800,000,” an amount that Your Mama’s currently conversion contraption shows amounts to 5,918,920 U.S. dollars at today’s rates.
We’re not really sure how to look up property transaction records in Scotland so Your Mama can’t be certain about how much exactly Miz Judd and Mister Franchitti shelled out for their Scottish spread called Rednock House but an October 2010 article in The Sun states the comely and currently child-free couple acquired the “200-year-old ruin” in 2004 for about £1,200,000. They spent, according to the same article, an additional £1,500,000 on an extensive restoration and renovation of the property that includes a massive mansion and nearby stable/garage complex. Your Mama hasn’t an iota how The Sun knows how much moolah the Judd-Franchitti spent on renovations, but that’s what they said. We have no independent knowledge of such but the article also mentions that Miz Judd and Mister Franchitti beat out English musician Liam Gallagher and American pop music icon Madonna for the purchase of the hulking but elegant (if somewhat dour-looking) Georgian-style pile, semi-remotely located about an hour by car outside of Edinburgh.
Listing information does not indicate square footage of the huge and historic manor house but does reveal it spans four floors with more than 20 rooms and includes 20 (or more) fireplaces, 4 reception rooms (plus a trio of sizable main floor foyers and stair halls), 7+ bedrooms and 7 full and (approximately) 4 half bathrooms.
Marketing materials reveal the baronial residence recently underwent a complete restoration and modernization over the last 5 years that included the removal of two Victorian era wings and the addition of all new electrical wiring and insulation, all new plumbing with on-demand hot water throughout, state-of-the-art fire and intruder alarm systems and all-new heating systems that include radiant heat under the stone floors.
Stone pillars stand on either side of the long, private drive that snakes and swirls through woodlands, along Rednock Burn, over a bridge, across the landscaped parklands to the front of the relatively spare and perfectly symmetrical Georgian front façade. A wide set of stone steps flanked by a pair of rapacious-looking iron eagles climb to a Greek Doric columned portico that rather regally surrounds the front door.
Floor plans (above) included with marketing materials reveal the front door opens into an almost perfectly square entrance hall with ornate plasterwork and Caithness stone slab floors that continue in to a spine straightening, triple-height circular vestibule—called a “saloon” in marketing materials—that climaxes architecturally with a domed roof and cupola.
Stately architraves around Regency doors mark entry in to the primary public rooms that include a grandly proportioned, 41-foot long drawing room with fireplace and original wide-plank pine floors and an equally impressive 30-foot long formal dining room. Both rooms have multiple, 20-pane windows set in deep niches that hug the floor and kiss the particularly high ceiling. The adjoining butler’s pantry is conveniently equipped with a dumbwaiter that lifts food from the lower level kitchen and nearby service stairs rise to a small butler’s sitting room (with fireplace) and descend to the less-formal lower level living quarters.
The Caithness stone slab floors continue into the oldest section of the residence where the main stair hall has a cantilevered stone staircase believed to date to the 17th century. There’s a large library (with fireplace) on one side, a slightly smaller study (also with fireplace) on the other and a roomy cloakroom—a.k.a. a powder pooper— outfitted with an original, Victorian era Thomas Crapper “Thunderbox.”
The lower ground floor, accessible from the main stair hall as well as the service stairs located in a curved corridor just outside the butler’s pantry, hosts the humongous house’s informal family quarters that orbit around a circular circulation hall with an 18-foot diameter. A completely modernized, center island kitchen with white Shaker-style cabinetry and butcher block counter tops opens to a family room with fireplace and direct access to the garden through a separate vestibule.
Also downstairs is bedroom-sized wine cellar with vaulted ceiling, a living room size gym (with fireplace), large laundry room and, at the rear of the house, a bedroom with attached bathroom suitable for a live-in domestic as well as a couple of generous storage/service areas.
Did y’all just hear the screeching brakes in Your Mama’s head too? We’re down and dope with this house—the day-core, on the other hand, is depressingly wan—but did anyone else notice the journey hot food must go to get from the kitchen to the upstairs dining room? In case you missed it let Your Mama recap it for any of y’all who don’t read or speak floor plan. Once food leaves the kitchen it must traverse a corner of the family room, cross the 18-foot diameter circular vestibule, enter the gym—gasps heard ’round the globe—and either hike up the stairs to the corridor just outside the dining room or pass through to the laundry room in where the dumb waiter lifts dinner (or whatever) to the butler’s pantry above at the simple press of a button or flick of the switch (or whatever).
About half of the first floor—us Americanos call it the second floor—is given over to three guest/family bedrooms that open off the main stair hall and circular gallery. Each is well-sized and self-contained with a fireplace, walk-in wardrobe and en suite facility. The remainder of the second floor is devoted to an expansive, celebrity-style master suite. In addition to the cavernous, 500-plus square foot bedroom there’s a substantial and quite contemporary bathroom with jetted tub for two with rare blue marble surround, a separate glass-enclosed steam shower and a not-particularly-private, all-glass enclosure for the crapper and the bidet. Your Mama can only wish upon a prayer that the glass that wraps the crapper cubby is the space age-y sort of stuff that goes opaque at the flip of a switch or press of a button (or whatever). There are also two, enviably spacious dressing rooms, both bigger than Your Mama’s entire master suite and both with fireplaces and over-sized windows. the “his” dressing room has bespoke walnut cabinetry and the “hers” dressing room is custom-fitted with maple cabinetry and has its very own washer and dryer.
The top floor, much of which is tucked up under the eaves and most of which was once-upon-a-time probably used as staff quarters, contains two big-enough bedrooms with fireplaces and en suite facilities, various storage closets, and two more commodious rooms, both with fireplaces and flexible possible utilities. According to the floor plan there are a couple of water closets up there as well.
Outbuildings include a fully renovated and insulated quadrangular complex with stabling for horses, garaging for 10 (or more) cars, various workshops, an office, and what listing information calls a “party room” with separate kitchen, sitting room and bathroom. A nearby stone cottage with 3-4 bedrooms is in need of a redo according to listing information and would probably make a sweet guest house, caretaker’s residence or someplace a hunky horse trainer could bed down at night after a day spent working with the resident steeds and stallions.
Also included in the sale, according to marketing materials is Grahamston Farm, an adjoining situation with a refurbished 4 bedroom and 2 bathroom farm house plus additional farm buildings.
Miz Judd and Mister Franchitti also maintain a residence stateside. Their multi-acre rural spread with its restored and expanded, 19th century house in Franklin, TN abuts her mother Naomi’s much larger farm and connects over a wooded mountain to her country queen sister Wynona’s mansion.
listing photos and floor plan: Knight Frank