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One of north-east Scotland’s major sporting estates went on the market in August 2016, and it could have been yours for a paltry £10.5 million (yes, it’s since been sold). The 12,000 acre Tillypronie Estate in Aberdeenshire also came complete with an 11-bedroom house, built in 1867 – an incredible piece of real estate, which really has to be seen to be believed.
The gentleman who’d put this beauty up for sale is the well-known aristocratic lawyer Philip Astor (now retired), from the famous Astor family, who inherited the estate from his father in 1984.
Mr Astor told the BBC: “I have worked hard over the past few years to restore the grouse moors to something approaching their former glory, but I feel it is now time for someone else to continue that exercise. Tillypronie is a truly magical place, which has given huge pleasure to family and friends of all ages since I inherited it over 30 years ago.”
The Astor family today is well known as one of the world’s most prominent business and political dynasties. With ancestral roots in Italy, the Astors first made their mark in America in the 18th century with John Jacob Astor, considered one of the wealthiest people in history. Over the next two centuries, the family also found success on British shores, which is how the Tillypronie Estate eventually came to be in their hands.
Over the past 30 years since Philip Astor inherited it, both the home and the estate were extensively restored. The estate contains its own salmon fishing spot, a pheasant shoot and one of the Highland’s most prolific grouse moors.
History runs thick throughout the estate; it’s not far from the Queen’s Scottish Balmoral estate and was visited often by Queen Victoria in the early days of its existence. And of course, Scotland is truly one of the most beautiful places in the whole of the UK, which makes it a great place for a gentleman to think – and live – big.
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