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Last Updated: Monday, 3 September 2007, 23:49 GMT 00:49 UK
Corrugated iron house up for sale
Corrugated iron house. Picture courtesy of Strutt & Parker
The house is said to be in perfect condition despite its age
House hunters in the Highlands have been invited to pay 175,000 for a luxury three-bedroom family home built entirely from corrugated iron.

Ballintomb Cottage in Strathspey was constructed as a summer house by a local farmer for just 425 at the turn of the 20th century.

Corrugated iron buildings were common across the Highlands at the time but examples now are exceptionally rare.

The house features a kitchen, sitting room, dining room, and two bathrooms.

It was built in the village of Dulnain Bridge by a local farmer who moved his family into it for a couple of months every summer while their farmhouse was rented out to wealthy holidaymakers.

The house is thought to have been bought as a ready-to-assemble kit from the catalogue of William Cooper Ltd, which offered everything from corrugated iron churches and hospitals to ballrooms, stables and offices which they exported across the world.

Portable house

Bob Powell, curator of the Highland Folk Museum in Newtonmore, said the quality of corrugated iron used for buildings 100 years ago was far superior to that bought from industrial suppliers today.

He added: "The first portable houses, as they were called, actually came out in about 1830 but really towards the end of the 19th Century they had an incredible effect on the Highlands.

"It was a cheap building material. The buildings were invariably kits that you just ordered and they were quickly put up so it was a good solution to a number of different needs within the community.

"The original corrugated iron was in fact wrought iron which has remarkable weather resistant values and bearing in mind that it was a lot thicker than the corrugated iron you get today it was also more substantially galvanised. It truly was and still is a remarkable material."

He [The surveyor] said it is probably better built than most houses nowadays
Nicola Henderson
Strutt & Parker

Nicola Henderson, of estate agents Strutt & Parker, said potential buyers were queuing up to view the unusual property.

She added: "I actually grew up here and when we were children we called it the haunted house because it was so different.

"When the surveyor came to do the house he was rather worried at its first appearance but he was pleasantly surprised when he looked around it. He said it is probably better built than most houses nowadays."

Dr Jimmy Allan, 91, whose father built the house, said he could clearly recall moving into it every summer as a child.

He added: "I loved it. My father sent the horse and lorry up to the house filled with luggage and me. There was no draw back at all to it being corrugated iron."


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