Highlands & Islands

The Highlands' Charles Rennie Mackintosh house

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Media captionA look inside the Charles Rennie Mackintosh house which is up for sale

An unusual house built at Farr in Inverness-shire to designs drawn up by a famous Scottish architect has been put up for sale. BBC Scotland was given a tour.

The term unique is all too-frequently used. Especially by estate agents.

But, on this occasion, the expression is justified.

In 1900, the celebrated Glasgow architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh produced drawings for the Artist's Cottage and Studio - a house intended for him and his wife Margaret, also a talented painter.

However, it was never built, in his lifetime at least.

Scroll forward 92 years and the building was finally completed on a site near Inverness, Mackintosh enthusiasts remaining meticulously faithful to the original designs, now held by the Hunterian Art Gallery in Glasgow.

The drawings only detailed the floor plan and exterior elevations. But the six-bedroom home has been painstakingly and studiously furnished in Mackintosh style, following genuine period details from interiors such as Hill House and Miss Cranston's famous tearooms.

And now the only house of its kind in the world is up for sale.

'Old fashioned'

Kevin Maley, of estate agents Strutt and Parker, said: "It's extremely rare. I mean, we can't believe the interest we've had in it - the interest is international."

Owner Hans Van Kessel bought the Artist's Cottage around 15 years ago, but now he and his wife are downsizing - hence the reason for the sale - although he's still a true fan of Mackintosh style.

Mr Van Kessel said: "All the contemporary designs that you see nowadays, they're all obsolete or old fashioned in a few years' time.

"Mackintosh did it in 1900 and 1910 and, if you see the designs now, they're still modern."

The owner joked: "That's why we appreciate that time, because you don't have to change your interior every two years."

The selling agent agreed. "It's amazing actually, because Charles Rennie Mackintosh died 85 years ago and here we are still looking at his designs and all of what he created," added Mr Maley.

Of course, the slavish attention to detail in the Artist's Cottage and Studio does come at a price - at offers over £865,000 - although that does include a further two-bedroom self-catering cottage, also built in Mackintosh style.

And the prospective purchaser would also be buying a tourist attraction, a piece of history and something truly unique.

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