Historic Fife stately home could be sold for £1

Mary Patrick wants the public the get behind the bid to save Leslie House.
Mary Patrick wants the public the get behind the bid to save Leslie House.

The owners of a once stately home in Fife, which was the former residence of a heroine of the Titanic disaster, are prepared to sell the property for £1 ... to the right buyer.

That’s the understanding of a small band of people preparing to draw up a plan to save the building from further ruin.

And for Leslie resident Mary Patrick, the idea of a community-based restoration plan, currently being formulated by the Friends of Leslie House group, could just be that sort of plan that makes the restoration of the former home of the Rothes Family, a reality.

“I’ve had discussions with the owners and I believe they are sincere in their intentions and want to see the derelict building brought back to life as much as we do,” Mary told the Gazette.

“What’s more the owners said that the property would be willingly sold to anyone with a viable community based plan for the nominal sum of one pound.”

Edinburgh-based Sundial Properties Ltd, who own Leslie House, the former home of the Countess of Rothes whose bravery helped save lives when the Titanic sunk, blame the economic uncertainties affecting finance and the housing markets, for the lack of any meaningful progress with the restoration of the property.

The company had intended to convert the building into luxury flats, until a fire in February 2009 devastated the building leaving it in a state of near ruin.

However, now the Friends of Leslie House group are to hold a number of consultation events this month, and are circulating more than 1500 questionnaires to households close to Leslie House as they establish the public’s view on what the future should hold for the house.

“We are at the start of a long process, but I’m convinced that there is a future for Leslie House,” said Mary.

“But we need backing of people from both Leslie and across Glenrothes if we are to take this further.

“To be able to demonstrate that there is a desire by the public to bring the building back to life would be hugely beneficial in our bid to secure Heritage Lottery funding.”

Public consultation events are to take place at Trinity Church, High Street, Leslie on December 15 from 6pm-8.30pm and at Glenrothes Heritage Centre, Lyon Way, Kingdom Shopping Centre, December 16 from 11am - 1.30pm. Questionnaires are to be delivered to residents this week.