ONE of north east Fife’s most secluded mansionhouses is to step out of the shadows to become a venue for weddings and corporate events.
With only the tips of the three-storey house visible as you pass Luthrie on the A92, it’s perhaps little wonder some local people don’t even know Carphin is there, but the house and 850-acre estate — once owned by the Carnegie family — has sat nestled below Norman’s Law since the 1700s.
Now owned by Toby Wemyss, who inherited the house from his uncle in 2002, it has undergone a massive refurbishment - the first since World War Two.
Toby is quoted as saying he first realised the house was in dire need of some tlc when he switched on the toaster and blew the electrics!
Since then both he, his housekeeper, Margaret, and an interior designer from South Queensferry have turned the house around, incorporating many items from the family’s illustrious Naval past into the present decor.
The interior has been re-modelled with the number of bedrooms being cut from 12 to seven to allow for almost all to have en-suite bathrooms. There are also two further rooms that can also be used as bedrooms.
And while it features an impressive drawing room with working fire and grand piano, and a majestic dining room as well as a TV room and gym, its perhaps no surprise many visitors find themselves congregating at the huge refectory table in kitchen.
Several local tradesmen were involved in the refurbishment with one local stonemason being employed to tile all nine bathrooms as well as laying slate flooring which runs throughout the house.
The Wemyss link is also apparent with artists from Griselda Hill Pottery in Ceres handpainting many of the tiles in the kitchen and bathrooms.
Since the refurbishment was completed in 2006, the house has been home to several long-term tenants. However, with Toby having to spend an increasing amount of time in London and the recession starting to bite, the decision was taken in 2010 to hand over the running of the house to Fusion Event Mangement as a bespoke venue for weddings and other special events.
The unique selling point of Carphin, according to Fusion’s Alex McKie, is its flexibility.
“We can cater for everyone from intimate weddings in the main house to larger weddings in a marquee. We can provide the whole package or people can simply hire the house and organise the rest themselves. We really hope to engage with the community, not only in terms of people using the venue for their own events, but also by employing people from the local area.”
Cupar businesswoman, Cheryl King, is just one of the local businesses set to benefit from the opening up of Carphin to the public.
Her company, Blue Murder Events, specialises in murder mystery nights - catering particularly for hen-weekends - and she said she was delighted to be working with Fusion at Carphin.
She said: “The house is amazing and it is so great that local people will be able to benefit from a nearby venue which is unique and unusual and one that can be tailored to their own needs.
‘‘We think Carphin has such huge potential that we have agreed to work on a new package of murder mystery games exclusively for visitors to the house.”
For more information visit www.carphinbystandrews.co.uk and www.bluemurderevents.co.uk