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Balbirnie House

An A-listed classical mansion in Central Fife, Balbirnie House lies on the northeastern edge of Glenrothes and a half-mile (1 km) northwest of Markinch. Built in the Greek classical style 1777-82 by the architect John Nisbet for the Balfour family and probably incorporating an earlier property, the house was substantially enlarged by Robert Crichton in 1815-19. It comprises two storeys, an attic and a basement. The southeast front features a grand tetrastyle pedimented Ionic portico. Courtyard offices form a two storey block to the rear.

The house and estate were bought by the Glenrothes Development Corporation in 1969. The house was sold and converted into a deluxe hotel in 1989, opened by Malcolm Rifkind (b.1946) as Secretary of State for Scotland, while the surrounding estate now forms Balbirnie Park now owned by Fife Council. The hotel has 31 bedrooms plus a three-bedroom self-contained apartment. The sympathetic conversion maintained most of the internal fabric.

The BBC television programme Flog It! has visited Balbirnie House on several occasions.


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