Hill of Tarvit was built for Victorian industrialist and businessman, Frederick Sharp, who accrued his wealth from jute manufacturing in Dundee. As well as being a family home, the house was specially designed to display Frederick’s collection of ceramics, paintings and furniture.

Sharp bought the estate in 1904 and hired Scottish architect Robert Lorimer to convert the 1690s mansion house (Wemyss Hall) into a modern home. In 1906 the family moved in and the work was completed the following year. It’s a unique survivor, being the only house designed by Lorimer to remain intact along with the majority of its original contents.

Frederick and his wife Beatrice had grown up in dark Victorian homes, full of clutter with patterned carpets and excessive knick-knacks. They wanted a light and airy house, with large doors leading onto a south-facing terrace. They followed the new fashion of removing ‘below stairs’ activity and placed all the service areas in the back of the house. The dining room is only feet away from the kitchen stove, making meals more efficient and warmer! This modern home had all the latest inventions, including central heating, electricity from the estate’s own generator and a telephone system connecting most of the rooms.

Walking through the house, you move through different interior styles. Lorimer designed a baronial hall to display the Sharps’ 17th-century style chairs and Flemish tapestries, an elegant French saloon to display their gilded Louis XVI furniture and an English country library to display their portrait paintings. Upstairs the bedrooms look out onto the formal gardens and a nine-hole golf course – built for a family who were involved in the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (Frederick and his son Hugh were on the Rules Committee).