Gunnar Groves-Raines at RSAW Spring Conference 2024 21.06.2024
5.06: The New Stone Age CPD with Pierre Biduad and Marcus Paine 10.06.2024
Advanced Conservation accreditation: Congratulations to Zoë Alston! 30.05.2024
198th Royal Scottish Academy Annual Exhibition: RSA Architecture Prize 22.05.2024
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1454 Killiehuntly by Martin Kaufman (4)

Killiehuntly is a luxury self-catering property belonging to a collection of extraordinary restored retreats that form part of the Wildland conservation project. The large 19th-century farmhouse and steading form the centrepiece of a rural estate in the Cairngorms National Park. All buildings have been carefully restored under GRAS’s direction with the use of local, natural materials and traditional skills. The interiors have been sensitively upgraded for contemporary living, whilst retaining historic architectural features and character throughout. The farmhouse opened in spring 2016 as a serviced holiday let, with its various outbuildings serving as additional accommodation. The restoration included returning the original water wheel to working order, providing a strong reference to the agricultural heritage of the farm.

Our conservation philosophy was to maintain the original fabric and features as much as possible, while making minor alterations within the farmhouse to convert it for hotel use. Any new works were undertaken using traditional construction methods, such as lath and lime plaster for internal partitions. The other buildings within the complex had been significantly altered over time due to the nature of modern farming. The steading had been covered by a large steel frame and metal sheet roofing. This was all removed and the steading was re-built as it had historically been formed, in a U-shaped plan. We used traditional materials of stone, slate and lime mortar, following testing and analysis of the original lime mortar to achieve an appropriate match.

The courtyard formed between the buildings was extensively cobbled to ensure that the whole complex is tied together as a single entity and restored to its former working state, although for a new and sustainable future use that illustrates the potential for other such collections of rural buildings.


Cairngorms, Scotland









Creative Team

Kristín Hannesdóttir
Nicholas Groves-Raines
Desmond Travis
Kelly Chan
Gavin McNab


Corramore Construction

Structural Engineers

Narro Associates

CDM Consultants

Armour & Partners

Quantity Surveyors

Morham & Brotchie

M&E Engineers

Irons Foulner Consulting Engineers


Alexander Baxter
Martin Kaufmann


Killiehuntly Details


Site Plan

1454 Killiehuntly by Martin Kaufman (50)
1454 Killiehuntly by Martin Kaufman (24)
Killiehuntly Farmhouse, Scotland - photos by Martin Kaufmann

Material Focus

  1. Bespoke joinery
  2. Antique fittings
Killiehuntly Farmhouse is the central focus of a Victorian farm complex which was faithfully restored as part of the ambitious conservation project by Wildland to create a small boutique hotel with four bedrooms. The property was carefully restored using traditional techniques and materials to create a welcoming and relaxing atmosphere. The house has a close link to the external spaces surrounding it, with a kitchen garden close by and a patio to the south providing a relaxing environment.

Gavin McNabb, Project Lead