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If you lived here...


Since the estate agent's listing is no longer accessible, I thought I would preserve it here with some commentary. I, for one, appreciate the creative gymnastics that were required by the good people of Slater Hogg & Howison.


Looking for a renovation project?

Ah, a bit of a fixer-upper. I've done some DIY. Let's talk.

A historic tower and grounds that extend to 0.926 acres or thereabouts

But really, who's counting?

that enjoys a lovely tranquil location surrounded by open farmland with the Firth of Forth beyond - but it needs a little TLC.

Oh good, only a little.

Elphinstone Tower, also known [sic] is a ruined tower house on the Dunmore Estate in central Scotland. The 16th-century ruin is protected as a category C(S) listed building is ideally located [sic] providing quick and convenient access across the central belt of Scotland with Stirling 9 kilometres to the north and Falkirk 12 kilometres to the south.

I love the listing-template patter here. The presumption that someone would buy the Tower for easy access to city centres makes me think of those "If you lived here, you'd be home by now" billboards, and I'm half inclined to make a sign like that to put on the wall.

As featured in ‘Grand Designs’ the tower is Packed [sic] with illustrious history dating back to 16th century it's the perfect property for those wanting to piece of history [sic] off -the-beaten-track [sic].

The latter statement is absolutely true, and this does seem like the sort of project someone would put on Grand Designs. I could find no record of this particular property having been mentioned on Grand Designs, however. To be fair, I have not binge-watched every episode thereof; perhaps at some point the host makes an aside to one of the camera operators, muttering "At least these people weren't so idiotic as to try to restore Elphinstone Tower". If you find such a reference, please let me know.

To the south of the south west of the tower, there are grounds, but all that remains today is 17-meter-high remains of the tower.

Well, thank goodness for grounds. If not for grounds, what would we have, just a massive pit extending deep into the bowels of the earth? I also like the treasure-map-like precision of "to the south of the south west". And there is a poetry to "all that remains is remains" that belies the tautological meaninglessness of the phrase. 10/10 for this paragraph in its entirety.

You'll need an eye for renovation if you want to put down an offer, as the house will need a complete overhaul with the relevant planning consents being granted.

I believe this is what the experts call a "CYA" statement.

While this property (or its remains) might not be for everyone, it certainly will look rather breathtaking once completed.

Look, I truly appreciate the optimism, laid down with the certainty of an Outlanderesque standing-stone time traveler sent back to the tumultuous 21st century from the world of Future Tower. I'll take what I can get.

Access to view the site is gained on foot via the farm track opposite the entrance to the coastal hamlet of Dunmore.

I strongly read between the lines here that the estate agent will not be hosting an open house with tea and hors d'oeuvres for all comers on a Saturday afternoon.

Continue some 380m until reaching the T-junction and turning left for some290m [sic] where the Tower can be found on the right.

You will meet a wizened old man with a cane and glass eye who will ask you questions three. Answer his questions, but do not gaze into his twisted visage lest the curse of the Earls of Dunmore be revisited. If you follow his instructions, you will come to a clearing with three birds. Give a piece of cloth worn by a virgin to the first bird, a gold ring to the second, and shoot an arrow dipped in blood at the third. The birds will disappear and a deep fog creep in from all edges of your vision. When you hear two quick bursts of thunder from the darkening sky, loudly recite the 23rd Psalm, being clear to enunciate the part about the shadow of the valley of death. As you get to the phrase "goodness and mercy", the fog with lift and, assuming you are sufficiently pure of heart, you will be allowed to enter the Tower.


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