Prestige property: Elevated modern ranch-style living in Fife

The Bowhouse, Cluny, Fife

Owners Jackie and Ian Sneddon are local to the area and designed and built the house, which was completed three years ago.

Ian, who is a builder, was struck by the location while out on his bike almost a decade before.

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Jackie says: “He was full of this fabulous place for a house that he’d found. We eventually managed to contact the owner, who was living in the Channel Islands, and negotiated a price subject to planning.”

The Bowhouse, Cluny, Fife

This first attempt was abruptly ended when planning was turned down, however. Jackie explains: “We thought that was that, but seven years later, we spotted a build not far from the plot, and so reapplied. And this time our plans were accepted.”

The Sneddons turned to Edinburgh architects Yeoman McAllister, but had a great deal of input into the house design.

Jackie is a retired lecturer in IT, but Ian’s building firm has not only built their own properties before, but a wide range of projects, including a development of 24 houses plus industrial units.

“We’ve built about five or six houses in our 45 years of marriage and we know what works,” says Jackie. “But the design of the house is really about doing justice to the plot – it wouldn’t have been fitting to build something small.”

The Bowhouse, Cluny, Fife

The Bowhouse’s layout is an H-shape, all on one level, with four bedrooms and three bathrooms in one wing. The other wing houses a large lounge, utility room and larder, plus a double garage.

The middle section of the house is all open-plan. With sheltered courtyards back and front, and sliding glass floor-to-ceiling doors to the patio, it contains a chic dining-kitchen, a family room and an additional dining area, all graced with double-height ceilings.

Jackie explains: “We have a big family, with three children and six grandchildren, and the design was about us making dinner or hosting Christmas with all of the family around us. We’ve always had plenty of people in the house.”

Another important feature is the Bowhouse’s exemplary energy efficiency – its EPC score is the highest that can be awarded, with 100 out of 100 points.

The Bowhouse, Cluny, Fife

The property has an air source heat pump, which warms the underfloor heating throughout. No fewer than 100 solar panels in an adjacent field mean the house costs nothing to power when the sun is shining, and there are lithium batteries for when it doesn’t. However, the home is connected to the Grid for winter heat.

The landscaping was completed during Covid lockdowns. Statement boulders came from a local quarry, and were put in place by a neighboring farmer.

The majority of the planting was also done in the year and a half of lockdowns, and Jackie created a vegetable garden with the help of her daughter.

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The Bowhouse, Cluny, Fife

The Bowhouse is in a quiet spot – the hot tub on the decking at the rear is a testament to its privacy – but nevertheless it is well connected. A retail park is just a few minutes drive, and close enough to walk to.

There are also fabulous trails through the Fife countryside accessible from the end of the drive, something that the Sneddons have appreciated during their time here.

The A92 is half a mile away and connects to the motorway network, which makes for easy shopping days out or business meetings in Edinburgh or or its outskirts.

The Sneddons’ next move will not be a project, but will be next to a golf course. Jackie says: “We have told the family that it is time they started inviting us, rather than always coming here!”

The Bowhouse, Cluny, Fife is priced at offers over £1,250,000

The Bowhouse, Cluny, Fife

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The Bowhouse, Cluny, Fife
The Bowhouse, Cluny, Fife

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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