A stunning residential and sporting estate in the heart of the Scottish Borders.


Description Chapel-on-Leader is a most attractive and compact residential, agricultural and sporting estate. At its core is a superb country house with a fine elevated setting looking south down the Leader valley. With beautifully proportioned and well balanced accommodation, the house overlooks a terraced garden with outdoor swimming pool and sits amid mature gardens, grounds and policy woodlands.

The gardens are a particular feature of the estate and include a combination of terraced lawns, a sunken garden, a water garden and mature wooded areas containing rhododendrons, azaleas and a wide variety of indigenous and ornamental shrubs. To the west of Chapel-on-Leader House is a walled garden with productive vegetable beds and an array of fruit trees.

Whilst informal, the variety of sport available at Chapel-on-Leader is one of its features. The most significant aspect of this is the circa 3 kilometres of single and double bank trout fishing on the Leader Water, which is augmented by the lease of the salmon and sea trout fishing rights from the Crown Estate.

With 288 acres of woodland and forestry on the estate, there is productive roe deer stalking.

Land and Farming The agricultural element of Chapel-on-Leader incorporates a combination of arable farmland and permanent pasture which is classified as mainly Grade 3i by the James Hutton Institute.

The best of the land lies to the west of the main house and comprises arable fields which are used mainly for spring cropping. The vendors farm in-hand with ploughing, sowing, spraying and harvesting conducted under a Contract Farming Agreement.

Woods The Chapel-on-Leader woods comprise commercial coniferous crops together with attractive and semi-ancient deciduous woodland. Providing a combination of shelter, game covert, and potential income from felling/thinning, the woods at Chapel-on-Leader extend to about 288 acres.

Lot 1 – Chapel-on-Leader House (About 120 acres) The focal point of the estate is Chapel-on-Leader House. Built of harled stone under a pitched slate roof and dating from the early 18th Century with substantial later additions in the 1860s and 1920s, the house provides extensive accommodation over three storeys including a total of eight bedrooms and four reception rooms.

With access via a tarmac drive which leads to a large gravel sweep on its north side, Chapel-on-Leader House sits at the heart of the estate. Whilst the main entrance is on the north side, the principal outlook of the house faces south with fine views over the lawns and parkland and down the Leader valley. A particular feature of its position is that virtually all of the land within its immediate view lies within the boundaries of Chapel-on-Leader Estate. In other words, a purchaser of the estate in its entirety has the unusual opportunity to ‘own the view’ from the main house.

Purchased by the current owners in the early 1960s, the house was extensively renovated and modernised at that time. Whilst it has been carefully maintained since, there has been little significant capital investment such that it now requires renewed investment in the service systems, fixtures and fittings and internal decoration.

The house retains many of its original features which include panelled doors and window shutters, sash and casement windows, decorative open fireplaces, hardwood floors, decorative cornices and carved architraves.

In terms of services, the house has a mains water supply and private drainage to a septic tank, oil-fired central heating (with an auxiliary wood-fuelled boiler) and oil-fired Aga.

The arrangement and proportions of the accommodation are as shown on the floor plans contained within this brochure.

Adjoining the house is an integral three-car garage with up-and-over doors and a concrete floor. There is also a tool shed and a log shed with corrugated roofing.

Gardens, Grounds and Woods Having been the focus of the owners’ passion for many years, the gardens at Chapel-on-Leader are a magnificent feature of the estate. In front of the house are terraced lawns with views to the south across the parkland. Adjoining the southern façade is a paved terrace with outdoor heated swimming pool.

To the west of the house is an avenue of mature beech trees, beyond which is a water garden with a gravel path leading to a hard surfaced tennis court. To the east of the house is a sunken garden.

Special note must be made of the walled garden which is in excellent condition with its perimeter wall entirely intact and well-maintained. The walled garden is predominately laid down to lawn, but also includes a range of herbaceous beds, fruit bushes and productive fruit trees.

This lot features the extensive mature parkland to the south of Chapel-on-Leader House, which includes a range of mature hardwood trees including oak, beech, copper beech, horse chestnut and sweet chestnut. Also included within this lot is the solum of the west drive and the adjoining belt of mature woodland.

Beyond the parkland on the south side of the Leader Water is a compartment of mixed age and species woodland and forestry surrounding a field of ploughable pasture which is accessed via the south drive.

South Lodge Situated beside the entrance to the south (main) drive, this is a traditional stone-built lodge house under a slate roof with accommodation over three storeys which includes a kitchen, sitting room, two bedrooms and a bathroom.

The cottage is let under a Short Assured Tenancy.

Sporting The woodland and open parkland within lot 1 provides some exciting roe deer stalking and opportunities for the erection of high seats. There is also excellent scope for rough shooting.

This lot includes double and single bank ownership of the River Leader providing the opportunity for trout fishing. The salmon and sea trout fishings over the entirety of the River Leader within Chapel-on-Leader Estate are leased to the vendors from the Crown Estate for a 5-year period ending 31 December 2018.

A copy of the lease and plan showing the extent of the fishings is available on request from the selling agents.

Lot 2 – Carolsidehill Wood (About 108 acres) Carolsidehill Wood lies on the eastern side of the A68 and is a standalone compartment of forestry which, together with the small adjoining compartment to the north, extends to approximately 108 acres. The wood is predominately comprised of mature conifers with an assortment of mixed hard woods. The wood has access directly off the A68 trunk road with a vehicular track leading from north to south through the heart of the wood.

Lot 3 – Leaderside Land and Woods (About 89 acres) This lot is comprised of both young and more mature woodland which has a very pretty setting on the west bank of the Leader Water. With vehicular access directly off the A68 at the northern end, this lot includes about 1.6 kilometres of mainly single (right) bank ownership of the Leader Water providing trout fishing.

There is additional sport available in the form of roe deer stalking and pigeon shooting.

Within this lot, at the southern end of the old north drive to Chapel-on-Leader House is the ruin of a former dwelling which may provide the opportunity for the purchaser to seek consent for a new dwelling. No discussions with the local planning authority have taken place in this regard and prospective purchasers are advised to conduct their own due diligence in this regard.

Lot 4 – Kedslie Glen and the Young Covert (About 49 acres) Lot 4 comprises approximately 49 acres of mixed woods on the west side of the Leader Water. There is vehicular access from the minor public road. This lot includes ownership of about 665 metres of the right bank of the Leader Water providing trout fishing.

Lot 5 – Chapel-on-Leader Stables (About 0.96 acres) This lot consists of a traditional stable block arranged around a courtyard featuring two residential properties, together with stables and associated outbuildings.

The buildings were constructed in the late 19th Century and are of stone construction beneath pitched slate roofs. They include five stables and two foal boxes plus extensive tack and general storage and former coach housing. The courtyard is enclosed by a coped boundary wall with railings. A stone clock tower with dovecot within the courtyard is a particular feature. The existing residential properties are:

Stable Cottage Situated within the northern elevation of the range, this is a terraced cottage under a pitched slate roof. The accommodation over two storeys includes two bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen and a sitting room. It is currently let on a Short Assured Tenancy.

There is designated car parking to both the front and rear.

Garden Cottage Within the western elevation, Garden Cottage is an end terrace two-storey cottage with accommodation including two bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen and sitting room. With a small garden and parking to both the front and rear, this cottage is also let under a Short Assured Tenancy.

Adjoining the stables on the north side is a steel span general purpose shed with concrete floor which currently serves as a garage/workshop.

The stable buildings are C-listed by Historic Environment Scotland. Whilst no preliminary enquiries nor applications for planning consent have been submitted, there may be potential for residential development within this range of buildings in future, subject to planning and listed building consent. Lot 6 – Chapel Cottage (About 0.58 acre) Chapel Cottage sits close to the stable block. It is a single storey, detached cottage of timber construction on a concrete base beneath a pitched tile roof. The accommodation includes a kitchen, living room, two bedrooms and a bathroom.

There is a spacious enclosed garden, which is laid down to lawn and bounded by shrubs and mature trees. A single car garage adjoins the cottage. It is let under a Short Assured Tenancy.

Lot 7 – Chapel Steading (About 2.63 acres) This lot includes a residential property and the range of farm buildings including a former dairy and cattle courts together with a grass paddock.

Hazel Cottage Hazel Cottage is a semi-detached cottage of stone construction beneath a slate roof. The accommodation which is laid out over two storeys includes a kitchen, sitting room, three bedrooms and a bathroom. There are two outdoor stores which adjoin the cottage. There is a large parking area and enclosed front and back gardens. The cottage is let under a Short Assured Tenancy.

The cattle courts are of steel portal frame construction with corrugated roofing. The former dairy is of brick construction under a pitched corrugated roof. The buildings provide an extensive footprint for replacement or potential development in the future.

Lying to the west of the buildings is small enclosed paddock which currently provides grazing.

Whilst no preliminary enquiries nor applications for planning consent have been submitted, there may be potential for residential development within this range of buildings in future, subject to planning and listed building consent. Lot 8 – Chapel Grazing (About 10 acres) Lying immediately to the west of the gardens and steading is an enclosed field of permanent pasture which is offered for sale as an independent lot. Access to this field is via a short track leading from the farm steading on the east side.

Lot 9 – Land at West Chapel-on-Leader (About 58 acres)

The land at West Chapel-on-Leader comprises three arable fields which extend in total to about 51 acres. Classified as grade 31, these arable field are suitable for modern agriculture and have good access.

This lot also includes a strip of woodland on either side of the Sturdon burn along the southern boundary.

This property has 438 acres of land.


Situation Chapel-on-Leader Estate occupies a fine setting in Lauderdale in the heart of the Scottish Borders. The Leader Water – a tributary of the River Tweed from which Lauderdale takes its name – flows through the estate and forms the boundary between the counties of Roxburghshire (on the west side) and Berwickshire (on the east). A feature of the estate is its accessibility being 39 miles from Edinburgh Airport and 32 miles from Edinburgh city centre. Conveniently situated for local services, there is a village shop and petrol station in Earlston (3 miles) and a variety of shops and services including 24-hour supermarkets, high street banks and a range of retail outlets in Galashiels (10 miles). Galashiels is a former mill town and still has strong links with the former textile industry with Heriot-Watt University’s School of Textiles and Design located in the town.

The Scottish Borders benefits from excellent state primary and secondary schools, including the highly regarded St Mary’s Preparatory School in Melrose (8 miles). Within recent years, the accessibility of this part of the Scottish Borders has been considerably improved with the re-opening of the Borders railway in 2015 linking Edinburgh with Tweedbank – between Galashiels and Melrose. The Borders General Hospital – a modern, purpose-built facility serving the whole of the Borders region is 8 miles from Chapel-on-Leader and can be reached in about 15 minutes by car.

Chapel-on-Leader straddles Roxburghshire and Berwickshire –counties of contrasting landscapes but both favoured for their wonderful scenery, country sports, farming, forestry and tourism. The landscape of rounded hills and fertile valleys in the Borders is shaped by the River Tweed and its tributaries. With such dramatic contours and peerless landscape, the Borders is home to some of the most renowned game shoots in Scotland, several of which offer days for let and are easily accessible from Chapel-on-Leader.

The Scottish Borders and horsemanship go hand in hand. In addition to five hunts (including the Buccleuch and Lauderdale Hunts, closest to Chapel-on-Leader) each of which holds an annual point to point, there is National Hunt Racing at Kelso (14 miles), several active pony clubs and a network of bridleways. A feature of the Borders is the ‘common ridings’ where each town (including Galashiels closest to Chapel-on-Leader) has an annual gathering on horseback for a cross-country ride. With sheltered grazing and extensive parkland, Chapel-on-Leader is well suited for equestrian use with the potential for this aspect to be further developed.

Golf is a feature of the area. In addition to the Championship course at Cardrona near Peebles, there are courses locally at Lauder, Newtown St Boswells, Selkirk and Torwoodlee. The famous links courses of the East Lothian coast (including the Open Championship venue of Muirfield) can be reached within an hour’s drive, whilst the highly regarded Roxburghe course (also a Championship Course) at Kelso can be reached in about 30 minutes’ drive from Chapel-on-Leader.


From the south, follow the A68 north towards Edinburgh to the village of Earlston. Continue north for approximately 2 miles and the entrance to the estate is on the left hand side. From the north, follow the A68 south towards Jedburgh. After the village of Lauder, follow the A68 for approximately 6 miles and the entrance to Chapel-on-Leader will be on the right hand side.

The post code for Chapel-on-Leader House is TD4 6AW.

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Other features

  • Country house (4 reception rooms, 7 bedrooms)
  • Terraced garden, swimming pool, tennis court, extensive grounds, parkland, forestry and policy woodlands
  • 5 cottages
  • In-hand farm with 85 acres arable land and 35 acres permanent pasture
  • Mixed sportings including pheasant shooting, roe deer stalking and trout fishing on the River Leader
  • About 438 acres in total
  • For sale as a whole or in 9 lots

Other details

  • Map & Street View
Map View Street View
Ref: EDN150021

Earlston Roxburghshire TD4

Offers Over

Ref: EDN150021

Earlston Roxburghshire TD4

Offers Over