Scottish Highland secret 1920s house and garden (Rousse)

The huge house in the Scottish Highlands was hidden under fifty years growth of vegetation. To anyone passing it was just an ancient ruin invaded by rampant weeds.

But I had a feeling that I had been here before. Wasn’t there a beautiful Chinese water garden here, brimming with waterlilies and rare fish? What about the house itself and all those interesting artefacts collected by its former owner?

When I pushed at a loose stone in the mossy wall, it crumbled to the ground. The next stone along also disintegrated with a small shove. Before long, I had cleared so much of the wall that I could see one of the ancient ponds, and it was teeming with koi carp.

Beyond the ponds I noticed a door that was built into an intact side of the old building. I negotiated my way across several linked pools to reach it. On the inside, everything in the house was in a good state of repair. From the layout of the rooms and their contents, I remembered that this was the home of a famous scientist, and that it had been open to the public in the 1970s.

Then, on a back stair, I came face to face with a woman in modest 1920s dress. This was the housekeeper, just one of several staff who still lived here in secret. I swore that I would never reveal anything about my visit, nor those who kept the supposedly abandoned house.

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