Good Deal or Not? “1 of a kind Scottish Tudor Castle” edition (reader request)

by Prince Of Petworth December 13, 2013 at 1:00 pm 53 Comments


This castle is located at 3207 Woodbine Street, Chevy Chase, MD:


The listing says:

“Call this castle home!: Rossdhu Gate. 1 of a kind Scottish Tudor Castle w/ crenellated rf, 4 stry tower w/ circular staircase, gargoyles, fountain, terrace w/ views of wee Loch Lomond. Enter another world in this unique home w/ newer kit & HVAC, pd baths, exterior stuccoed/repainted. . 2 sections joined by enclosed bridge over wide gate. 3BRs, 3.5BAs, sep library, office, much more. BY APPT ONLY!”

You can see a virtual tour here.

The reader who requested this one adds “I would have to ask for the furniture to convey.”

This 3 bed/3.5 bath is going for $1,500,000.

  • Lisa

    I lOVE this place! Fantastic in the ‘imaginative or fanciful; remote from reality’ sense.

    • Anonymous

      Me too! Not a bad price or location either.

  • That MAn A

    although not a fan of most of the iterior decor…. this is awesome

    • Anonymous

      I wouldn’t want that decor in my own house, either, but you have to admit that it works for this place!
      But that kitchen! I would feel like I was living at Medieval Times and should be gnawing turkey legs.

  • Anonymous

    Cocaine is a helluva drug… just kidding. Anne Boleyn! Where you at girl?

    • Jack5

      It has no alarm, but for entry you must ask Rapunzel to let down her hair… What city is this?!? Hah.

  • Anonymous

    House is awesome. Furniture (which can and should be changed) is hideous.

  • ledroittiger

    Not a good deal. Looks like it was constructed with ticky tacky. Oh yeah, and it’s a castle in Chevy Chase…

  • I want all of it. Best GDoN I’ve ever seen :)

  • Anonymous

    Shouldn’t there be a drawbridge across the pond?

  • Anonymous

    Holy crap!!! This place is a total steal for 1.5 million!!!!

  • Anonymous

    WOAH. This is amazingly well executed, if a faux castle with medieval decor is your style.
    However, this is going to be impossible to sell. They’ve really limited the buyer pool.

  • Anonymous

    That kitchen is crazy. Not in a good way.

    • textdoc

      I read this and thought, “How crazy can it be?” Then I got to the photo in the slideshow and couldn’t stop myself from snickering out loud.

      • Anonymous

        I like the crazy kitchen. I honestly don’t think I’d ever get tired of that decor. :)

  • Anonymous

    Now THIS is right up my alley! If I had $1.5 million I’d buy it in a heartbeat!

  • Anonymous

    While I’m usually completely against this sort of chintz, this is all sorts perfect!

  • Wow! Do the serfs and lackeys convey?

  • Anonymous

    this is going to be hard to sell, but it’s totally awesome. also agree with the comments that I normally hate this sort of decor, but in this case its perfect.

  • T-

    If I were in the market, I’d buy it for that price.

  • Angry Parakeet

    This was featured in Urban Turf this week. The house has a web site with the fun history of the property – rossdhu gate. I visited the castle after which this was copied years ago on Loch Lomond, being a descendant of that clan (Calhoun.)

    • Ah even better!! http://www.rossdhugate.com/

      “Rossdhu Gate is all that remains of a grand estate built by Mrs. Daisy Calhoun, a socially active Washington matron, with her third wealthy husband, Clarence Crittenden Calhoun, a Washington lawyer. In 1926, the couple purchased almost 100 acres, all of what is now the Rollingwood section of Chevy Chase (considered a rural area then) after their offer fell through to purchase the land that is currently the British Embassy in Washington, DC. Daisy’s dream was to evoke the memory of the Calhoun clan’s stronghold, Rossdhu Castle, a 15th-century stone castle that rose from a promontory on the west side of Loch Lomond in Scotland, hence the Gaelic Rossdhu, which literally means “headland dark”. Sir John Colquhoun 15th of Luss was knighted by Mary, Queen of Scots, who twice stayed at Rossdhu Castle, which is mentioned in the mysterious “Casket Letters”, her alleged secret correspondence with Bothwell.

      Daisy and Clarence Calhoun held their castle’s grand opening celebration New Year’s Eve, 1927. The 30-room castle sat on a hill facing Rock Creek Park (now a cul-de-sac named Rossdhu Court). The gatehouse, bordering a large pond named Wee Loch Lomond, was used for winter entertaining when ice-skating was in season. Daisy referred to it as Braemar Lodge. She had christened the land Braemar Forest, in honor of her own Scottish ancestors (House of Mar). It is said that a stone from the original 11th-century castle ruins of Robert the Bruce is set somewhere in the Gatehouse.

      The crash of 1929 brought an end to the lifestyle the Calhouns enjoyed. To raise money, they used the castle as a night club beginning in 1931, but it was too far from downtown to succeed. By 1935 the Calhouns were penniless and Daisy was forced to move into the gatehouse after her huband’s death. The castle, gatehouse, and nine acres were auctioned in 1939 for $40,000 and the castle was converted into apartments. In 1947 the land was rezoned for single family dwellings and the castle became vacant with no buyers. Sadly it had to be demolished in 1957 when the county told the owners, “Either put a fence around it to keep out the vandals or tear it down!”

      Mr. and Mrs. Bert Williams, who owned Grandma’s Attic (an antique store in Chevy Chase Lake) occupied the gatehouse from 1939 until the 1970s. Following his death in 1974 and hers in 1977, the gatehouse was purchased by a young couple who quickly became overwhelmed with repair costs and lost it to the bank. A contractor then bought it, refurbished it and sold it to Frank and Jeanne Broulik in 1979. It is currently owned by their youngest child, Jan, and partner, Joe Phillips.”

      • It’s amazing they’ve been able to keep it so appropriately furnished for so long.

      • textdoc

        According to the website, Daisy Calhoun was born “Margaret Rose Anthony Julia Josephine Catherine Cornelia Donovan O’Donovan.”
        Sheesh. Most royalty of the era had fewer given names than that!

      • Anonymous

        Curious, so this isn’t even the grand residence castle that was built in the 20’s. Props to the remaining gatehouse building for remaining and with any luck it will last another couple centuries.

      • Anonymous

        “The crash of 1929 brought an end to the lifestyle the Calhouns enjoyed. To raise money, they used the castle as a night club beginning in 1931, but it was too far from downtown to succeed.”

        Lesson learned– even if it’s a castle, buying outside of the urban core is not a wise investment.

      • Anonymous

        I’d like to be forced to move into the gatehouse!

      • Anonymous

        Wait….this thing is the GATEHOUSE? Holy smokes the actual castle must have been incredible!

  • Anonymous

    i think someone mentioned that there wasn’t a bucolic place in dc. i think this qualifies.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, I mentioned that with regard to 2nd ST…and I’m still right because this isn’t in DC. It’s in Maryland. BOOM

  • blahblahblah

    It’s campy as hell, therefore not for everyone. But I love it.

  • kyle-w

    I think it goes over asking. I think it may be the most unique house I have ever seen. Given that it is on a lake, and in WW/WJ school district, I think it is a terrific deal.

  • wdc

    Wow. Now THAT is commitment to a bit.

    I agree with the sender-inner: good deal, but furniture must convey.

    • We have matching tastes then! ;)

  • Earl of Snowdon

    Can a building be both Tudor and Scottish?

    • wdc

      Wasn’t Mary a Tudor?

      • textdoc

        Mary, Queen of Scots was a Stuart.
        Mary I (half-sister of Elizabeth I) was a Tudor.

    • Anonymous

      This was my thought too. The outside of the building appears to have a Tudor Rose emblem on it, and it seems unlikely to me that a family loyal to Mary Queen of Scots would have this on their residence. Mary was a Stuart and her cousin, Elizabeth I, was her greatest rival. Perhaps I’m missing some other connection they might have had though.
      That said, this place is super awesome and I wish I could have it and turn it into a year-round Renaissance festival :D

  • jenster8dc

    It’s only a model.

    • Best response yet


  • ET

    Oh boy. Too much stuff (and I wrestle with my stuff demons). Too bad people will be so distracted by the stuff that is removable to judge that which is not removable. I have a feeling the realtor gave up convincing the owners to depersonalize/declutter.

  • KenyonDweller

    Although the 12-year-old boy in me would love to live in a castle, it’s kind of hideous.

  • Anonymous

    At that price, it’s the steal of the century. If it were about a mile away inside the District line, I have a feeling they’d be asking three times as much.

    • Anonymous

      I thought people paid more to live in Montgomery County (schools, either for their own kids or for the resale value that adds)?

      • TakomaNick

        The schools in upper Northwest, west of the park, are pretty damn good. Yes, it would cost more if it was in the District. Also, the land would be more valuable in the district.

  • anon

    This place looks awesome, but it’s on a tiny lot (4200 square feet) and runs smack up against what has to be the neighbor’s tennis court. None of the land around it can belong to it with a lot that small.

    • Anonymous

      That’s a tiny lot? As a city dweller, that seems huge!

      • Anonymous

        smaller than the carefully cropped exterior photo would have you believe ;)

    • Anonymous

      If you want a larger lot, there’s always this castle in Virginia: http://www.redfin.com/VA/Warrenton/8871-Rogues-Rd-20187/home/49882657

      Cheaper, too.

      • Anonymous

        Yeah, but this one is more castley. I also like that it abuts rock creek park and the neighborhood seems kind of walkable.

    • annonny

      The neighbor’s tennis court could be screened out with a few strategically placed cyprus trees or a stand of bamboo. The rest of the lot seems a bit over-landscaped, but I agree with others that the private lake is an incredible feature. Plus, it appears to have its own portcullis, which would certainly come in handy in protecting ones privacy! For the other crap in this region that sells for the same price, this seems like an awesome deal!!!

  • Anonymous

    If this place was located in DC, it would list for way more than that. Wow, what a neat creation. Can you imagine what it would take to fix the walls once all the decor is removed (if it ever is)? I wonder who has the contract to dust the place?

  • Anonymous Coward

    Clearly NOT a good deal. If I’m buying a castle I expect all of the usual castle-y things. You know, like secret rooms, dungeons and dragons. Oh, and damsels. Lots of damsels! ;-)


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