Ardnamushrooms was featured on the Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall television programme
"Three Hungry Boys". Click here to watch the clip
Robert and Justine Dunn bought this old manse in 2002. It was in a very poor condition, some parts on the verge of collapse,
so it was stripped back to the stone inside and rebuilt. Robert and Justine did as much of the work as possible themselves
- Robert working full time as a builder and Justine looking after the family (4 children) and working on the house when able.
The family lived in two small caravans in the garden during the renovation so were thrilled to move into the Manse at the
end of October 2003.
The Manse has been renovated to be fossil fuel free and as energy efficient as is possible in an old building. The walls,
roof and floors are highly insulated and all windows are double glazed Pilkington K glass. The house is heated by a woodburning
stove which supplies hot water to the underfloor heating and for baths, and heats the oven. There is also a whole house ventilation
system which, during the summer months, uses passive solar heat from the conservatory to keep the house warm. We have recently
installed a Solar Twin panel to provide us with hot water. The hot water is pumped from the panel with a solar powered pump
- a satisfying hum can be heard in the kitchen on a sunny day as hot water is pumped into our tank!
The Manse is situated about 1.5 miles from Strontian village along a single track road. It is a beautiful and peaceful spot
with fabulous views of Loch Sunart and the hills. About 7 acres of land surrounding the Manse, known as Ranachan Glebe, are
owned by the Dunns and are gradually being converted to a more productive state.
The area of Ardnamurchan has a rich variety of wildlife. Eagles have been seen regularly, as well as other birds of prey.
Owls and bats are also sometimes spotted at dusk. Pine martins are frequently seen. The chickens have to be carefully locked
away each night to save them from becoming an easy meal to the pine martins, otters or foxes. Most common are deer, often
seen grazing in our fields, or at times much closer - the photo above shows a young deer grazing at our garden wall.