What’s up, MTV? Welcome to our crib.
HA, kidding. The Duncraig Manor on East Connecticut Avenue in Southern Pines is far from our crib.
Standing on the grounds of Duncraig Manor makes you feel this weird mixture of emotions — like, you kind of want to crack open a fairytale book but also want to crack open a nice bottle of scotch. It’s simultaneously magical and sophisticated.
Duncraig Manor and Gardens is a historical estate that was recently restored by Caroline and Donald Naysmith, and it’ll open its doors as a bed and breakfast on August 1.
First, a little history:
The Duncraig Manor was built around 1928 and is considered a Tudor-style home because of its steep gable roofs, chimneys and distinct half-timbering. Originally designed for entertaining, the house was built for a the Quaker Oats heiress and her daughter. Impressive and low-key suspicious, but ok.
Anyway, the Quaker Oats lady and her daughter commissioned landscape architect Alred B. Yeoman to design the home. He obviously did a good job because Yeoman ended up guiding the landscape, layout and design of homes throughout Southern Pines and a few in Pinehurst.
The name “Duncraig Manor” was given to the estate by its second owners, who just so happened to have connections to Duncraig Castle in Scotland. A slight humble-brag if you ask us, but whatever.
The house had several different owners throughout history, including a lady who leased the property to the state to use as a group home for emotionally disturbed children. The neighbors weren’t too happy about that one and they ended up getting evicted. Poor kids.
Despite its ranking as a historical site in Southern Pines, Duncraig Manor didn’t receive much attention until it got its second-chance fairytale from the Naysmiths.
Caroline says the house was love at first sight for the couple. The couple has restored a few houses over the years and when Caroline laid eyes on Duncraig, she knocked on the door to see what was up. YGG.
About a million dollars in repairs later, Duncraig Manor and Gardens is almost prepared to open its doors for business.
Now, for the tour.
Duncraig Manor and Gardens consists of two massive floors, a basement, a tea garden and a guest house. You enter the house and are greeted by a foyer and hallway that spans the entire front of the house, with curved passthroughs and a solid concrete floor.
The library also connects to the massive front hall, and has access to an equally massive back patio.
It’s hard to imagine just how big this house is — but the fact that it has it’s own fire extinguishing system might help. Some of the original intercom system remains, too.
While not technically a third floor, the basement spans the full width of the house. Here, a mix of the old and new prevails.
It’s said that this used to be some kind of lodge where men would have a few crispy boys after a day of fox hunting. We don’t fox hunt, but we’d still crack a few crispy boys in here.
Now, for a bedroom photo. We lost track of how many there are, but several on the top floor were reserved for the help — they are barely big enough for a bed, and have a sink in the corner. Chamber pot, anyone?
Every bedroom has a different theme. Caroline and Donald went with an outdoors-y theme here, but we dig it. And we could definitely see ourselves hopping into that bed and sleeping for the next few weeks (or years).
The couple went all out on their personal master bath, with floor-to-ceiling tile in the shower and a copper tub that’s making it’s way onto our vision boards.
Caroline and Donald had a brand new plumbing system installed while renovating Duncraig Manor, along with a new electrical system, new or refurbished floors, and the house’s eight fireplaces will soon be converted to gas logs. The windows they kept proudly original.
Bed and breakfast guests can expect breakfast from Caroline’s kitchen every morning and hors d’oeuvres and drinks in the evening. Guests also have access to the Butler’s Pantry, which looks like it would be snack heaven, and as the sign in the corner reads — our happy place.
When Caroline and Donald first bought the property, they didn’t know about the little tea room in the garden out back because of the overgrown greenery. Now, the tea room sits proudly outside and is visible from the second story bedroom window.
As you can imagine, the whole exterior is magnificent.
Looks perfect for a wedding, right? Caroline and Donald aren’t quite ready for that that, but plan to open it up to special events in the future. Just don’t expect to see the whole house — you would get lost if you tried to explore on your own.
Still curious about Duncraig Manor? Check out the website.