Updated: Comedian Rory Bremner quitting Borders after putting home near Jedburgh on market for £1.7m

Comedian and impressionist Rory Bremner is upping sticks from his historic Borders home after putting it on the market for £1.7m.

By Paul Kelly
Thursday, 10th October 2019, 12:53 pm
Rory Bremner in 2014.  (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images for Ascot Racecourse)
Rory Bremner in 2014. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images for Ascot Racecourse)

Bremner, 58, moved to the region 10 years ago after he and his second wife, sculptor Tessa Campbell Fraser, bought Crailing House near Jedburgh.

For the last decade, the couple, both born in Edinburgh, and their two children, daughters Ava and Lila, have divided their time between the Borders and their other family home in the Cotswolds.

However, because of commitments elsewhere, they have been spending less and less of the year at the A-listed mansion, leading to it being made available for short-term renting for around £3,000 a week.

Rory Bremner with wife Tessa Campbell Fraser in 2013. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Now, though, they have reluctantly put the property up for sale and base themselves all year round at their home in Oxfordshire as that’s where their daughters go to school.

The couple have explained their reasons for leaving the Borders in a statement, saying: “Crailing House is a magical place, and it has been a very hard decision to sell.

“It is our sanctuary, but we weren’t getting enough time in it.”

However, Miss Campbell Fraser, 52, says she plans to keep their connection with Crailing alive even after they part ways.

TV comedian Rory Bremner's home near Jedburgh, Crailing House.

“Half of the decor we want to bring to Oxfordshire to recreate Crailing,” she explained.

Borders Book Festival regular Bremner, currently a team captain on the ITV gameshow The Imitation Game, and his wife began a hunt for a home in the south of Scotland 10 years ago.

Miss Campbell Fraser grew up near Hawick and as a child had visited Crailing House, four miles from Jedburgh, so when the couple saw that it was for sale for offers around £1.4m they felt they had to view it.

They fell in love with the regency-style mansion, designed by architect William Elliot for James Paton, a captain in the East India Company, and it remained in his family until 1948.

TV comedian Rory Bremner's home near Jedburgh, Crailing House.

Miss Campbell Fraser said: ‘We wanted to move back to Scotland from Oxfordshire at the time and were looking for a family home.”

The property was not in perfect condition but the couple saw it as an opportunity to restore a grand rural house.

Since moving in, they have rewired, replumbed and reroofed it, as well as installing a biomass boiler.

The chimney was restored and damaged stonework repaired.

The couple also had a ha-ha – a sunken wall – created in its grounds.

On the first and second floors are seven bedrooms and five bathrooms, and guests are greeted in the entrance hall by a Highland cow sculpture made by Miss Campbell Fraser.

Outside are more than 15 acres of grounds, including stables.

The property is being marketed by Melrose estate agent’s Knight Frank for offers of more than £1.695m.

Bremner’s small-screen CV includes Channel 4’s Rory Bremner, Who Else? and Bremner, Bird and Fortune and BBC Two’s Rory Bremner’s Coalition Report, as well as appearances on Who Do You Think You Are? on BBC One in 2009 and Strictly Come Dancing on the same channel in 2011.

He was given an honorary doctorate by Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt University in 2011.