As noted in our earlier post on tin tabernacles, in 19th century Britain corrugated iron flatpack houses were a proud product of the industrial revolution. According to the Independent, corrugated iron was exported all over the world to make buildings of every size. While others were putting up corrugated iron churches or civic centres, the staff of William Cooper Limited, based in London's Old Kent Road, cornered the market in cheap, prefabricated agricultural buildings, including the Ballintomb Cottage. A local farmer ordered it from the catalogue of a London company and had it delivered by steam train, then horse and cart, to a site near the village of Dulnain Bridge in Strathspey. He assembled it by hand, so he could move his family in during the summer while he rented out his farmhouse to wealthy holidaymakers. It cost just £425. Now, offers of more than £175,000 are being invited but the selling price could reach as much as £250,000. ::Independent
according to the real estate agents:
"It is highly probable that Ballintomb Cottage was delivered in kit form to the local station by William Cooper Ltd of Old Kent Road in London. At the turn of the last century Coopers had an illustrated catalogue of iron buildings (for home and export) of churches, hospitals, club houses, residences, cottages, offices, stables, motor car houses, billiard rooms and ballrooms. This type of house was normally constructed as secondary accommodation on large estates either for estate workers or overflow accommodation for shooting parties from the main lodge.
The construction of these iron buildings was fully detailed in the catalogues. They quote that "sheets of standard Birmingham grade galvanised iron are used, truly and evenly corrugated, thickly coated with pure Silesian spelter, true and even in temper, and free from flaws and cracks." Floorboards were supplied of thoroughly seasoned deal in 1" thicknesses and lining boards in 1/2" tongue and grooved. The walls were insulated by a liberal use of felt. A handsomely designed residence, delivered and erected cost approximately £425.
These buildings were sent to every corner of the Empire and Ballintomb Cottage is an excellent example of the quality of these buildings.
This period house has an extension built in style to the rear of the property which houses a modern kitchen, bathroom and cloakroom. The two storey part of the house, which has decorative timber gables and attractive astragal windows, has three bedrooms, sitting room, dining room, a bathroom and a sunroom. The majority of the interior is clad with a pitch pine lining which has developed a wonderful patina and gives a Victorian shooting lodge feel to the interior.
Ballintomb Cottage was last painted externally approximately 15 years ago and requires repainting but in the interest of showing the quality of the galvanised iron, the present owners have left the painting to the next purchaser. They also may wish to change the colour. It is heated by an efficient wood burning stove and by off peak electrical central heating. The internal and external construction of the house is testament to the high quality of workmanship that was used a century ago." ::Strutt & Parker