A €2 million budget will get you a choice of estates to suit every taste
A €2 million budget goes a long way in Ireland, reveals Penny Churchill
IN our last Irish property focus (January 18, 2017), Roseanne De Vere Hunt of Sherry Fitzgerald Country Homes, Farms and Estates, reported signs of a revival of Ireland’s rural property market following the sale of the 180-acre Bective Demesne in Co Meath at an asking price of €3.5 million—claimed to be the ‘largest country sale outside of Dublin’ in 2016.
She now has further cause for optimism, having agreed the sale, at a guide price of €1.1m, of the classic, early-georgian Bonnettstown House (Fig 1) in Co Kilkenny, after a four-week marketing campaign that attracted prospective purchasers from across Ireland, the UK and the USA. Described in Burke’s Guide to Country Houses as ‘one of the most perfect mediumsized early 18th century country houses in Ireland’, Bonnettstown was built in 1737 for Samuel Matthews, the mayor of nearby Kilkenny City. Set in some 28 acres of grassland, woodland, and wonderful walled gardens, the house has had only three owners to date, including the current vendors, who bought it in 1982.
Robert Ganly of Dublin-based Ganlywalters is another agent with something
Such a high-profile sale will help to boost confidence’
to celebrate, having tied up the sale of the magical Lake Park House estate on the shores of Lough Dan, near Roundwood, on the edge of the Wicklow Mountains National Park, for which the guide price was €4m (January 18). ‘Hopefully, such a highprofile sale will help to boost confidence in a country market still hampered by a lack of new properties,’ says Mr Ganly.
Sport has always been a driver of the Irish country market and the unusually straight road from Dublin to Bellewstown in the prosperous ‘Royal County’ of Meath is said to have been built by George III so that he could not only attend the fashionable Bellewstown races, of which he was a generous sponsor, but also visit his mistress.
Ganly-walters (00 353 1 662 3255) are handling the sale—at a guide price of €1.6 million—of the splendid, late-georgian Beamond House (Fig 2), 1¼ miles from the quaint village of Bellewstown and 27 miles from Dublin city centre. The house, which stands in 31½ acres of majestic parkland bounded by the River Nanny, looks south over Bellewstown Hill, which in turn boasts views of the Mountains of Mourne to the north and the Irish Sea to the east.
Built in about 1820, Beamond House has family accommodation on two main floors, including a main entrance hall, three elegant reception rooms, a sitting room and a kitchen on the ground floor, with five bedrooms and three bathrooms on the first floor. The garden level downstairs has been extensively renovated to provide a large kitchen/living room, plus three bedrooms and two bathrooms.
Outside, two large courtyards have their own separate road entrance and offer a choice of equestrian and farm buildings, including two barns, 11 stables, five pony stalls, various stone outbuildings and a sheltered sand arena.
Launched on the market late last year, charming, 18th-century Phepotstown House near Kilcock, Co Meath, has a proud sporting history, having been the home of legendary jump jockey Willie Robinson and, for the past 25 years, that of the horse-mad Treacy family, whose daughter, Sara, reached the final of the 3,000m steeplechase at the Rio Olympics last summer.
Owners Liam and Siobhan Treacy have completely renovated the main house, upgraded the equestrian facilities, restored the gardens and carefully managed the paddocks and woodland surrounding the house. now it’s time to downsize and Phepotstown House (Fig 3), set in 28 acres of land, is for sale through Savills (00 353 1 663 4306) at a guide price of €1.6m.
Once part of a 700-acre estate owned by the Livesay family, the Irish Times reported the sale of Phepotstown to one Charles J. Lynch of Petersburg for ‘more than £4,000’ in July 1982. Although the property was not in great shape when the Treacys arrived, many period features still survived,
‘George III built the road to visit the races and his mistress’
including the ornate fireplaces and corniced ceilings in the main house, the shell of the wonderful 18th-century walled garden, the stables and the original cutstone courtyard.
Phepotstown House stands at the end of a long, tree-lined avenue, which meanders through the lush green parkland that’s so typical of the county. Having restored the main house in 1995, the owners added a substantial extension in 2000, providing a total of 4,950sq ft of accommodation on two floors, including three good reception rooms, a large stone-flagged kitchen, a family room, a master suite, five bedrooms with fitted showers and a family bathroom. A former coach house in the courtyard has been converted to a state-of-the-art gym.
Another quintessential Georgian house with enviable equestrian facilities is Black- hall House (Fig 4), near Balbriggan, Co Dublin, currently for sale through savills (00 353 1 663 4350) at a guide price of €1.5m. the house, set in 18 acres of gardens, grounds and paddocks, overlooks the golf course near the seaside town of Balbriggan—originally a small fishing village where William of orange and his army set up camp after the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 and now a popular commuter destination with easy rail and motorway access to Dublin city centre, 19 miles away.
sumptuously modernised by its present owners, who bought the property in a state of faded gentility in the 1990s and are now looking to downsize, Blackhall House offers 4,188sq ft of living space on three floors, with four reception rooms on the ground floor, a master suite, three bedrooms and two bath/shower rooms on the first floor and a large family kitchen, a guest suite, an office and various utilities at basement level.
A traditional courtyard behind the house includes a quaint two-storey coach house suitable for a variety of uses, five stables, a boiler house and storage sheds. Wooded mature gardens and grounds include an
en-tout-cas tennis court and—underlining the owners’ passion for horses—an amusing topiary representation of a racehorse jumping a hedge.
‘The house has a topiary respresentation of a racehorse’
Fig 1: Bonnettstown House in Co Kilkenny has been sold at a guide price of €1.1m
Fig 2: Late-georgian Beamond House is only 27 miles from Dublin city centre. €1.6m
Fig 3: Phepotstown House at Kilcock, Co Meath, has been superbly renovated. €1.6m
Fig 4: Blackhall House at Balbriggan, Co Dublin, will appeal to equestrians. €1.5m