Farm Ireland

Friday 21 October 2016

A river runs through it

Over 1,100m of frontage on to the River Nore is part of the package with this striking Co Laois farm

Jim O'Brien

Published 27/07/2016 | 02:30

Victorian: Tulach Nore is light-filled and colourful.
Victorian: Tulach Nore is light-filled and colourful.
A panoramic view of the 255ac at Tulach Nore which is located near the Pike of Rushall in Co Laois

When I moved to Laois in the late 1990's I was taken by the lovely place names in the county.

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Among them was a place called the Pike of Rushall on the N7 Dublin Road between Borris in Ossory and Mountrath. In the old days it was a renowned speed-trap, maybe it still is. The Pike of Rushall is also home to one of the most extensive farms to come on the market in recent times.

Tulach Nore is a Victorian estate on 255ac and is on the market by private treaty for €2.25m. Located 8km from the M7 at Borris-in-Ossory the farm is 10km from Mountrath and 28km from Portlaoise.

The property is located on a broad plain of midland ground with 1,100m of frontage onto the River Nore and scenic views across to the nearby Slieve Bloom Mountains. Set well back from the road it is approached through a mature tree lined avenue travelling through the land.

The residence is on two floors with five bay windows and plenty of space. While the term 'Victorian' summons up images of dickensian grey, stone harshness, Tulach Nore, which is in very good condition, is light-filled and colourful.

The well-proportioned rooms, especially those with bay windows, give tremendous light and space.

The accommodation includes a drawing room, dining room, billiards room, library, study, sitting room, kitchen, pantry, utility room, eight bedrooms, master bedroom with ensuite facilities and a dressing room, two bathrooms and shower room.

The presence of a 'sewing room' and a 'shoot room' give a nod to the grand past enjoyed by the members of the household.

The property was first known as 'Nore View" and owned by the Harding family. Henry J Harding born in 1846 was part of the first generation of Hardings to live in the original house, which was demolished and replaced by the current Victorian residence built between 1875- 1877 by Henry J Harding. His son, Col George Harding, having served in the Boer War between 1899-1901 and in the First World War, retired to Tulach Nore in 1930 and oversaw the addition of five bays and two wings.

Farm and lands

To the rear of the house is a traditional enclosed courtyard of stone outbuildings currently used as garages and store-rooms, which could be converted to stables. A further yard includes a four-column haybarn and a series of old stone and mass concrete sheds these are used as stables, grain stores and for other storage.

One of the unique features of the farm is a massive shed complex located away from the house along a gravel and fenced drive.

The place has cubicle accommodation for 500 cattle and has four large silage pits all under one roof measuring 19 spans long.

The then owner, Major Harding, built the sheds in the 1950s and bought in cattle from all over the west and the midlands. He wintered them at Tulach Nore and sold them on.

He is regarded as being way ahead of his time. For example, the slurry system is an old umbilical system, once revolutionary but now obsolete, pumped directly from the yard to the fields. The farm is an excellent finishing farm for beef cattle.

The land surrounds the house and includes arable and grazing ground along with some woodland and up to 1,100 metres of river frontage on the River Nore.

The house and gardens take up about 10ac with 157ac of good quality grazing land and circa 55ac in forestry while 33ac of callows provide summer grazing. There are no premium payments generated by the forestry.

A gorgeous walled kitchen garden near the house once provided fruit and vegetables for the household and guests and in its heyday boasted in excess of 60 fruit trees. The garden now lies fallow but has huge potential. A poultry house abutting the walled kitchen garden was recently refurbished.

The sale is being jointly handled by Roseanne De Vere Hunt of Sherry FitzGerald Country Homes and Julie Fogarty of Sherry FitzGerald Roscrea.

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