Farm Ireland

Monday 21 August 2017

Huge 217ac farm hits the market in Tipperary with a €2m price tag

The original residence at Fortwilliam was partly destroyed by fire in the 1920s and rebuilt in a more modern style
The original residence at Fortwilliam was partly destroyed by fire in the 1920s and rebuilt in a more modern style
The land is in good heart and suitable for beef, dairy or tillage
Jim O'Brien

Jim O'Brien

There are some substantial farms coming on the market at the moment and foremost among them is a 217ac residential farm, Fortwilliam, at Borrisoleigh in Co Tipperary. It comes to auction with a guide of €2m and can be bought in its entirety or in lots.

The sun is splitting the stones as I make my way from Nenagh to Borrisoleigh to visit Fortwilliam.

The blue and gold is already fluttering proudly from post, pillar and pier as the Premier county readies itself for the heat and heady days of championship hurling.

Borrisoleigh auctioneer, Tom Ryan, is my guide as we head out from the village to view this grand old estate that is set on the finest of Tipperary ground.

The land is in good heart and suitable for beef, dairy or tillage
The land is in good heart and suitable for beef, dairy or tillage

Within a kilometre of the town we come to the bounds of the land and after another 800m we are still driving along the outer edges of the farm. Fine stands of beech trees mark the boundary broken by a number of entrances to the farm and the farmyard.

A side entrance takes us directly into the old courtyard and the house. This is a huge mansion with an amazing history. Owned by the Cooke family it once had an estate covering a huge swathe of the surrounding countryside, in its day it was the local 'Big House'.

The last surviving members of the family, a brother and sister, passed away in recent years and now the place is subject of an executor sale.

The house, an early Georgian construction was somewhat damaged by fire in the 1920s.

The front part was rebuilt at the time. In need of much tender love and care it has all the relics of auld decency with a servants' quarters, a back stairs and the remnants of the service bell system in the depths of the house. In fact, the servants' quarters to the rear of the house is a residence in itself.

The rooms to the front are spacious and elegant with high ceilings and lots of original features including decorative plasterwork, covings, corbels, centrepieces and sash windows.

The reception rooms include a dining room, library and drawing room with a bay window that may have been added after the fire.

A Georgian window with fanlight gives great light to the return on the lovely staircase. This landing is home to a bathroom and small bedroom.

To the front of the house is a porch, a later addition that doesn't quite fit. However, for any new owner this house will be a labour of love to restore to its former grandeur.

To the rear is a traditional courtyard with stone-cut sheds and adjacent to that is the original farmyard made up of more stone buildings in need of repair.

A walled garden now in grass is accessed off the courtyard and beside that is a six column hayshed located in a haggard.

The land is fine grazing ground with good elevation in places descending to a lower spot with a pond. Walking the land with Tom Ryan, it was all as dry as a board and most of it has a fine sward of grass.


Laid out in big fields with great stands of trees, the place has 800m of road frontage onto the L3602 Pallas Road and frontage at the other side of the village onto a laneway that leads to the R498 Thurles road.

There is river frontage onto the Cramogue River that divides a 14ac piece from the rest.

The ground by and large is in good heart having been rented by good tenants over the years but it could do with tidying and fencing.

The property can be bought in its entirety or in lots with the first lot made up of the house and stone courtyard on about 6ac.

Two parcels of roadside land fronting the Pallas Road measuring c 95ac and 90ac form lots 2 and 3 respectively.

A parcel of 12.6ac and a 14ac portion with service road access to the Thurles road make up the final two lots.

There is no doubt that this is a fine farm and would suit dairying, beef, tillage or equestrian interests.

The property will be offered for sale by public auction under the hammer of Vincent Ryan of Thomas V Ryan, at the Anner Hotel, Thurles, at 2pm on Wednesday, June 7.

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