Ruins with a view for €1.25m in Waterford
The 163ac Summerville Estate is steeped in Irish history and also had connections with Napoleon Bonaparte
Published 29/07/2015 | 02:30
A substantial farm in Co Waterford and former home of one of the most historic and interesting families in the country is on the market by private treaty.
The 163ac holding is centred around a neglected manor house originally built to a design by Charles Barry, the architect responsible for the 19th century restoration of the British Houses of Parliament.
Summerville Estate at Corballymore between Dunmore East and Tramore sits on 163ac of coastal land and can be bought by private treaty in its entirety or in lots. The entire comes with a guide price of €1.25m while the house on 23ac has a guide price of €175,000.
Corballymore is situated 5km from Waterford Airport, 7km from Dunmore East 7km and 11km from Tramore with Waterford City just 14km away.
The property was the seat of the Wyse family, a dynasty associated with Waterford since Norman times.
The family has an amazing history and as one of the last remaining "Old English Catholic" families its fortunes very much mirrored the twists and turns of Irish history down the centuries.
The Wyse lands were confiscated under Cromwell, returned under the Restoration; the family suffered under the Penal Laws and one of the most illustrious family members, Thomas Wyse, became active in support of Catholic emancipation.
He engineered the defeat of the local grandee, Lord Beresford in the 1826 election campaign, a win that encouraged Daniel O'Connell to seek the Clare seat in the by-election of 1828.
After emancipation, Thomas himself was elected to represent Waterford City in Westminster from 1835 to 1847. He refused to support the movement to repeal the Act of Union, remaining a loyal supporter of the connection with Britain.
He was more successful in politics than in marriage. On the face of it, he married well when Laetitia Bonaparte, the niece of the great Napoleon became his wife in 1821. However, it was a marriage that went aground in 1828 on the rocky shores of infidelity as Laetitia was a true Bonaparte when it came to matters of the flesh.
In later life, Thomas left politics for the world of diplomacy serving as British Ambassador to Greece.
The estate fell into decline and was being sold under the Encumbered Estates Act in the 1860s when the estranged and disinherited son of Thomas and Laetitia, Napoleon Alfred Wyse, (known as Nappo) bought the property and came to live there.
He undertook a lavish restoration of Corballymore but eventually sold up and returned to Paris.
His brother William Charles, not wanting to let the estate to go out of the family, bought it but he was the wrong man for the political times that were in it.
An avowed unionist he swam against the tide of rising nationalism, falling foul of the Catholic Church and the Land League.
The unfortunate man followed in his brother Nappo's footsteps and departed for France and died in Cannes.
The house 'St John's Manor' at Corballymore is currently boarded up and in bad shape. It was built c1870 in a Scottish-Baronial style and comes with a two-storey gate lodge and courtyard, also in poor condition.
Situated in a beautiful setting with mature woodland trees it has direct access to the beach and is surrounded by good arable land. Roseanne De Vere Hunt of selling agents Sherry FitzGerald Country Homes, which is handling the property along with local agents Sherry FitzGerald Rohan, said the place "is oozing with potential and would again make an excellent residential estate."
However, the house and its surrounding buildings will take considerable investment.
The coastal land extending to 163ac is nearly all in tillage and is in good heart having been well looked over the years. All leases on the land expire in August so any new buyer or buyers will have vacant possession.
The ground is in one block and is available in a series of natural lots that have excellent access and road frontage with some having extensive sea frontage.
The lots include four individual parcels of land varying in size from c33ac to c62ac with the house and out houses available separately and an 8ac parcel with putative site potential is also available separately.
The house, gate lodge and outbuildings on 23ac is guided at €175,000, an amazing price until one looks at the restoration job.
The 8ac parcel is guided at €75,000 or €9,000/ac, the 62ac is guided at €450,000 or €7,250/ac, a 38ac piece is guided at €295,000 or €7,700/ac while a 33ac piece is guided at €275,000 or €8,300/ac. The entire is guided at €1.25m.