Stepping back in time
This classic equestrian property has the potential to become a powerful farm
"You're going to take a step back in time now," says Paul Murtagh as we approach the curved hedges and railings leading to Claremont farm near Milltownpass in Co Westmeath.
This Victorian house and farmyard on 383ac is a collector's item, if one could afford to collect items of this size and value. Time has certainly stood still here on a farm that looks as if it is under a preservation order that is maintained with puritanical rigidity.
This quaint extensive holding is for auction with a guide price of €3m or over €7,800/ac and has annual entitlements of between €28,000 and €29,000 until 2019.
Located 2km from the village of Milltownpass, between the N4 and the N6, everything about the place, the avenue, the gates and the hedges smacks of a bygone era of order and expectation.
The farm was for centuries in the ownership of the Ronaldson family, the last occupant being the famous horseman Cecil Ronaldson.
Cecil was not a man who embraced change with anything that approached fervour, according to Mr Murtagh.
As we drive into the huge courtyard behind the house, the sight that greets us is testament to a man that liked to keep things as they are.
The quadrangle is enclosed by a range of stone cut sheds with arched doorways and wooden doorways painted in a deep maroon.