Farm Ireland

Saturday 22 October 2016

Swift sale is expected for mixed holding in Kilkenny

Jim O'Brien

Published 14/10/2015 | 02:30

Jonathan Swift was raised at the Swiftsheath estate in Kilkenny by his uncle Godwin
Jonathan Swift was raised at the Swiftsheath estate in Kilkenny by his uncle Godwin

A portion of the ancestral estate of the famous writer and satirist Dean Jonathan Swift is coming to auction and while the Kilkenny lands may not necessarily draw a crowd from literary circles, it will certainly interest farmers.

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Kilkenny land is a rare commodity on the market and the 87ac at Swiftsheath, Jenkinstown, Co Kilkenny is part of the historic Swiftsheath demesne, coming to auction with a guide price of €10,000/ac.

The most famous resident at Swiftsheath was undoubtedly Swift (1667 -1745), but the many biographies of the satirist written over the centuries fail to shed much light on his life at the estate.

We know his mother abandoned him after his father died and he was raised in Jenkinstown by his uncle Godwin.

We do know the young Swift went to school at Kilkenny College, riding to and from the Marble City every day on horseback.

The last of the Swift family to live at Swiftsheath was George Swifte Ewbank Briggs who, in 1971, sold the place to Brigette and Michael Lennon. The 87ac is being sold on the instructions of the current owner, Michael Lennon.

The property is located on the N77 road, 12km from Kilkenny City and 9km from Ballyraggett. It is close to the settlement of Jenkinstown and part of a vein of good quality land and a well-established farming community. Freshford is 6.5km away with the M8 motorway approximately 20km from the property.

Auctioneer Paddy Jordan is bringing the site for sale in two lots, with the first comprised of 57ac with extensive road frontage on to two roads and a traditional farmyard with a three-span hay shed, two lean-tos, a silage pit, cattle crush and feeding troughs, all on concrete.

The land is made up of 26ac of grass, 13ac of forestry and 18ac of tillage. The forestry is producing an annual premium of approximately €2,300 with 17 years remaining.

Aside from the planted forestry there are many lovely stands of trees including Oak, Beech and Ash.

Mr Jordan describes the farm as made up of top quality ground suitable for a wide range of uses.


The 57ac lot has three entrances and could make for an ideal residential farm, subject to obtaining the necessary planning permission.

The second lot comprising 30ac of ground is located almost directly opposite the first lot. With good road frontage and plenty of access, the parcel is currently in grass with a 7ac section planted in conifers bringing in an annual premium of approximately €1,200 with about 17 years remaining.

There are fine views of the surrounding countryside and good stands of mature timber on the boundaries. The presence of a derelict cottage just inside the entrance gate could be of assistance in seeking planning permission for this parcel.

The property will be auctioned at 3pm on Thursday, October 22 at the Newpark Hotel, Kilkenny.

Indo Farming


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