The €25m farm with Georgian residence and 750 acres
This 750ac Co Kildare estate is very much a working farm
Recent months have seen a wealth of large farms and estates on the Irish land market. One of the largest has to be the 750ac Harristown Demense at Brannockstown, near Kilcullen in Co Kildare. This former Huguenot estate, is on the market as a unit with a price tag of €25m.
The original estate was bought by the La Touche family in 1768. The Huguenot refugees became fully engaged with the social and economic life of their adopted country and were among the founding partners of the Bank of Ireland in 1783.
The Georgian residence, designed by the famous architect Whitmore Davis, originally had three storeys but was destroyed by fire in 1891. The house was rebuilt without the third storey but with a lantern skylight that floods the upper storey with plenty of daylight.
The La Touches left Harristown in 1921 and the estate remained idle until bought in 1946 by Michael and Doreen Beaumont who completely restored the house. The property is still in the ownership of the Beaumont family.
On a beautiful autumn day Paddy Jordan takes me through the heart of Kildare horsey country to reach Harristown. As we pass one imposing dry-stone wall after another, the list of neighbours is a veritable who's who of the 'equestocracy' of Ireland.
Harristown, though, surpasses them all and its drystone wall encircles 750ac of pasture, tillage ground and mature woods. The River Liffey runs through the demense providing and endless supply of natural water and natural drainage to the lands.
There are literally miles of road frontage around the property with three entrances and three gate lodges; one at Brannockstown, another, the Station Lodge on the Ballymore Eustace and one at the main entrance at Carnalway.
The long avenue to the house cuts through a powerful field of grass to one side and a huge stubble field on the other. "This is a working farm," explains Paddy Jordan, "it has been in tillage and cattle for a number of years and is suitable to any type of agricultural or bloodstock pursuit. " A total of 367ac is in stubble with 197ac in permanent pasture and just under 200ac in broadleaf old forestry, yards, avenues and parkland.