The relics of auld decency in Laois
This 19th century property comes with 60ac and could make a top class residential farming holding for a buyer with deep pockets
In the days before the motorways those of us who regularly drove from the midwest or from Cork to Dublin were familiar with every inch of the N7 between Portlaoise and Newlands Cross. Motorists with a heavy foot developed an intimate knowledge of the places where members of the Garda Siochána were wont to lurk with radar guns at the ready.
One of those spots is a straight stretch of road between the Montague Hotel and the village of Ballybrittas between Portlaoise and Monasterevin. Many a speeding fine and endorsement was dished out on that long lean stretch of tarmac.
People who spent years traversing this route probably took no notice of a neat gate lodge at the entrance to Ashfield Court, an old estate on the edge of Ballybrittas.
The house, gate lodge and 60ac is for sale by private treaty with Conway Auctioneers in Kildare who are guiding €1m.
Last Friday the familiar N7 brought me to the gates of Ashfield Court and I drove up along a shady avenue to the door of the 200-year-old residence.
To say the place will take refurbishment is probably an understatement.
The place has all the relics of auld decency but while the pessimist will bemoan the scale of the task, anyone with a tinge of optimism will see the possibilities.
The sooner those possibilities are realised the better as the undergrowth and overgrowth around the house are beginning to impinge on the building and Mother Nature has some serious plans for the place.