Wednesday 7 December 2016

Cork chateau, golf course and 315 acres on the market for €5.4m less than original price

The price of the Lisselan Estate has been slashed by 60pc

Published 21/10/2016 | 02:30

Lisselan Estate was originally on the market for €9m
Lisselan Estate was originally on the market for €9m
The extensive river frontage provides salmon and sea trout angling
The library and hall with staircase
The front of the property
The formal dining room
A statue in the extensive garden
The nine-hole golf course
The drawing room

In one of the biggest price knock downs seen yet in the luxury country homes market, the Lisselan Estate in Clonakilty, Co Cork is being relaunched to market today seeking €3.6m - for the house and 315 acres - a reduction of €5.4m off the whopping €9m initially sought by its owners when it was first brought to market.

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Back in the summer 2014 it was estimated that the French style chateau mansion and its sprawling estate beside the River Argideen - including a nine hole golf course - would test the mettle of the country homes market.

The massive price reduction is an indicator of the vendors being considerably more realistic - but also of a slow down that has set in at the top of the country homes market in the wake of Brexit and a waning of interest from US based business billionaire buyers who characterised this market in 2012 and 2013.

Just prior to Lisselan being brought to market in 2014, Hong Kong based American global and shipping mogul Jim Thompson had bought the Woodhouse estate in Stradbally, Waterford for €6.4m, while US media and land billionaire John Malone had scooped up Humewood Castle in Kiltegan for a price believed to be over €7m.

The extensive river frontage provides salmon and sea trout angling
The extensive river frontage provides salmon and sea trout angling

Charles Noell, the founder of Baltimore-based JMI Equity, was pipped to the €5m post for the deeds of Dowth Hall in Co Meath, which was built in 1760. He ended up acquiring the 18th Century Ardbraccan estate house in Meath instead.

But interest has simmered down from the USA in the wake of public controversies on our corporate tax system and a perception that much of the post crash value has dissipated in Ireland.

Lisselan is itself owned by a British based family. It was acquired in the 1990's by David Blackburn who controlled the British Mitsubishi car franchise. The estate has itself got sterling links to the motor sector - Lisselan was the birthplace of Henry Ford's grandfather who emigrated to the United States in famine times. Ford returned here to set up manufacturing in Cork and took the hearthstone of his ruined family cottage back to the USA where he used it in the construction of a seaside mansion.

The main house with 11,000 square feet - ten times the size of an average family semi - was built between 1851 and 1853 by William Bence Jones to a design by Lewis Vulliamy. The house also comes 30 acres of Robinsonian gardens which were also planted in the 1850's.

The current owners added the golf course, which has a local membership and the estate also has 1,170 metres of private frontage to the River Argideen which is known for both salmon and sea trout.

Although it originally had thousands of acres, it is now on a reduced but still considerable 315 acres including farm land (170 acres), near the West Cork coast and 45 minutes from Cork City Airport.

The library and hall with staircase
The library and hall with staircase

Accommodation includes a reception hall, formal dining room, a drawing room, card room, library, basement level billiard room, Bavarian room, conservatory, gun room and kitchenette, with scope to part-excavate and lower some of the courtyard, to make for a more regal and family-friendly kitchen.

Upstairs, over two levels, are a main bedroom suite which comes with a dressing room, a guest suite, six other bedrooms and two more bathrooms, with large landings. There's a a staff apartment, offices and lots of storage, and there's also a wine cellar, utility, laundry, etc, with second stairs from basement to top floor for servants' use. A dumb waiter links the basement to the ground level by the dining room. There's also a 114 year old conservatory, sourced from the 1902 Cork Exhibition and the property also includes a range of other smaller lodges, cottages and residences, some of which have been let out for many years by the Blackburn family who have maintained their links to the area.

Lisselan Estate,

Clonakilty, County Cork

Asking price: €3.6m

Agent: Savills (01) 6634350

The front of the property
The front of the property

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