Thursday 21 September 2017

Fix it: Beachfront castle in Wexford

Cahore Castle
Cahore Castle
Mark Keenan

Mark Keenan

What is it? Cahore Castle is an 1840-built Tudor Gothic country home at Ballygarrett in Co Wexford designed by Daniel Robertson. Home to the D’Olier George family until 1949, it was owned by the order of St John of God until the 1960s, when it became a hotel. It was bought in 2003 for development, and investigative work started but later stalled.

Tell me more about the place... 

Well, there’s a whopping 10,000 sq ft of accommodation over four floors. It comes with 12 acres located overlooking a sandy beach in one of the Southeast’s most popular tourist destinations. It has five big receptions, including the great entrance hall and nine bedrooms, two of which are in the great tower.

The good news?

It costs the same as a two-bed terrace home in Dublin! This is a fairy-tale castle looking over the beach and the sea. On the dream-home front, it doesn’t get much better than that! A development precedent has also been set, with permission previously achieved but lapsed, to reinstate the hotel with 64 bedrooms and to add a development of 24 chalets on the land. So, with the tourism sector reviving and hotel rooms once again moving into shortage, this is a chance to make big loot with both a live-in business and development. It would appear that the roof is sound, that the building is dry inside and no structural issues (aside from the floors) have become immediately apparent.

And the bad news? 

The floorboards have been pulled up in many of the rooms (most are sound and stored) and the original fireplaces are gone. This is a simply huge building. It will require replastering, replumbing, rewiring and new fittings throughout. Poorly built extensions undertaken in the John of God years will need to be pulled down to re-create the internal courtyard. The fact that this historic fantasy home is zealously protected will increase the cost of restoration.

How much to buy it? 

The price for the castle on 12 acres is just €325,000.

And to fix it up? 

This is a simply enormous job. You’d likely need to spend an additional (ahem) €2–€3m to get it shipshape and ready to move into. That’s before you start thinking about a single chalet.

What will I end up with? 

One of the best private seaside residences in the Southeast  or else a residential live-in hotel business and holiday home scheme in a cracking tourist location. What beats living in a fantasy castle by the beach? Win the Lotto and buy it!

Who do I talk to? 

Callum Bain at Colliers, (01) 633 3700

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