Principled positions on farm pad in Co Meath for €2.5m
Built 200 years ago, this estate has a colourful story
Tullyard, a Georgian estate about three kilometres north of Trim, Co Meath, has been a successful working farm for years. Producing award-winning meat and poultry, the owners have made a go of things with equal parts of skill and enthusiasm. This is more than can be said for the man who built the place 200 years ago, who, by all accounts, had neither.
The lands at Tullyard were acquired by Samuel Winter, who was made provost of Trinity College in 1652 ('Cromwell's Provost', as he's affectionately known in Trinity circles). A descendant of his, Thomas Pratt Winter, had the house built on the estate in 1808 and was then obliged to retire there, having made a bit of a mess of his career prospects as a barrister by standing up for his principles. An exhaustive online history of the Bomford family, with whom the Winters intermarried several times, tells the story.
Thomas was made a captain in the Lawyers' Corps of the Yeomanry in 1798 but resigned, because he felt "great repugnance to aid in any way the coercive measures now adopted by the government and much indignation, particularly at the systematic burning of the houses of the peasantry, resorted to for the suppression of outrage".
He would later profess to regret this "hasty and false step", as it meant he was obliged to fall back on agriculture, "for which he had little inclination and no training". Later, Thomas' son Samuel made his home there with his wife Lucy and their seven children, and the property would remain in the Winter family until 1928.
Since then, it's been owned by only three other families, having been bought by its current owners in 1976.
The house and curtilage are much the same as they were back in Thomas' time. The parkland is full of great old trees, the beautiful cut-stone courtyard is still standing, and the house still has all its period features - high ceilings with cornicing, sash windows with shutters, original fireplaces and polished wood floors - although it's been well maintained.
A cluster of towering hardwoods stands sentinel at the entrance gates. Within, you make your way up an avenue lined with trees and railed fencing towards a gravelled forecourt out the front of the house.
Tullyard is an odd shape - a two-storey house with a three-storey wing to one side, with a floor area of 5,509 sq ft. There's an impressive portico at the front, flanked by six-over-six pane sash windows at ground level and smaller three-over-three pane windows above.
Inside the portico is a fan-lit front door opening into a double-height entrance hall, where there's a cantilevered staircase swanning its way up to a rather imposing gallery landing above.
To the right is an informal sitting room, dual-aspect, with a fireplace for casual sitting about, and to the left is a formal dining room done out in mossy green, with a polished wood floor and a fireplace.
Straight ahead are two doors, one leading into a drawing room, also dual-aspect, with a fireplace and French doors to the garden. The other door opens to a second, inner hallway, off which are two offices and a guest toilet.
Continuing down this inner hall you pass the servants' staircase and reach the country-style kitchen, in the three-storey wing. The kitchen has beechwood countertops and an Aga set into a brick alcove, and there's a picture window looking out to the courtyard. Up a few steps is a family room, and there's also a larder and laundry off the kitchen.
Around the gallery landing on the first floor are four bedrooms and a family bathroom. The master bedroom is to the right, with an en-suite off it. You go through the en-suite to reach a walk-in wardrobe.
In the three storey wing there's a fifth bedroom, a guest room, which has a walk-in wardrobe, and another bathroom. And on the second floor of that wing is an attic bedroom with an en-suite.
Tullyard comes with just under 189 acres, of which 150 are in tillage and the rest in pasture. A lawned garden leads from the front of the house to the back, where there's a terrace and flower garden. Past this there's a tennis court and orchard.
Directly behind the house is the courtyard, surrounded by lovely old stone buildings, among them a two-storey coach house and stables, a cottage, a wine cellar and various store rooms, workshops and sheds.
Off the courtyard is a separate farmyard with animal handling facilities, a grain silo, a cut-stone barn and lean-tos.
Despite its age, Tullyard is not on Meath County Council's list of protected structures, so it's lumbered with an energy rating - E2 in this case.
The asking price is €2.5m for the house on 137 acres, or €3.5m for the house and the whole 189 acres of land.
Trim, Co Meath
Asking price: €2.5m
Agent: Ganly Walters (01) 662 3255 and REA TE Potterton in Trim (046) 943 1391