Tuesday 17 July 2018

Mansion with 43 acres of land for sale in Ardagh

The exterior of Cahermoyle House
The exterior of Cahermoyle House
Double-height lobby at Cahermoyle House

Donal Buckley

Cahermoyle House, a mansion constructed in a Venetian palazzo style and sitting on 43 acres in Ardagh, Co Limerick, is for sale with a €900,000 guide price.

Agents Savills say that it has potential for a variety of uses subject to planning permission. These could include a hotel, nursing home and - with its own chapel - it would also suit a wedding venue.

Its palazzo design shows influences of Venetian, Tuscan, Romanesque and Gothic styles which prompted a local historian to comment that the house would look more in place by a canal in Venice than in its remote rural setting.

Its many attractive features, to be seen at their best in the double-height lobby, were inspired by a member of the O'Brien clan and the designer of the original house renowned architect, J.J. McCarthy, who worked during the nineteenth century Gothic revival, designing well known cathedrals in Armagh and Cobh.

Cahermoyle's double-height lobby is its most impressive room and features an ambulatory on the ground and first floors, separated from the lobby by rendered arcades with column capitals depicting different scenes, including cows and milkmaids, hunting dogs and boars. It also includes an impressive fireplace. All the principal reception rooms are located at ground floor.

It total floor area including the 2,000 sq ft (186 sq m) chapel extends to about 36,500 sq ft (3,391 sq m). In all, there are more than 30 rooms. In addition, there are outbuildings and a gardener's house. Outdoor features include a walled garden, formal garden mainly laid to lawn, outdoor swimming pool, 25 acres of pasture and 15 acres of woods.

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Double-height lobby at Cahermoyle House

It is being sold by McKinnon Investments.

The original part of the house was constructed by Edward Smith O'Brien, son of William Smith O'Brien, an Irish nationalist Member of Parliament and leader of the Young Ireland movement. Edward commissioned McCarthy's designs.

The house is in three principal sections. The original house is entered via a porch and is constructed of dressed and cut limestone. External features include the round-headed openings with cut stone voussoirs supported on rendered columns with decorative capitals.

A number of internal period features form part of the original house, including timber panelling and cornicing, marble fireplaces and window shutters. Attached to the western elevation of the original house is a two-storey wing extension enhanced by a single-storey projecting arcade. Its accommodation includes service rooms and bedrooms with ensuite bath/shower rooms.

To the northern elevation is a more modern extension, providing bedroom accommodation over two storeys. Attached is a range of service rooms on the ground floor which adjoin the west wing and form a central courtyard. The service rooms include a commercial kitchen.

Cahermoyle reportedly means the stone fort of the soft ground and there appears to be the remains of such a fort nearby, dating back about 2,000 years.

While the main house dates from 1871, after The Oblate Fathers purchased it in the 1920s they made a number of additions including constructing the chapel and both wings - one modern and one traditional. They also ran a model farm. In 1990 Cahermoyle was sold in lots, with the existing property purchased for a nursing home which operated until 2017.

It is located 2km from the village of Ardagh, famous for the Ardagh Chalice, considered one of the finest works of art dating from the 8th century.

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