Farm Ireland

Monday 23 April 2018

18th-century Kilcooley Abbey boasts five staff houses on 1,170ac and a guide price of €2.1m

Historic estate an hour from Dublin

The Kilcooley Estate at Urlingford is on the market for €2.1 million.
The Kilcooley Estate at Urlingford is on the market for €2.1 million.
Jim O'Brien

Jim O'Brien

An historic estate with an imposing 18th-century mansion and the freehold title of 1,170ac is on the market by private treaty with a guide price of €2.1m.

Kilcooley Abbey is located three miles from Urlingford and a little over an hour's drive from Dublin and Cork on the nearby M8 motorway. The estate is one of the more substantial properties to come on the Irish market in recent years, and is being sold by agents Colliers.

A 950ac section of the estate is leased to Coillte, the balance being woodland and farmland.

The estate is surrounded by a high stone wall and includes the main house, five staff houses, a large range of outbuildings, which all require updating, and the ruins of historic Kilcooley Abbey.

In Burke's Guide to Country Houses, Kilcooley Abbey is described as a large-winged house that was built around 1790 by William Barker, the last Baronet of Kilcooley whose family had previously lived in the old abbey, which was converted to a house around 1700.

The house was partly destroyed by a fire in 1840 and, during the rebuilding, the family once again occupied the old abbey.


The interior largely dates from the period after the fire with a vast galleried hall – partly top-lit by a glazed dome, low panelling, a panelled dining room and library with Victorian bookcases of carved oak.

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When the Barker family died out the house fell to the Ponsonby family, who continued to live in Kilcooley until its sale some years ago. The house is now on the market on the instructions of the receiver.

Of the 1,170ac, Coillte has a 150-year lease on 950ac granted to its predecessor in 1934. It is a condition of the lease that on expiry the lands must be returned to a proper agricultural state prior to being handed back.

Of the remaining 220ac, about 180ac are described as good grassland with the balance featuring fine woodland, avenues, grounds and a 5ac ornamental lake with a boathouse.

The accommodation in the great house extends to 3,000sq ft and includes a large reception hall, three reception rooms, a morning room, and kitchen wing that includes the kitchen, staff dining room, staff sitting room and library with carved shelving.

The first floor has four bedrooms with a spacious galleried landing while the North Wing forms a self-contained unit with an entrance hall and three general rooms. It is also home to the children's quarters with three children's bedrooms, three bathrooms and a nanny's room.

There are in all five lodges/houses on the property.

There are two at the entrance, one of which is derelict, the other a modern structure with three bedrooms, living room, kitchen and bathroom.

The third house is a two-storey structure which requires minor work in order to be rentable.

It boasts an entrance porch, kitchen, sitting room, dining room, four bedrooms and two bathrooms.

The fourth residence is a part-cut stone two-storey house, which has been upgraded and includes a sitting room, dining room and kitchen.

The fifth is a modern prefabricated bungalow with a living/dining room, kitchen, three bedrooms and a bathroom.

The three habitable lodges have been occupied by the same tenants for a number of years and provide rents of €300, €360 and €460 per month.

On either side of the main house are two small courtyards with lean-to storage, a smallcoach-house and stores. Beyond the house there are extensive outbuildings of various ages and condition, including old cattle wintering units, as well as barns and open-fronted machinery sheds. The original quadrangular courtyard is in very poor repair. However, two sides still retain the lines of original loose boxes.

Irish Independent