Farm Ireland

Monday 20 November 2017

Château Ford - the estate where Henry Ford's ancestors were tenants is on the market

Lisselan House comes with 315ac, 205ac of which is in tillage and grazing ground
Lisselan House comes with 315ac, 205ac of which is in tillage and grazing ground

The West Cork estate on which Henry Ford's grandfather was a tenant farmer is for sale. Lisselan House near Clonakilty has to be one of the most spectacular properties on the Irish market at the moment, with its 315ac of grazing, tillage and leisure grounds.

The picturesque house with extensive gardens, a working farm and a nine-hole golf course is for sale as a 122ac holding for €1.9m and as an entire on 315ac for €3.6m. The sale is being handled by Savills.

Lisselan was built for William Bence Jones between 1851 and 1853. While all great houses at the time were Georgian in design, this one, designed by Lewis Vulliamy, took its inspiration from the French château.

Later additions included the smoke-room wing and the lodge at the front gate, while the double-height glass and ironwork conservatory was built for the Cork Exhibition of 1902.

Lisselan comes with 315ac, 205ac of which is in tillage and grazing ground
Lisselan comes with 315ac, 205ac of which is in tillage and grazing ground

Situated on an elevated site over the Argideen river valley, the house is surrounded by more than 30ac of terraced gardens with flagstone pathways, a rose-covered pergola and wooden bridges over the river.

There is also a fully operational walled garden producing an array of hard and soft fruits, vegetables and herbs.

The house is laid out over four levels, with the main reception rooms on the ground floor and the bedrooms on the first and second floor, while rooms on the lower ground floor include a snooker room and staff accommodation.

The original features are all there including ornate cornicing and ceiling roses, open fireplaces, original wooden flooring and sash windows.

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The rooms are bright and airy with views onto the gardens, while the drawing and dining rooms both open to a large terrace overlooking the grounds and the surrounding countryside.

The courtyard behind the residence includes a number of useful outbuildings and also the lovely Pear Tree Cottage, a one-bedroom cottage set over two storeys and ideal for guest accommodation.

Other useful buildings include a range of large garages and a two-storey building that once housed the estate offices. The charming, two-storey gate lodge reflects the design of the main house and has accommodation that includes two living rooms, a kitchen and three bedrooms.

Lisselan Golf Club is a nine-hole parkland course taking up 80ac of ground.

Surrounded by mature woodlands with the Argideen river flowing through it, in 1996 it was voted one of the 10 favourite courses in Europe by Fore magazine. Uniquely, it has two trains to bring the golfer from holes one to two and holes three to four.

The Club House, once the estate manager's house, extends to 2,475 sq ft and contains a reception area, club offices, a clubroom, ladies' and gents' changing rooms, showers and storerooms. It has its own access to a by-road.

Thanks to the Argideen river and its generous stocks of salmon and trout, Lisselan is famous for its fishing, and the estate holds some of the best fishing rights in the country.

The entire property covers 315ac with some 30ac taken up by the house and gardens, and 80ac by the golf course.

The remainder is in farmland made up of top-class tillage ground along with pastureland and mature forestry stretched around the boundaries.

The farm was once part of a large dairy enterprise, but new milking yards were built away from the estate and the farmyard fell into a sate of decline and disrepair.

The yard as it stands has an extensive range of dated buildings in need of attention. The current owners have added a block of stables.

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