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Independent.ie

Wednesday 20 June 2018

Gallery: Massive 341ac estate on the market includes a 220-cubicle dairy unit

Historic period property comes with a working dairy unit

Fortgranite is a 341ac estate located close to Baltinglass; the farm facilities include a 220-cubicle dairy unit.
Fortgranite is a 341ac estate located close to Baltinglass; the farm facilities include a 220-cubicle dairy unit.

Jim O’Brien

One of the biggest estates to come on the market this year is Fortgranite, a 341ac farm with a period house and a range of other accommodation along with an current dairy operation, farm buildings and ancillary buildings in Baltinglass, Co Wicklow.

One of the biggest estates to come on the market this year is Fortgranite, a 341ac farm with a period house and a range of other accommodation along with an current dairy operation, farm buildings and ancillary buildings in Baltinglass, Co Wicklow.

The estate is for sale by private treaty in a sale handled by Paddy Jordan and Knight Frank and guided at €3.5m.

Located 5km from Baltinglass the property has been in the ownership of the Dennis family, direct descendants of Jonathan Swift, the essayist, poet, satirist and cleric who served as Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin and among whose  most famous works is the classic prose satire Gulliver’s Travels.

It was also home to Col Meade Dennis, who invented the Dennis Detector, which used radio signals to locate submarines during the world wars.

Unlike many properties of this nature, this is a working farm where a modern  farm infrastructure stands side by side with traditional farmyards.

The land is laid out in 20 divisions, of which two are separated from the rest by the approach road.

According to Paddy Jordan of Jordan auctioneers the land, which is all in permanent pasture, is of top-class quality and in good heart.

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Extending to 341ac, the major part of about 285ac forms the main block with the residence along with the yards. About 200ac is in permanent pasture with 85ac in parkland and meadows; the 45ac separated from the rest by the road is in grass, with 10ac in tillage.

Currently operating as a dairy farm, there is a good internal roadway giving access to the pasture.

The yard infrastructure is modern and operational. It includes 220 cubicles with slatted units, an 18-unit milking parlour with automatic feeders, a bulk tank with an 8,800ltr capacity, open silage pits, two silos, slurry tanks, haybarns and a range of cattle handling facilities that includes a cattle crush and a holding yard.

Other facilities include a plant room, an office and a workshop.

There is a wide range of traditional stone-cut farm buildings that are dated but useful, with some in better repair than others. These are laid out in traditional courtyards

A total of 56.58 entitlements have been established and claimed by the vendor under the BPS. For the remainder of 2018 these will be retained.

Upgraded

The main house with the estate is an 11-bedroom Georgian mansion based on a structure originally built in the 1720s, remodelled in the 1870s and upgraded in 1969.

The rooms have exceptional proportions, retaining the traditional décor along with all the finer things one expects at the upper end of Georgian living.

The three-storey over-basement house has a range of elegant reception rooms on the ground floor, including a drawing room, a morning room, a dining room, library, breakfast room, kitchen, back hall, an inner hall, a pantry and a cloakroom.

On the first floor are 10 bedrooms and four bathrooms and on the second floor is another bedroom and a schoolroom.

The lower ground floor or basement holds the former kitchen, former, larder, a boiler room, saddle room china room, wine cellar, a coal store and old workshop and four store-rooms.

Fortgranite is an amazing house and would make a private residence fit for a king. It could also be transformed into a boutique hotel to rival some of the more salubrious properties that have emerged on the Irish tourism and leisure scene.

However, it needs work and investment before any such development comes to pass.

There are three other dwelling houses on the property, including ‘Doyle’s Lodge’ with a sitting room, kitchen, bedroom and a bathroom.

‘Lennon’s Lodge is a one-bedroom residence with a sitting room and a bathroom, while the steward’s house has three bedrooms and the ‘Herd’s Cottage’ is a two-bedroom dwelling.

The house and yards are surrounded by beautiful gardens with an array of plants and shrubs and parkland that includes an arboretum.


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