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Saturday 18 August 2018

VIDEO: Peek inside this stunning stud farm on the market with €15m price guide

The Tudor style residence
The Tudor style residence
'A most impressive property'
Jim O'Brien

Jim O'Brien

This year has been marked by the arrival on to the market of some large properties. Grangecon Demense and Stud located near Baltinglass in Wicklow may well prove to be the pick of them all.

Currently owned by a Californian couple, it one of the most remarkable properties to come on the Irish market in some time. 

The amazing Tudor style residence with an array of equestrian facilities on 256ac of the best of land could be the rural sale of the year. 

The guide price of €15m would tells its own story.

There are three entrances to the estate and three gate lodges from which marvellous avenues wind their way through the best of grazing ground, immaculate paddocks and parkland.

The house is in Tudor style and comes with a Tudor provenance that apparently has a firm foundation.

A timber head above the back door has an inscription bearing the date 1576. The house dates back to the 16th century but was largely changed following a 20th century fire.

It is in excellent condition throughout having been completely renovated in recent years.

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The accommodation in the main house, including a staff apartment, extends to 12,905 sq ft.

In all the accommodation extends to 16,888 sq ft when the manager's house, the three lodges and a groom's apartment are included.

To adequately describe the house at Grangecon would take a booklet if not a book.

The array of rooms and spaces include drawing rooms, a dining room, a library, a sunroom, a breakfast room, a fully -fitted modern kitchen, a bar, a boot room, a pantry, a spacious reception hall and cloakrooms.

All of these are in top quality condition with original features beautifully maintained.

The east wing of the house is home to a chapel or ballroom, a wine cellar, a picture gallery, a study, an office and a space called a loggia.

The sleeping area includes seven bedrooms, three with ensuite facilities along with three bathrooms, three shower rooms, a living room, a kitchen area and a roof garden

The yards are a mix of old style courtyards and modern buildings all of which are in use.

There is a total of 65 stables including the Mares' Yard with 20 stables, the Yearling Yard with 23 stables, the Foaling Yard has 11 stables and the Isolation Yard has two stables.

The stud has an established track record in producing thoroughbreds to race and sell.

It is well laid out in 33 post and rail paddocks and fields all accessed by internal roadways.

'A most impressive property'
'A most impressive property'

The farm includes the widest range of equestrian facilities including lunging rings, sand arenas, a horse walker and internal and external exercise facilities.

The lands are farmed using organic fertilisers and the River Griese bounding the estate delivers an endless supply of water.

The estate is in the neighbourhood of renowned and successful stud farms including Barronstown, Gilltown, New Abbey and Kildangan.

It has a huge reputation as a nursery for thorougbreds and its 'graduates' are delivering success worldwide.

Last year, a Grangecon-bred yearling filly by the legendary Frankel made 1.4m guineas at the Tattersalls October yearling sales.

All in all this is a most impressive property, probably one of the finest to come on the market in recent years.

It is set on the best of grazing ground and could be turned to any agricultural use.

Willie Coonan of Coonan's is delighted to be one of three agents engaged in the sale, "This is a superb place, a signature property and will make for one of the headline sales of 2018," he said.

The property is for sale by private treaty and handled by Coonan's Maynooth, Goff's and Sothebys.

Grangecon has been occupied and farmed since the 13th century when Cistercian monks built a castle on the site.

The lands of the abbey and the castle were granted to Thomas Eustace after Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries. Eustace was made Viscount Baltinglass in 1541 but the family found themselves on the wrong side of Elizabeth I and the lands were granted to the Harrington family where they remained until the 1830s.

The Mahony family from Limerick then acquired Grangecon. David Mahony's father had been an O'Mahony and managed the Limerick estates of the Earl of Devon. When he decided to lose the 'O' and change his religion, fortune favoured the family.

His son David developed a thriving law practice in Dublin where his brother Pierce became Daniel O'Connell's solicitor.

In 1900, its most colourful chieftain, Pierce Charles De Lacy O'Mahony took over. He reinstated the 'O' in the family name and lived as an Irish chieftain wearing a saffron kilt and accompanied by wolfhounds and bagpipers.

He was said to have had three names, two wives and three faiths and was honoured by the kings of two opposing countries in WWI.

One of his sons, also Pierce, was implicated in the disappearance of the Irish Crown Jewels from Dublin Castle prior to the visit of Edward VII to Dublin in 1907.

Dermot O'Mahony inherited the estate in 1914, became a pioneering farmer in Patagonia and returned to Grangecon where he remained until his death in 1960.

The estate was then bought by a German couple Herman Hungerland and his wife Isobel and in 2000 it was bought by a Californian couple Rick and Sue Barnes.

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