Farm Ireland

Friday 25 May 2018

Farm spanning 164ac on the market in Cavan was once home to a Breffni family stronghold

The land needs some attention but has the potential to make a fine beef or sheep enterprise say the selling agents
The land needs some attention but has the potential to make a fine beef or sheep enterprise say the selling agents
Jim O'Brien

Jim O'Brien

Kevit Castle at Crossdoney in Cavan looks more like a large contemporary house than a castle, but it sits on the site of an ancient settlement belonging to the O'Reilly's of Breffni.

The 5,100sqft 1950s architect-designed house with a gate lodge and 164ac of land is for sale by private treaty with a guide price of €1.4m.

Located just outside Cavan town, the property is on the site of a 13th century O'Reilly castle referred to in the Annals of the Four Masters.

It developed in various shapes and sizes over the centuries and, according to records, a residence was built on the site in 1775.

In 1855 a local man, Phillip Smith, who made his fortune building the Pennsylvanian railway, returned to his native soil, bought the site and renamed it Kevit Castle in honour of the O'Reilly clan. He married, had seven children and the Smith family and their descendants have lived at Kevit ever since.

In 1958 the current house was built to the design of a Danish architect named Berthelson. The gate lodge at the entrance was part of the original buildings and dates from around 1800, while the entrance, with its stone piers topped with two stone-carved lions, dates from 1856.

Located close to Cavan town, the Danish-style split level house was built in the 1950s
Located close to Cavan town, the Danish-style split level house was built in the 1950s

The house is reached by a long avenue leading through parkland dotted with specimen trees. It is a split-level structure and would have been unique in Ireland when it was built in the late 1950s.

A flight of steps leads to the front porch, hall and the ground floor. This floor is home to a drawing room, dining room and a fully-fitted kitchen, the master en-suite bedroom and bathrooms.

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The drawing room is centred around an impressive Connemara-marble fireplace, while the Kilkenny-marble dining room fireplace surrounds a Jotul wood burning stove.


The floor on this room is an antique parquet flooring believed to date from 1850. The kitchen is a fully fitted, bespoke modern facility in country style.

The upstairs accommodation includes the family bathroom and three bedrooms, with one having its own sitting room. The lower ground floor contains a spacious garage, a fuel house, laundry and shower rooms, a boiler room, an office and a store.

The house has been renovated in recent times to include a zoned oil-fired central heating system and a new septic tank. A burglar and fire alarm system has also been installed.

The gate lodge was built around 1800 and needs complete refurbishment. It is an attractive building with a bow front that may have been added in 1856. The entire building was refurbished in 1970 and is now a three-bedroom house as part of the gated entrance to Kevit.

The farmyard is made up of derelict stone-cut buildings and includes a two-span hay shed with lean-to.

Throughout, the property is dotted with a wide range of specimen trees including copper beech, beech, chestnut, oak, lime and tulip trees.

The land is in one large block laid out in 24 large but manageable fields that are, in the main, elevated and self draining.

The divisions are separated by traditional hedgerow that needs attention, while a network of internal laneways service the fields.

It was farmed extensively over the years and much of the ground was rented out, but Celia Lamb of selling agents Ganly Walters says the place would make a great beef or sheep operation. The land is good grazing ground that needs attention, but has plenty of potential.

Indeed, it is expected that there will be a lot of local interest in the property as it is rare for a farm of this size and quality to come on the market in the border counties.

The private treaty sale is jointly handled by Property Partners Quinn and Ganly Walters.

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