Royal lands with link to St Patrick could be worth their weight in gold

Book of Kells hints at the value of compact Meath holdings

farmland at Longwood
farmland at Longwood
Jim O'Brien

Jim O'Brien

Smaller properties continue to sell, with a constant trade in the more compact holdings. In that regard Thomas Potterton of Trim is handling the sale of a 28ac parcel of ground with a derelict house at Ballinabarney, Longwood in Co Meath

.The price is guided prior to auction at €9,000-10,000/ac. Located 3km from Clonard, 3km from Longwood and 9km from the N4 at Enfield, the land is described by Mr Potterton as a beautiful piece of ground laid out in four fields bounded by mature hedgerow.

The River Boyne runs along one of the boundaries, and the place is not far from the Royal Canal. The auctioneer says that while it is the best of grazing land it could equally do well under the plough and suit a tillage farmer.

The derelict house on the land should boost the value. The property will be sold at auction at the Property Exchange, Trim at 3pm on Wednesday, December 4. Navan

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Staying in Meath a smaller parcel of ground is coming to auction with the sale of 13.8ac of ground at Donaghmore near Navan. Aidan Heffernan of Sherry Fitzgerald Royal is handling the business and guiding the price at about €210,000 or €15,000/ac. The prospective transaction follows in a long line of land sales in the area.

Donaghmore is home to one of the more ancient monastic sites in Ireland dating back to the 5th century, when it was reputedly founded by St Patrick and handed into the care of his disciple, Cassanus.

A monastic settlement continued to exist there into the next millennium, when the Book of Kells records that lands around the monastery were bought by monks in the late 11th century for 20oz of gold. Around this time the Vikings were on the rampage, and an 110ft round tower was built to protect the monks and their valuables.

The tower still stands. Located 400m off the N51 Slane road, the 13ac holding is 2km from Navan and described by Mr Heffernan as top-quality arable ground currently in stubbles and serviced by mains water located at the roadside.

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Laid out in three small fields, the place would be an ideal addition to a current enterprise or, with the establishment of local need and the required planning permission, it could equally become the site for a residence and a compact hobby farm.

The auction takes place at 3pm on Wednesday, November 20 at the Ardboyne Hotel, Navan, where Mr Heffernan will gladly accept bids in established currencies - and won't be averse to the odd purse full of gold being bid.

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