Shannonside 'big house' and farm for €6.5m
One of the great houses of Ireland, Glin Castle is also home to a thriving dairy enterprise
The Shannon Estuary is one of Ireland's richest natural resources. Some of the finest farmland in the country graces its shores and it also boasts a biodiverse environment teeming with all forms of life from dolphins to drakes.
One of the most historic and longstanding settlements on the Shannon is Glin Castle on 380ac, until recently home to the Knight of Glin and one of the renowned FitzGeralds of Desmond. The hereditary title became extinct with the death of the 29th Knight of Glin in 2011. The castle and estate are for sale by private treaty with a guide price of €6.5m.
The FitzGeralds were one of the most prominent Norman families that arrived with Strongbow on the first wave of Norman invaders in 1169. The family is descended from the Norman Maurice FitzGerald, a companion-in-arms to Strongbow.
Maurice's descendants became the Knights of Glin having been granted extensive lands in County Limerick in the early 14th century and despite centuries of dungeon, fire, sword, revolution and confiscation they held on to this piece of their lands until now.
The present day Glin Castle is a castellated mansion on a fine setting overlooking the Shannon estuary less than an hour's drive from Limerick city and Shannon airport
Most recently run as a boutique hotel, the 20,550sqft castle has accommodation that includes 21 bedrooms with ensuite facilities.
The castle has superb interiors with decorative plasterwork and notable collections of Irish furniture and paintings.
The castle building is surrounded by 23ac of pleasure grounds that includes formal and informal gardens, ornamental hedging and orchards.
Unlike many estates of its kind, the Castle is home to a modern working farm and its 380ac hosts a successful dairy operation with 292 cows. The entire estate comprises 23ac in pleasure grounds, 92ac in woodland and the balance in productive pasture.
The farm is run as a partnership with a local farmer who has added his 100ac to the available land. While the partnership can be continued with the farmer in question, in the event that it is discontinued the cow numbers may have to decrease by 100.
As of January 2015 the stock on the farm included 292 cows, 90 in-calf heifers and 92 weanling heifers.
The farm facilities include a 30 unit milking parlour and cubicle accommodation with 200 cubicles, various storage and cattle sheds, cattle handling facilities, fodder facilities and slurry storage. The pasture is laid out in dairy paddocks and serviced by internal roads.
David Ashmore of selling agents Sherry FitzGerald reports active interest in the estate and while one might expect that a future in the leisure and tourism industry might lie in store for the old estate he seems to think that it may be bought as a private residence.
"I think the presence of the working dairy farm is attracting buyers with an eye to a property that has everything Glin Castle has to offer while generating income at the same time."
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