Tuesday 12 December 2017

Single farmer snaps up stately home listed at €7.5m

Eimear Ni Bhraonain

AN unmarried Irish farmer is the new owner of an 18th-century Palladian mansion on 444 acres of land overlooked by a historic castle.

Remarkably, after just three weeks of viewings, Newberry Hall Demesne, near Carbury, Co Kildare, which had a guide price of €7.5m, sold to the young man for an undisclosed sum.

Richard Robinson (90) told the Irish Independent he was "very surprised" by the quick sale and the level of interest in his family home.

Mr Robinson's grandfather, Richard, a local farmer, bought the property for the sum of £8,500 in 1911.

Almost 100 years later, Newberry Hall Demesne sold for more than 117 times what the Robinson family paid.

Despite a tough economic climate -- and a dwindling interest in the property market -- 13 people visited Mr Robinson's home including a man from Northern Ireland who arrived by helicopter and declared that the spectacular house wasn't "as grand" as he thought.

"He just wanted a trophy house," said Mr Robinson, who is happy his beloved home has gone to the right buyer.

"I am satisfied I have got a man who is going to restore my house as it needs to be restored. He actually has employed one of the leading consultant architects in the business to direct the restoration," he said.

Mr Robinson said the buyer, who did not wish to be identified, would live in the house and run the farm on the land surrounding the property.

"It needs cleaning up but he is prepared to do that. I'd sooner see a man look after it, use it and live in it than see it go to a trophy hunter."

Mr Robinson admitted he was willing to sell his home for a "smaller price" to the right person. "I am 90 years of age, and how much money do I want?"

He also said that the price agreed would not be disclosed at the insistence of the buyer.

Newberry Hall, which is a listed building, has remained relatively untouched since it was first built in the 1760s.

Irish Independent

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