Boland’s Lock, Cappancur, Tullamore, Co Offaly €525k
The builders of the Grand Canal kicked off from Dublin in 1756 and didn’t make great time, taking almost half a century to reach the Shannon. And around Tullamore at the turn of the century, one of the builders lost the run of himself entirely.
Michael Hayes unleashed his creative spirit when he built the keeper’s house for the 26th lock.
And by all accounts he got into trouble over his finished masterpiece – a magnificent three-storey oval residence with projecting bows front and back. It is said that the board of the Grand Canal Company refused to pay the £42 seven shillings and 11 pence for the extras.
It’s all to the good of course, for the latter-day occupants of the house, who get to enjoy its canalside splendour without any of the trouble. You don’t even have to manage the 26th lock, that being now the responsibility of Waterways Ireland.
As it’s a heritage building, however, you do have to open it to the public 60 days a year – at least if you want to qualify for the section 482 tax relief on its upkeep.
To that end there’s a little museum on the lower ground floor with a garden room off. The main living areas are on the ground floor, where there’s a sitting room, dining room, kitchen and music room. There are three bedrooms on the first floor, and the top floor is an open loft.
The place has been sensitively restored over the past 20 years under the supervision of veteran architect Martin Reynolds and measures 2,558 sq ft.
It’s on just under 2.5 acres with a wildlife garden at the back with native trees. Tullamore is a 15-minute walk west along the towpath, and a little way east is the recently unveiled memorial to Ashling Murphy.
Boland’s Lock is for sale for €525,000 with Sherry FitzGerald Lewis Hamill (057) 932 0862.