Sunday 17 November 2019

Fix it up: A ruined 18th-century manor house in Co Clare

Ballykilty Manor
Ballykilty Manor
Mark Keenan

Mark Keenan

What is it? Ballykilty Manor is a ruined 18th-century country house near Quin in Co Clare which goes to auction on All Hallows Eve/Halloween (October 31). The 1760-built house is a good example of how the property boom, followed by the crash, has badly damaged some of our historic houses like this one, which likely would have been all right otherwise.

Formerly a small hotel business, it was acquired with big €25m plans to turn it into a five-star complex until the company involved, Atlantis Developments, sunk like its namesake. Clare Co Council confirms that it is listed and protected.

Tell me more about the place...

Left alone for years, the weather and the thieves intervened, the latter stealing some very ornate and priceless original 18th-century chimney-pieces, the former tinkering with gutters and slates to allow water ingress and damp. The receivers stepped in since to fix the roof.

Ballykilty has enough of its original features along with a robust exterior to give it some potential as a large restoration project and a combined home and hospitality business.

The house is 5,838 sq ft with seven bedrooms and three ground-floor reception rooms on 44 acres of parkland. It's two kilometres from Quin and a 20-minute drive from Ennis.

It has extensive outbuildings arranged in a rectangular courtyard to the rear.

The good news?

A wholly beautiful historic house. The land alone is worth the reserve put on it, so you're pretty much getting the house for free.

And the bad news?

It's been stripped out by the vultures - piping, wires, fireplaces. A scary workload ahead.

How much to buy it?

Ballykilty has a €400,000 disclosed reserve.

And to fix it up?

A spend of €750k to €1m would likely get the main house done and in reasonable style.

What will I end up with?

A fine historic mansion in a beautiful part of the world with a good chunk of land and numerous historic outbuildings with potential for conversion as hospitality accommodation.


Who do I talk to?

Diarmuid McMahon of Sherry FitzGerald McMahon (065) 6867866 will tread the boards and the ground carefully with you.

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