Monday 20 November 2017

In 2005 a developer paid €10m for this derelict Carlow house on 20acres ... today it's yours for €130,000

With some cash and a taste for restoration work, Bagenalstown House and grounds could be transformed into a trophy home writes Caitriona Murphy

One of the most staggering examples of the property crash is that of Bagenalstown House in Co Carlow. At the height of the boom its developer owner got the period building on 20 acres valued at as much as €12m. Now just a few years later it's for sale with an asking price of only €130,000.

The guide price represents a shocking 98.9pc drop in value in less than five years and makes Bagenalstown House a poster child for the excessive valuations of the Celtic Tiger and their subsequent collapse.

Looking at the derelict property today, it is difficult to see how it could ever have been valued at €12m. The house is just a shell, windows boarded up, fireplaces removed and gardens overgrown.

The answer lies mainly in the planning permission that accompanied it. The 20 acres surrounding Bagenalstown House were zoned for residential development, with planning permission for 160 houses in the grounds.

A Northern Ireland developer is believed to have paid around €10m for the house and lands, with the intention of creating a thriving residential estate.

The property crash intervened and the planning permission expired in 2009, before a sod was ever turned on the development.

Selling agent Richard Bielenberg, divisional director at Knight Frank Ireland, says the huge drop in the property's value is on account of it reverting from a residential zoned site to 20 acres of agricultural land with a large listed structure in need of complete renovation.

Located on the north-eastern side of the market town of Bagenalstown, the property comprises a substantial protected structure with an old coach house and stabling, set on expansive grounds that include a walled orchard, a large garden and two large paddocks.

The listed house is a three-bay double bow-fronted property with two five-bay wings and a basement, extending to around 604sqm (6,500sq ft) in size. Originally built in the late 1700s, the house had a two-storey extension added to the rear of the house in the 1840s.

However this addition was recently damaged by fire.

Inside, the ground floor includes a sitting room, dining room, drawing room, reception and inner halls, a kitchen and cloakroom.

The first floor includes six bedrooms, two bathrooms and a dressing room.

Historical references show that several people throughout history, including John Newton, High Sheriff of County Carlow and Walter Blakeney Persse, owned the house.

However the property was also owned by the Bagenal family, after whom the local town of Bagenalstown was named.

The Bagenals were granted estates in Co Carlow and Co Armagh by King James I and Charles I and also owned Dunleckney Manor and Bennekerry in Carlow.

Among the colourful characters in the Bagenal family was Beauchamp Bagenal, who made a name for himself as a duellist on the Continent.

It was said of Beauchamp that he "fought a prince, jilted a princess, intoxicated the Doge of Venice, carried off a Duchess from Madrid, fought a duel in Paris, and returned to Ireland with a deep contempt for all Continental men and manners."

Restoring the derelict house to a habitable condition would cost in the region of €300,000-400,000, according to the selling agent. "It would be such a fantastic property to restore to its former glory," says Mr Bielenberg.

"This is a rare opportunity to create the most elegant period home with its original stone outbuildings and surrounded by mature gardens and scenic fields."

The property also has the potential to become an equestrian venue, making use of the 20 acres of grazing land surrounding the house. The original courtyard with coach houses and stabling for horses are still in evidence to the rear of the residence.

Bagenalstown House is located on the edge of Bagenalstown, 16km south of Carlow town, on the R705 road linking Bagenalstown to Leighlinbridge and running parallel to the River Barrow.

Enquiries to Knight Frank on 01 6623255

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