Got a few million euro to spare and fancy a change of scene? Perhaps your expanding wine collection needs a cellar with room for 55,000 bottles, or you’d like a 14-metre heated pool? The property market is at its lowest in years, so if you live in the kind of world where home is a castle rather than a three-bed semi, these houses may represent a bargain:
Back in 1863, £120 would have bought you Lord Dufferin’s pad in Bangor. Built in Italianate palazzo style, Craigdarragh House is described as an estate of national importance and is on the market for £2 million (about €2.3 million). It was designed by Charles Lanyon and built in 1850 in a 26-acre estate of lawns, meadow, and woodland. Inside you will find original features including embellished door surrounds and cornicing.
It may not have a moat but Knockabbey Castle in Co Louth is a pretty impressive abode. Enter via the Tower House into a hall with soaring ceilings, stone floors, and a roaring fire. This leads to the Queen Anne hall and the stone spiral staircase of the Tower. There are eight bedrooms, an interpretive room, a museum room, and extensive gardens with some of the country’s most significant water features. The water gardens were founded in the 11th century by local monks.
If castles are your thing, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to available Irish properties. Castle Oliver in Ardpatrick, Limerick is a superb, red sandstone creation on 15 acres with stunning views of the Ballyhoura mountains. WIne buffs won’t care about the impressive Scottish Baronial architecture, 5-foot gryphons, or gothic folly, however: They will be more interested in the fact that Castle Oliver has Ireland’s biggest private wine cellar – a superb facility with room for 55,000 bottles. Plenty of room for your duty-free plonk…
For those with more contemporary tastes, Fastnet House is a magnificent property that showcases spectacular views of Kinsale Harbour through its enormous windows. Sprawling over 575 square metres on a superb 1.6 acre site, Fastnet House was designed by acclaimed architects Scott Tallon Walker and features five ensuite bathrooms. Oh, and a 14-metre heated swimming pool.
Although the present abode of the French embassy, this 6-bedroomed Dublin mansion on Ireland’s most exclusive road is suitable for conversion into a family home (subject to planning permission). The listed building offers about 355 square metres of living space on a 42-hectare site, with parking for up to 14 cars.
If these properties are a little out of your reach, don’t worry: At PlacesToStay.com, we have a wide range of properties across the island of Ireland to suit every budget and preference. (No 55,000-bottle wine cellars, though…)