Country houses for sale

One of Ireland’s ‘most perfect’ houses finds a new owner

Penny Churchill reports on a major move in the Irish property market which suggests that things could be beginning to turn around.

Back in January, Roseanne De Vere Hunt of Sherry FitzGerald Country Homes in Ireland reported signs of revival in Ireland’s rural property market.

Her confidence came after the sale of the 180-acre Bective Demesne in Co Meath at an asking price of €3.5 million – claimed to be the ‘largest country sale outside of Dublin’ in 2016.

And Roseanne’s confidence appears to have been well-founded: she has now brokered the sale of a house once described as ‘one of the most perfect medium-sized early 18th century country houses in Ireland.’

That assessment of Bonnettstown House in Co Kilkenny came from the pages of Burke’s Guide to Country Houses – and given the €1.1 million guide price, it’s not surprising that buyers from across Ireland, the UK and the USA were keen.

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Bonnettstown was built in 1737 for Samuel Matthews, the mayor of nearby Kilkenny City.

Set in some 28 acres of grassland, woodland, and wonderful walled gardens, the house has had only three owners to date, including the current vendors, who bought it in 1982.

Robert Ganly of Dublin-based Ganly-Walters is another agent with something to celebrate, having tied up the sale of the magical Lake Park House estate on the shores of Lough Dan, near Roundwood, on the edge of the Wicklow Mountains National Park, for which the guide price was €4 million.

‘Hopefully, such a high-profile sale will help to boost confidence in a country market still hampered by a lack of new properties,’ says Mr Ganly.