The Office of Public Works is to take over the running of the renowned Annes Grove house and gardens near Castletownroche, Co Cork.
The move is the culmination of lengthy talks between the OPW, Department of Finance, and its owners, the Annesley family.
Fine Gael deputy Tom Barry, who was involved in the talks, said the house and gardens were a superb heritage site which will now see further investment and development in what should prove a major tourism boost for the area.
“This purchase by the State will compliment the recently purchased Mallow Castle and Town Park, along with nearby Doneraile Park. This cluster of amenities, which have free public admission, will greatly boost our tourism numbers which are growing at record levels,” he said.
Annes Grove demesne, known in the 18th century as Ballyhimock, was originally owned by the Grove family.
In the late 18th century it became the property of the Arthur Grove Annesley, as a consequence of the marriage of his uncle, the first Earl Annesley, to Mary Grove. His descendants have lived there ever since.
The 30-acre gardens at Annes Grove are considered world-class by garden enthusiasts.
It features native and exotic species in a breathtaking setting through which the River Awbeg flows.
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