Ideal time to purchase property like Rathclare House and 18 acres

THIS is the ideal market for country house acquisitions.

Not only are land prices at a steady level, but the cost of remedial work on older properties is also at an all-time low. And foreign buyers are about to bestir themselves again, as country house estates show real value for the first time in over 10 years.

The sale of Rathclare House at Buttevant in north Cork should bring in viewing interest for the property which is on offer at €695,000 — and that includes 18 acres.

The house is a very attractive and manageable 18th-century property bounded by the Awbeg river.

It was once part of the larger Egmont estate. The property moved out of that family’s hands in 1886, when it was purchased by Canon David Burdon, who created a small chapel in one of the rooms, and whose descendants have held the property through the generations.

It’s now up for sale with country house specialist Michael Daniels, who says the house has had some amendments since it was originally built, but retains most of its original layout, including a double yard adjoining the house to the north.

Here, the former workmen’s cottages would have conversion potential, and the farmyard behind has some lovely, two-storey, stone outbuildings with fine arches and a bell tower.

The main house is impressive but manageable, and comes with 3,500 square feet of space over two floors, divided into three reception rooms and five bedrooms. A former coach house at the rear has been converted to a large sun room and function room, which is ideal for family parties and gatherings, and which, with the right investment, could also function as a pool room.

Rathclare House is a short walk from Buttevant village, set off the main road with the land bounded by a shelter belt of old timber. The house also includes a large walled garden in good condition, and a south-facing balustrade overlooking its parkland.

The land is in four main divisions, all in pasture with two paddocks around the house, and what Michael Daniels describes as a delightful “inch”, running along the Awbeg with 350 metres of river frontage.

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