Huge potential for historic farm due for auction

One of the most substantial land sales in north Cork this year is due up for auction some time in October, after a preliminary launch a month ago.

JC Gubbins, of Murphy Gubbins Auctioneers, says they’ve adopted a softly, softly approach with the sale up to now, but plan to go to public auction shortly, in a little over a month or so.

And the sale should draw considerable interest, because not only is this a fine block of land at 236 acres, but the guide price of €8,000 per acre is also attractive.

The price reflects the kind of investment in husbandry that will be needed to bring the substantial grass and tillage farm up to standard, but the potential is huge, says JC Gubbins.

The overall price of the farm comes in at €1.8m, at the current guide price.

The farm can be offered in lots or the entire.

While the prospect of gaining a holding of this size in North Cork will bring in the “lotto winners”, the farm can be sold in two blocks, which are naturally divided by a public road.

The land will need attention, and the farmhouse in place needs work.

The farm buildings are not up to standard for a modern operation.

However, its sheer bulk, road frontage, ease of access and location are sure to bring in the buyers. The Kilcolman farm couldn’t be in a better location — it’s close to Charleville town, off the N20 from Cork to Limerick, with a short commute to the major cities. The farm house is a four-bedroomed, two-storey dwelling in need of refurbishment and modernisation, but it’s a late 20th century build, and might not need too much structural work.

It comes with a living room, sitting room, kitchen, bathroom and four bedrooms.

Lot 1 includes the house, farm buildings and haysheds, 166 acres of pasture land, and substantial road frontage.

Lot 2 comprises 71 acres, again with good frontage; or Lot 3 is the entire property.

The agents have publicly opened the sale. The date of the auction will be announced shortly.

There’s a history with the property, because Kilcolman was the area settled by the poet, Edmond Spenser, during the plantation of Munster.

He was leased land in the area by Elizabeth 1. He came to Ireland as an administrator under Lord Grey, the Queen’s representative and receiver of the forfeited Desmond estate, to whom the Kilcolman lands originally belonged.

Spenser had no luck with his acquisition, however, (a belief that wrongfully acquired land brings bad luck persists to this day).

His 10-year tenure at Kilcolman Castle, during which time he composed most of his best-known work, including the Faerie Queen, ended in flames.

His castle was set alight by the Irish, and Spenser lost all of his goods and chattels, and more tragically, his infant son. He returned to England a broken man and it’s believed he died shortly afterwards.

Kilcolman and 3,000 acres of land was granted to Spenser in 1586 on condition that he retained a residence on the ground, as for all the other planters at the time.

Walter Raleigh visited Spenser at Kilcolman, and it was on his advice, it is believed, that Spenser published his poetry and also dedicated the Faerie Queen to Elizabeth 1.


Louisa Earls is a manager at Books Upstairs, D’Olier St, Dublin, which is owned by her father, Maurice Earls.Virus response writes a new chapter for Books Upstairs

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