What began as development punt for around, oh, €8m or so in the roaring Noughties, is now an opportunity for wannabe landed gentry or an agricultural offering for ordinary decent, farming folk.
Muckridge House, Youghal, Co Cork, an echoing early Georgian mansion, may find a taker among the cohort of new overseas buyers ready for a relatively cheap Irish deal.
This time round, Ardmore agent and well know pundit, Brian Gleeson is selling the property, which has failed to rustle up a contract for sale since 2009.
But then, it was offered with a much smaller land offering of 28 acres or so, at around the million-mark, just about the time when all the smart money was moving off shore. Now that the terror of a run of the banks seems like a bad dream, and with prices possibly baselined, there is a return to property investment again.
And the agricultural industry has been the driving force of the overall property market — it lifted the gloomy days of the bust and kept many an auctioneer ticking over too, with the buoyancy of the farming industry. Which is why there is a good chance the land will be bought by a local, especially as it lies so close to the N20 and to Youghal town itself.
Laid out in pasture and in one 102-acre block, the farm is good quality says Gleeson, but again, like the house will need upgrading, and the entire property is offered at a knockdown €1m, including the six-bed Muckridge House. The house does need work but, by the standards of trophy period homes, is in good nick.
Especially when the date of the house is made clear it was a lived-in mansion by the mid to late 1700s and has been occupied consistently since.
The Hobson family are mentioned in historical documents as residents at Muck-ridge from the mid 1770s, and in 1814 Richard Fitzgerald is recorded as resident there, followed by a reference to William Fitzgerald in 1837 and various other owners since. And according to the Landed Estates Database at NUI Galway, it’s “still extant, well maintained and for sale at the beginning of 2010”.
Original features are many and well-preserved (save for the replacement windows, which mar the facade), and the age and status of this house is sure to attract over-seas buyer with the enough investment clout to bring this house to perfection. There are many examples in the Black-water Valley nearby as a template — and also, a ready-made social circle too, for a certain type of landowner.
The house is two-storey over basement, double-bow fronted and accommodation includes large formal entertainment rooms, informal kitchen and dining areas, family room, games room, office, and cellar, plus six bedrooms and three bathrooms.
There are eight more rooms available, reflecting a time when a fleet of servants were accommodated here too.
And as well as the house, (which has a long driveway), there’s a full courtyard of buildings with huge potential — and two walled gardens, which, with the proximity of the sea, could be pressed into organic, market garden use.
Either way, there may be value to be had at Muckridge.
Brian Gleeson is quoting €1m straight for the lot, including the house and lands which had residential zoning on a third of the property at one stage.
Less than 1km from the town of Youghal, the property is well located in terms of accessibility to Cork and Waterford.
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