An abandoned mansion considered one of the finest in Ireland in its heyday which sold for €300,000 last month is to be turned into a luxurious five-star hotel.
Mayfield House in Portlaw, Co Waterford was built in 1740 but has been left empty since 1994.
The iconic building has deteriorated somewhat in the 28 years since but it has now been bought by one of the largest hospitality companies in the country; Oakmount.
The 10 bedroom, one bathroom manor house, along with a gate lodge on 6.05 acres of land, dropped a staggering €535,000 from a previous asking price of €835,000.
The Italianate mansion was designed by architect William Tinsley for the wealthy Malcomson family. They founded the nearby town of Portlaw as a centre of the tanning industry, complete with its own leather currency.
It is understood that Oakmount intend to turn the house into a boutique destination hotel, which will be operated by the Press Up Hospitality Group which runs several upmarket hotels in Dublin, Cork and Galway, including the Dean hotels.
Paudie Coffey, chairperson of the Portlaw Community Enhancement Committee, previously said they “are delighted that the historic landmark on the edge of the village has been sold” which will reinvigorate tourism in the area.
No expense was previously spared on the stately home. The interiors boasted splendid décor with ornate plasterwork, opulent gilding, and intricately carved stone fireplaces.
The house, while still belonging to the Malcomson family, was eventually repurposed as the national headquarters for the Irish tannery industry. The country's leather industry went into decline in the 1950s.
In 1985, the Irish tannery industry collapsed. No longer the HQ for the industry, Mayfield House was used as office space until the early 1990s. The building was finally vacated in 1994 and effectively left to rot.
In the mid-1990s, the roof of the building was still intact and the interiors, though shabby and in need of a revamp, were in a reasonable state of repair.
By the turn of the millennium, Mayfield House had become a decrepit roofless shell. Many of its original features were stripped for architectural salvage. These days, all that is left of the grand mansion is its walls.
The National Inventory of Architectural Heritage describes the property as “an imposing, well-composed, substantial house" built for the Malcomson family to designs prepared by William Tinsley.
"The house is distinguished by the elegant entrance tower, which augments the Italianate Classical quality of the composition. Now in ruins, and having been exposed to architectural salvage, much of the original fabric has been lost, although the remains of some fine detailing to the openings survive intact, contributing to the design quality of the site.
"The house forms an elegant centrepiece in extensive grounds originally accommodating the Malcomson cotton factory complex, and remains an imposing, although increasingly obscured, landmark of some Romantic quality in the townscape”.