Déise delight — a Suir bet

IT’S not very often these pages are graced by a 335-year-old house, but then, Glencastle House, Co Waterford, is no ordinary property.

Built in 1676 during the restoration of King Charles 11, its construction date is confirmed by a plaque on the wall, along with the name of its owner, Ian Francis Everett.

Little is known of Everett other than he took possession of a fine chunk of rich farmland along the Suir as a reward for crushing a rebellion in the north. And this within 25 years of Cromwell’s campaign in Ireland. The Lord Protector may even have marched along this part of the river on the way to take Carrick on Suir.

The house Everett built, while in the Dutch style, is a simple, well-to-do farmer’s dwelling rather than an aristocratic status symbol and in that sense, it’s pretty rare.

Set on the bank of the Suir, with valuable fishing rights, you could almost fish out of the windows. With the river running fast nearby, you would imagine that as a result of this, along with its age, Glencastle would be a reeking damp house.

Not a bit of it — there are some areas that need attention, in particular two of its five bedrooms, but this is a house that gleams with care and tender custody, a house that’s moved with the times, but retains it’s cannon-proof walls, it’s 20’ high ceilings and a sense of possession of its landscape.

Now its being sold for the first time since the 1950s and along with its 276 acres of land has an asking price of €3.25 million.

The farmhouse is quaint and sheltered by a boundary of trees and a high wall, which separates it from the farmyard. The setting is vaguely reminiscent of a Dutch landscape with its canal-like waterway and flat, fertile fields.

Only the majesty of Sliabh na mBan puts paid to the conceit as it rises from the plains across the Suir.

This symbol of Tipperary towers over the Waterford/south Tipperary border, but Glencastle House, however is officially in Co Waterford.

Just up the road is Gurteen de la Paor, a neo-Gothic castle owned by Gottfried Helnwein, a prolific and renowned Austrian artist who hosted the wedding of Dita Von Teese and Marilyn Manson, a hand-fasting that lasted all of a year.

The photographer, painter, installation and performance artist has a worldwide reputation and has lived in this part of Tipperary for so long, he took out Irish citizenship.

The house comes with a modern shaker kitchen and wood burning stove, a glowing and burnished dining room. An impressive drawing room has windows on three sides is the perfect rectangular shape for entertaining and relaxing and has a fine, white marble fireplace at its centre.

Overhead, there are three bedrooms off a wide landing, all of which are double rooms and the final two bedrooms are over the kitchen and will need renovation.

Glencastle House goes to auction on March 31 with a guide price of €3.25 million through joint agents Shelley Purcell and Collins O’Meara.


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