Thursday 25 October 2012

Carriglass in Longford is for Sale


Yesterday when I seen that Carriglass Manor was for sale it reminded of when I met the original owners of this house at my book signing in Slane Castle a few weeks ago..  The developer that purchased this estate a number of years ago has left the main house in a terrible condition with half built houses and a hotel in the grounds. This house is an architectural jewel and has connections with Jane Austin.

Back in 2004 it was unveiled as the site for a new €100m tourism project which would have been the largest of its kind in Longford. Now the 605-acre Carrigglas Demesne is being put up for sale in the hope that a leisure operator might come up with a new vision or a farmer might return it to its former glory.

About two-thirds of the land is in farmland, parkland or mature woodland with the remainder containing buildings or various stages of the development with its Retief Goosen designed golf course. Agents Lisney have not declared a guide price.

In May this year another large Longford estate, the 214-acre Ardagh Demesne, sold at auction for €1.36m or about €6,355 per acre.

That average price was below the average of €7,500 per acre which smaller tracts of good land made in the county last year.

However, it is higher than the €4,000 to €5,000 per acre quoted for marginal land in the county.

At an average round price of €5,100 for farmland, Carrigglas could generate bids of around €3m, but about a third of the land is in various stages of development which means the value really depends on the ambitions of possible buyers.

Carrigglas is located only 4km from Longford town and it benefits from an attractive 11-bedroom manor house.

Two of the other five houses are in reasonable condition, while three of them, gate lodges, need refurbishment.

A 96-bedroom wing for a proposed hotel has been partly-built, as have 37 courtyard houses beside the R194 route, 59 village houses and a 21-hole championship golf course.

Foundations have been laid for a golf clubhouse. It also benefits from stables designed by the famous architect Gandon.

Lisney has set December 7 as the closing date for expressions of interest.

Originally the Kearns family company, Kearns Developments, had envisaged the leisure attraction including a four-star hotel, a romantic woodland walkway and a selection of exclusive homes.

In 2006, the then Finance Minister Brian Cowen performed the sod-turning ceremony for what its developers hailed as "one of the most important developments ever to take place in Longford".

- Donal Buckley

Tuesday 23 October 2012

Anyone who has or is going to purchase my book on Amazon I would be grateful if you could review the book on Amazon and help the book achieve 5 stars, which after 2 years of hard work I know it deserves.

Sunday 7 October 2012

Carriglass Manor Longford

Please click on the above link to see the current state of Carrigglass Manor in Co. Longford. The ancestral home of the Lefroy family. This weekend I was signing books at the Adams Country House Sale at Slane Castle and I had the pleasure of meeting its former owner Jeffery Lefroy who sold the estate in 2005. A number of items in the auction were some of the original contents of his former home in Longford which he was now reluctant to sell, however needs must. Jeffery was saddened by the current state of his former home which is now in the hands of Nama who are doing very little to protect the structure. The developer who purchased the property had the intention of developing a hotel in the house and building houses in the grounds of the estate. Neither of these enterprises succeeded and now the whole estate is a desolate place.

The once beautiful dining room that contains lots for sale in the Adams Auction

The Drawing Room
Located five kilometers north of Longford Town on the T15 stands stately Carrigglas Manor. A once beautiful Gothic Revival style Manor house built by Thomas Lefroy in 1837 and was the Lefroy family seat until 2005. Chief Justice Thomas Lefroy who built the house was a one time love of the novelist Jane Austen, it being frequently suggested that the character Darcy in Pride and Prejudice was modelled on him. Carrigglas Manor was built to designs by Daniel Robertson (died 1849). The stableblock situated near the house was designed by the famous architect James Gandon. However these structures are not protected by the state and are now falling into dereliction, how can this be allowed to happen. Have we not learned from the mistakes from previous generations, do we have to wait for Carriglass to be be a roofless ruin before we lament its loss? Action needs to be taken now.