All across the world, millions have become “Irish for the Day” and are joining in the celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day. They’re wearing green outfits, going to parades, drinking Guiness, eating corned beef and cabbage, and offering “Top of the Mornin”s like Leprechauns. Many cities around the world dye the waters in their fountains green in celebration. The fountains in front of the White House are green this morning, and the fountains in all the public squares in Savannah are flowing with the emerald waters as well. In Chicago, the Chicago River runs green for the day, and the main canal in Indianapolis is dyed as well.
For more on Saint Patrick’s Day traditions and history and how other places around the globe are celebrating, check out the Wikipedia entry. For readers of the Historic House Blog, though, the best way to celebrate may well be thinking about buying an historic Irish property ! From castles to country houses to bungalows and thatched cottages, Ireland has a wealth of historic homes. Here’s a selection:
Belvelly Castle – Cork:
On the Water’s edge, guarding the narrow straight between Fota Island and Great Island, medieval Belvelly Castle is an imposing and well loved landmark at the entrance to Cork Harbour. This beautiful fifteenth century tower house enjoys majestic views along the estuary and is at the same time very accessible from both Cork city centre and Cork International Airport. The four story tower house offers many original features and comes complete with a set of plans for restoration adn conversion into a 3 bedroom home. Recent restoration projects in the area- most notably Jeremy Irons’ stunning conversion of Kilcoe Castle and Duchas’ restoration of Barryscourt together with Michael Flatley’s Castle Hyde, highlight the possibilities of turning this extraordinary monument into a dream home or truly individual work or retail space. The price has just been reduced, too, from $487,500 (US$) to $247,000 ! The castle is offered by Colliers-Jackson-Stops and more information is available at their site
Strongford Castle – Craughwell- Galway:
A beautifully restored 15th Century Castle built by the de Burgos, descendants of William the Conqueror, and one of the largest landowning families in Galway. The Ground Floor contains the Great Hall/ Livingroom which is heated by a wood burning stove, extremely warm and cozy, with terracotta tiled floors, whitewashed walls with fabulous vaulted ceilings and chandelier, plenty of light and country views from each window. Winding stairs to the upper floors lead to a master bedroom with beamed ceilings and two guest bedrooms. 800,000 Euros ($1.04 Million). For more details, visit the Helen Cassidy Auctioneers site
(she has many other castles listed there, too- If you’re selling a castle in Ireland, she seems to be the go-to agent).
Feighcullen Church- Rathangan – Kildare: This beautiful Gothic building was built in 1829 and designed by the famous architect John Semple. The structure has recently undergone extensive restoration to the roof , door and windows. The construction is of finely cut limestone with a graceful Gothic style entrance door and an imposing belfry with a beautiful steeple. The external beauty of Feighcullen is matched by the stunning interior. As you enter the building through the cut-stone entrance you can turn left or right and arrive through archways into the main body of the church. There is beautiful stonework, glorious archways and carvings, which could easily be incorporated into a stunning living space. A unique opportunity for just 375000 Euros ($487,500 US). Check out the Feighcullen Church Website put together by the owners and renovators Emerald Holdings.
Castletownkenna- Enniskeane – West Cork: For those in search of a peaceful tranquil and beautiful countryside retreat it would be hard to find a property more attractive than this one located in the heart of Castletownkenna, the property is in need of total refurbished and indeed modernisation to bring it up to today’s modern standards. the property has the potential to be that perfect hide-away from todays hectic lifestyle. The property would appeal to somebody looking for a lifestyle change and the land is of a quality which would make self sufficiency very achievable. The land is all in one block and laid out in paddocks. It still retains the original large range of out buildings which could be put to many uses. The agent describes the house as “in need of buckets of hard work,” but it is offered at the bargain price of 99,000 Euros ($128,700 US). More information at Key Properties.
If you’re looking for other historic properties in Ireland, one of the best sites out there is Former Glory
(It’s the Irish version of Historic Homes Marketplace
) – the subtitle on the site is “derelict and restored property for sale in Ireland.” The site does include the whole range of property from ruins to complete restorations, and from thatched-roof huts to majestic castles, as well as a wealth of links to other Irish historic home resources. There’s even a section on Historic Irish properties for vacationing or holding wedding receptions.
Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig ! (That’s Gaelic for Happy Saint Patrick’s Day- Learn to speak the Irish language in 78 easy lessons here!)