Boyne beauty needs a makeover
Co Meath €3.75 million:Dowth Hall, Co Meath
Description: A 420-acre estate with mid-18th-century house in need of extensive refurbishment
Agent: Knight Frank
A 420-acre estate in the Boyne Valley, between Slane and Drogheda, due to be auctioned on January 31st next, will be seen as an important test of the strength of the top end of the farming sector.
Celia Lamb of agents Knight Frank is guiding in excess of €3.75 million for Dowth Hall and lands, which adjoin Oldbridge House, the State-owned tourist centre commemorating the Battle of the Boyne.
While Oldbridge is now in immaculate condition, Dowth Hall has, unfortunately, fallen into disrepair and is in need of extensive refurbishment.
However, the mid-18th-century house has all the qualities of that era – grace, elegance and space. The interior features some of the most sophisticated rococo plasterwork still surviving. The best of it is in the drawingroom but there is also superb plasterwork by Robert West in the entrance hall and the diningroom.
The five-bay house was built for the 6th Viscount Netterville and although described as “a small and elegant home” in some architectural publications, it extends to more than 650sq m (7,000sq ft). There are seven limestone steps leading up to the front doorway which features Doric columns and a frieze.
The attractive entrance hall has its original wood floor, marble fireplace and cantilevered staircase. The library, drawingroom and diningroom have handsome fireplaces and tall windows looking out on the overgrown gardens. There are three bedrooms and two dressingrooms at first floor level and eight more rooms, including a bathroom, on the second floor.
The house is right in the centre of the land, where it is protected by mature woodlands. The estate still controls 2.9km of salmon fishing on the adjoining Boyne but salmon stocks must recover before fishing can resume. All five staff lodges on the estate will also need extensive work.
Dowth is well situated, less than 10 minutes’ drive from the new Boyne bridge on the M1.