One of Ireland's most architecturally important houses, Bellamont Forest in Cootehill, Co Cavan has sold for around €2million. The substantial Palladian villa on 1000 acres has been purchased by a US couple with Irish interests and a number of international properties. The 18th century property had been on the market by a liquidator for €1.35million, until three weeks ago when final offers of more than €1.5million were invited by selling agent Ganly Walters. It's understood the new owners, who currently own a holiday property in Ireland, plan to refurbish Bellamont for private use in a restoration project that will cost upwards of €2million.
According to Robert Ganly most of the bidding took place over a 48 hour period between the US couple and two other interested parties from the UK and Ireland. There had been a lot of interest in the property both for its historical significance as one of the finest examples in the British Isles of a Palladian villa and its role at the centre of a 1991 divorce action between the late owner John Coote and his wife Andrea (an Australian politician).
Bellamont Forest dates from the 1720s and was built to a design by renowned architect Edward Lovett Pearce. It was bought in 1987 by John Coote, a renowned Australian interior designer and a specialist in the restoration of classical buildings, who restored and refurnished Bellamont, but put it up for sale in 2010 at a guide price of €7.5 million. He died in 2012, and after that the condition of Bellamont deteriorated.
Though the property is on 1000 acres, about 400 acres is under lake and a further 450 acres is in woodland which is owned by Coillte after a previous owner bequeathed the woodland to the State for 150 years.