Liss Ard, the one-time west Cork artists' haven (currently operating as a country house hotel and wedding venue) took the plungethis week when its asking price dropped online from €7.5 million to €5 million. The fabled west Cork estate on 163 acres (66 hectares) near Skibbereen was placed on the market three years ago by owners the Swiss-based Stern family.
The dramatic drop is an indicator of the challenge the country homes market faces at the moment given that the historic spread – and home to the popular Liss Ard Arts festival – did not budge its price even once in the intervening period. Now it has clearly been priced to sell.
Arguably one of the country's finer estates in a popular west Cork location, presumably the Stern family is hoping to attract some of the buyer interest that has been flowing into the region in recent times. There have been some very strong sales in west Cork and Kinsale in recent months, bucking the depressed trend in other parts of the country.
Clearly it is hoped that Liss Ard, through joint agents Sherry FitzGerald Country Homes and Charles McCarthy, can get in on the action and drum up some real interest with this latest reality check on price. The picturesque Victorian estate has long held a certain rock ‘n’ roll cache by hosting music, arts and food festivals on its grounds.
In the late 1990s the estate enjoyed a heyday as a venue for outdoor concerts playing host to artists such as Van Morrison, Oasis, Nick Cave, Patti Smith, and Lou Reed. It has also catered for private functions and get-togethers for musicians and supermodels.
With a six-bed mansion, nine-bed mews house and 10-bed lake lodge it has its share of flexible accommodation offerings and continues to operate as a popular wedding and event venue. Add to this a 40-acre private lake and beach, and a "Sky Garden" created by American artist James Turrell with a unique man-made crater from which to view the skies and it is a little different to your average country estate. Could be the perfect buy for a freshly minted EuroMillions lottery winner.