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Has fairytale Kerry castle found a buyer at last?

A castle in Kenmare may have sold for more than €10m less than its peak asking price

An Culu, Kenmare, Co Kerry

A fairytale castle in Kenmare, Co Kerry that first went for sale at €15million at the height of the property boom in 2007 may finally have found a buyer.

An Culu, a 9,000 sq ft Gothic Revival style castle, has spent nearly 13 years on the market but it looks as if a deal has now been reached to sell the property which was built in the 1990s by Kevin Reardon, an English businessman with Irish roots.

An Culu, overlooking Kenmare Bay has flood-lit grounds of 4.5 acres that include a moat
The stone staircase of An Culu

The castle had its price dropped to €10 million in 2010 and then again in 2018 to €4.5million. Now, the words “Sale Agreed” have appeared on its Myhome listing. A local source says the agreed price could be as low as €3.5 million.

Thought to be the only castle to be built in Ireland since Victorian times, An Culu sits on 1.8 hectares (4.5 acres) of grounds and comes with all the trimmings: a moat and a drawbridge, turrets and towers, a minstrels’ gallery, grotto-style swimming pool in the basement and gas-fired torches that can be activated by remote control.

Standing majestically on the shores of Kenmare bay, the gleaming floodlit castle was built on an extravagant scale and took three years to complete. It was intended as a luxury holiday retreat for Mr Reardon and his family and the grounds include a landing spot for his personal helicopter.

Sitting room with minstrels’ gallery, An Culu
Diningroom, An Culu
Bedroom, An Culu

While it might look Disneyesque on the outside, An Culu was designed and finished to an exacting standard inside using exceptional building materials including cutstone, marble, hardwood timbers and fine upholstery silks. Teams of stonemasons, artisan plasterers and painters from across Ireland and the UK were employed to finish the five-storey home.

The result was a stunning baronial-style home with all mod cons including high-spec security and a swimming pool in the dungeons. Details include rooms lined in heavy silk, elaborate plastered and painted ceilings, deep pile carpets running from room to room and vast fireplaces you could roast an ox in. Stained-glass windows include the coat of arms of the Reardon family.

Selling agents Savills refused to comment on the transaction, other than to confirm that the listing had been amended to Sale Agreed. The castle had been on the market at €4.5 million but it’s believed that the agreed price is closer to €3.5 million, according to a source familiar with the property.

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