A period house on 12 acres by the banks of the Clodagh river near Thurles, Co Tipperary, owned by the same family for hundreds of years, became the home of a well-known local family nearly 20 years ago when Tipperary businessman John Stakelum bought it.
The house, built in 1810 on the site of a historic tower house, needed a lot of attention: the last of the Armstrong family, who had acquired the land and ruins of the tower house in the 1690s, died in the 1980s; distant South African relatives sold it to Stakelum in 1999.
Moyaliffe had been developed over time and has features from Georgian and Victorian periods. Stakelum – brother of hurling stars Richie and Conor and uncle of ice skater Conor – rewired the house, installed central heating, re-slated the roof and redecorated Moyaliffe in sympathy with its period origins.
“I was very conscious that I had to leave it as it was, to leave it intact,” says Stakelum. Moyaliffe has many sash windows with shutters, wooden floors and panelled walls; some rooms are painted a vivid deep green and the house is furnished with period furniture and fittings.
Now Moyaliffe House with 864sq m (9,304sq ft) and six-bedrooms is for sale for €850,000 through joint agents Sherry FitzGerald Country Homes and Sherry FitzGerald Gleeson.
A wide entrance hall with a tiled floor opens into the house, which is more or less L-shaped, reflecting the fact that successive generations added wings at different times. There’s a morning room and dining room on either side; an inner hallway leads to a drawing room, study, kitchen and another dining room-cum-music room with a vaulted ceiling and a minstrel gallery.
The modern kitchen has a black marble-topped island unit, a quarry-tiled floor and French windows to an internal courtyard. More rooms downstairs include pantries and a utility room – it’s a rambling house with potential to convert a lot of them.
Upstairs are six bedrooms – three of which are en suite – and a large family bathroom, as well as a library. A coach house in the grounds has potential for conversion to more living space.
Outside, there are landscaped gardens, a paddock and a beech walk along the banks of the Clodagh, which runs through the grounds. It’s one of Moyaliffe’s features that Stakelum treasures most: “I can lie in bed and see the swans and ducks on the river.”
The house is 12km from Thurles and 16km from the M8.
The University of Limerick houses the Armstrong family archives and an online exhibition, It's a Long Way to Tipperary, has been built around it.