Good life cottage with rental potential in Ireland’s sacred centre for €485k

Four-bedroom house on five acreas has two self-contained annexes for holiday lets

  • Address: Catstone Lodge, Mullenmeehan, Ballymore, Co Westmeath
  • Price: € 485,000
  • Agent: Colliers International & Kearney Auctioneers
This article is 9 months old

A country cottage on five acres close to the mythological centre of Ireland might appeal to someone looking for the good life in a house with links to history and possibly an income. Uisneach Hill, described in a local signpost as the sacred centre of Ireland in pagan times, can be seen from the house, named after a druid’s stone, Catstone, which lies at the heart of the hill.

Catstone Lodge, Mullenmeehan, Ballymore, Co Westmeath, was the home of the late photojournalist Ruth Rogers, internationally well known as a leading light in Connemara Pony breeding circles who covered many Connemara pony shows for the Irish Field and other publications. She died last year.

The 170.47sq m (1,835sq ft) four-bedroom house is now for sale through joint agents Colliers International and Kearney Auctioneers. The property is divided into three sections, a two-storey two-bedroom main house with two self-contained annexes which were reportedly let out as Airbnb accommodation. The main house has a parquet-floored livingroom/diningroom with a wood-burning stove in a recessed stone fireplace, a sun room, kitchen and bathroom. A black cast-iron circular staircase leads upstairs, where there are two bedrooms and  a family bathroom.

The annexes on either side each have an open plan bedroom/livingroom/galley kitchen and a bathroom. One acre of gardens around the house is laid out in lawn, with a terrace, flower beds and woodland. The four acres of agricultural land are in grass and come with a barn, dog kennels and a dog run – Rogers bred greyhounds. The lands are fenced, there are stables suitable for ponies and several stone outbuildings.

The house, which Rogers bought in 2006, was originally built by a German family on the grounds of a ruin, it is understood. There is room to change the existing layout and possibly extend the house. Colliers agent Callum Bain says that he would probably keep the annex on the left and incorporate the other annex into the main house.

It has mains electricity, septic tank sewerage, and a well for water – and potential to join a mains water supply. The house has oil and gas fired central heating. The Catstone, a giant fissured limestone boulder called Aill na Míreann – the Stone of Divisions – on the Hill of Uisneach is said to mark the centre of Ireland and the coming together of the provinces. The goddess Ériu, after whom Ireland is named, is said to lie buried underneath.

The lodge also has another historic link. Situated on a slope looking over Westmeath countryside, it faces the  ruins of Clare Castle some distance away. This was the headquarters of Dutch Williamite general Godart de Ginkell as he prepared to besiege a Jacobite-held fort in nearby Ballymore in the war that ended in 1691 with the Treaty of Limerick.

Catstone Lodge is 2.4km from Ballymore village (population 485), 11km from Moate, Co Westmeath, 22.7km from Athlone and 27km from Mullingar.