Messing about on boats easy from this period piece on the Shannon

Five-bedroom Abbey House has a fine Victorian interior and scope for further development of its outbuildings on around 1.2 acres of waterfront land

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Address: Abbey House, Crossan Road, Athlone, Co. Westmeath.
Price: €475,000
Agent: Savills
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Abbey House is a dream buy for someone who enjoys messing about on the river, walking the country's greenway and indulging a curiosity about historic ruins while living in a period home choc-a-bloc with original features and surrounded by luscious gardens.

Abbey House, an Athlone landmark, has been sitting on the banks of the river Shannon since 1893 when it was built for the manager of an adjoining woollen mills. It gets its name from a late-17th century Observentine Franciscan church and convent, both of them now ruins to the northern boundary of Abbey House gardens.

Although a pleasant home, the house could do with refurbishment and updating, and needs to have its contemporary possibilities explored. Agent Savills is seeking €475,000 for house, lands and outbuildings.

There are many development possibilities, depending planning permission. House and lands are zoned “residential existing”, a development plan that offers relatively wide scope and “permitting on principle” the use of house and lands for dwelling, cultural, creche/nursery, education, doctor/dentist, retirement home and more.


The stone wall-bounded grounds are quite something with lawns and high, old tree-lined driveway, shrubs, plants and a 100m frontage giving splendid views of the river and town. A private, mythical-looking, sheltered jetty has mooring on to the river. There are stables and outbuildings too, mostly being used for storage. They are also subject to planning permission and could be put to any number of uses.

Traditional layout

Inside, Abbey House has a great sense of its period in a traditional layout: windows that are long, wide and shuttered (including three bays); in the wide sweep of entrance hallway and curved staircase and in the elaborate, original-tiled floors, cornicing, timber floors, fireplaces in both marble and cast-iron – the last with ornate, inset tiles. There are ground-floor drawing and diningrooms with views over the river and a livingroom with a solid fuel stove. The kitchen/breakfastroom, to the rear and in need of modernising, has timber fittings and a quarry-tiled floor. There are utility and storage rooms in this part of the house too.

The bedrooms and a family bathroom are on the first floor. Two of the bedrooms are particularly large and have views stretching wide across the river and townlands.