Share this €2.8m Mayo estate with deer, badgers and (if you want) a herd of Highland cattle

Glenmore House, built in the 1790s, has been upgraded in the centuries since

  • Address: Glenmore Crossmolina Co Mayo
  • Price: € 2,800,000
  • Agent: Sherry FitzGerald Country Homes
 

When Glenmore House, a classic Georgian country property on an estate of 165 acres, was being developed in the 1790s, the county of Mayo was awash with more than 1,000 French soldiers.

They landed in nearby Kilcummin at the request of Wolfe Tone in 1798 to assist with the Irish cause, in what became known as the Year of the French and the Races of Castlebar.

The defeat of the English gave the Irish and French a spectacular victory, and for 12 days the rebels proclaimed a Republic of Connacht before they were retaken by British forces. Also known as the Irish Republic of 1798, and a client state of France, it technically covered the entire island of Ireland, and for almost two weeks the seat of the Irish government was based in Castlebar.

The 583sq m (6,270sq ft) property, known locally at the time as the Big House, was built from local stone quarried from nearby woodlands for William Knox Orme, who at the time had a staff of 18 to oversee his estate. Over the years it had a number of owners, and was completely restored by a French woman almost 200 years after her kinsmen arrived to help with the Irish cause.

Reception room.
Reception room.
Reception room.
Reception room.
Dining room.
Dining room.

She bred horses on the 165 acres, until the current owners purchased the estate in 2007. They too upgraded the property, engaging a stonemason to repair the stone buttresses in the walled gardens that measure almost 100 square yards, and are contemporaneous with the house. The avenue was at the time in poor condition and this too has been fully resurfaced, and in 2009 more than 20,000 native trees were planted on 10 hectares.

Now fully restored and in turnkey condition, the five-bedroom property is a haven for wildlife, with deer, badgers, woodcock and snipe sharing the 165 acres with the owners who say they have had an “idyllic time in lockdown” here. The estate lies in the parish of Moygownagh, which translates to Plain of the Milk Cows, or Blessed Calves. Legend has it that St Cormac, having received such hospitality from the local nunnery, prayed that the village would abound in cows and herds. Fourteen centuries later St Cormac’s invocations are still being realised.

Conservatory.
Conservatory.
Games room.
Games room.
Double bedroom.
Double bedroom.

The owner, on a trip to Scotland, fell for the Highland cattle with their long ginger hair, and introduced a herd to the estate. The double coats of these docile creatures allow them to roam the lands year round and this lot have been kept as pets, and can, if new owners wish, be included with the sale. While the original owner, William Orme, may have had 18 hands to assist with the estate, the owners credit their neighbour Des McDonnell with keeping it all running smoothly.

Citing him akin to Dr Doolittle with animals, and maintaining the estate while they are away, new owners can rest assured McDonnell will oversee the property should they wish to engage his services.

Outbuildings.
Outbuildings.
Part of the 165-acre estate.
Part of the 165-acre estate.
Herd of Highland cattle.
Herd of Highland cattle.

The owners engaged a tree surgeon on an annual basis to advise on what trees needed to be felled and, as a result, they say there is enough wood to keep the period fireplaces in the property, which is BER exempt, ablaze for the next 50 years. The estate also has its own bog, with flora and fauna abundant.

The 165 acres encompass quite a garden, but the property is just a 10-minute drive from the local town of Crossmolina, a 20-minute drive to Ballina and an hour to the local airport at Knock. Golf courses at Enniscrone and Carne offer some of the best links courses in the country and for hillwalking the Nephin range is within easy reach. The yards and lands have been used to raise horses and the stables have all been maintained, should equestrian pursuits be a requirement.

The rumour mill has it that the gentleman with ancestry from nearby Ballina, who resides at the house designed by an Irishman at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, is on the look-out for an Irish property. Far from the madding crowd with fresh air blown in from the Atlantic in a natural haven for wildlife, Glenmore could be just the spot, and has now been launched through Sherry FitzGerald Country Homes seeking €2.8 million.