Six-bed 18th-century manor on Wild Atlantic Way for €1.45m

Errislannan Manor in Clifden, Co Galway, is a hunting lodge sheltered by 3,000 trees on 220 acres

  • Address: Errislannan Manor Clifden Co Galway
  • Price: € 1,450,000
  • Agent: Sherry FitzGerald Country Homes and Sherry FitzGerald Mangan
 

Despite house prices rising in the west of the country, there is still value to be had in comparison to prices in the capital.

Take Errislannan Manor, outside Clifden in Connemara. The bundle in the asking price of €1.45 million includes a six-bedroom 18th-century hunting lodge with thousands of trees, an equestrian centre with a two-bedroom staff unit, a carriage house, tack room and three stables. Add to that 220ac of private lands where you can trek for miles, and shoot grouse and red deer, on a site that is bordered by the jade-green waters of the Atlantic.

The period house faces a lake which has been fished for trout since the 1700s, and the gardens are currently open to the public as they are part of the Royal Horticultural Society of Ireland Gardens for Charity scheme.

It is thought that people have lived on Errislannan for the past 7,000 years as a Stone Age waste pit containing oyster shells was discovered behind the property. The name itself means the peninsula of St Flannan, who arrived in the early seventh century and established a tiny church beside the lake.

The manor was originally a hunting lodge for the Lambert family from Athenry – the most renowned member of this family was politician and barrister Edward Carson. It was subsequently purchased, in 1851, by Rev Dr Richard Wall who had rented the idyllic spot for two decades, and his son Walter is credited with planting the 3,000 trees that provide shelter from the vagaries of the Atlantic.

He also created a walled garden and extended the property to what it is today; a charming 302sq m (3,251sq ft) six-bedroom country manor house that would benefit from some upgrading. The BER is E2.

Next up were the Heather family, whose middle child was the artist Alannah Bent. Legend had it that her parents christened her Medora, by randomly choosing a name from a stud book, but a feisty aunt demanded an Irish name, so she became known as Alannah, which is said to be a variation of Eileen.

Summer home

Later in 1956 Dr Donal Brooks, an orthopaedic surgeon from Dublin who had spent time as a child holidaying in Errislannan, purchased the property when it was semi-derelict. Entries in the history of the property say that there were “six inches of water in kitchen, with buckets to catch water seeping in through the roof”.

He and his wife, Stephanie, renovated the property, which became a summer home for their six children, who grew up with gas lamps at garden level and candles and oil lamps in the bedrooms upstairs.

The livingroom
The livingroom
The dining room
The dining room
A bedroom
A bedroom

With a love of horses, Stephanie established the Connemara branch of the Irish Pony Club, and Donal restored the walled garden while also planting more specimen trees and herbaceous borders.

Today the centre is run by their daughter Siobhan Brooks and horse trainer Roisin Pryce. “Looking back our holidays here were just idyllic, we had so much freedom and I remember when electricity was installed,” recalls Brooks.

She also fondly remembers the abundance of beaches and swimming spots surrounding the property – in addition to the crystal waters at nearby Mannin Bay. “As kids we spent days on end at the sandy shores and rock pools at Candoolin and Pirates Cove, which is just beside the White Lady [a navigational beacon]. Looking back it was all so peaceful and quiet.”

Errislannan Manor is on the market through joint agents Sherry FitzGerald Country Homes and Sherry FitzGerald Mangan.