Wicklow stud farm returns with €11.5m price drop
Ballinteskin Stud features a six-bed Georgian house on 120 acres with pristine equine facilities
- Address: Ballinteskin Stud, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow
- Price: € 2,500,000 AMV
- Agent: REA Coonan
A country estate on 120 acres near Enniskerry, which last went on the market with a price tag of €14 million, is back for sale at auction with a guide price of €2.5 million – less than a fifth of the 2008 asking price.
Ballinteskin Stud, a fully refurbished six-bed Georgian house in walk-in condition, comes with about 32 stables, indoor and outdoor arenas, and – shades of the Tiger era – a helicopter hangar and landing pad.
Run as a stud farm for more than 40 years, it has been owned over the past two decades or so by two Irish property developers (both fierce critics of the National Asset Management Agency). John Flynn bought it from members of the Durkan housebuilding firm – well known in horse-racing circles – in 2006 for €7 million. After a major revamp and extension, which brought the house to 454sq m (4,887sq ft), Flynn put it back up for sale in 2008 for €14 million but it failed to sell.
His daughter Elaine continued to run it as a stud farm for several years; a company set up in 2010 with John and Elaine Flynn as its two directors – its principal activity “farming sheep, goats, horses, asses, mules and hinnies” – was dissolved in 2014. Ballinteskin was later rented out and has been empty for the past six to eight months, according to agent Willie Coonan.
The estate is situated close to Roundwood and Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, with views of the Sugar Loaf in the distance. REA Coonan has placed an advised minimum value on the property of €2.5 million prior to auction on October 25th. According to the agent the same figure might buy only a large period house with a modest garden in south county Dublin, compared with Ballinteskin’s 120-acre stud farm.
It seems to have changed very little from 2008, when the Irish Times said the house and stud were “as thoroughly groomed as a dressage contestant”.
Like many Wicklow properties, it’s hard to find, hidden away down a private cul-de-sac not far from the busy Kilmacanogue-to-Roundwood road. Inside the electronic gates, a tree-lined driveway leads down to the house, not a large period pile but a relatively modest Georgian home, painted yellow. The driveway curves around to the left, where green fields slope down the hill with clear views of the Sugar Loaf in the distance and glimpses of the sea.
Although it is now empty, with much of the furniture gone, it feels like a comfortable house and seems to have been recently painted and decorated: walls are cream coloured, floors cream-carpeted, polished timber or tiled. Restored in period style, with marble fireplaces and some ornate cornicing, it also has all the modern comforts – a large kitchen with marble worktops, fully-tiled bathrooms, en suites in most bedrooms, and a walk-in dressingroom.
Downstairs, reception rooms at the front of the house flow into one another: the front porch opens into a reception hall which opens through an arch into the drawingroom. Through here is a wide, bright conservatory, and a family room beside it. The mostly-glazed conservatory at the side of the house has a Travertine stone floor and opens on to a patio at the side of the house.
The L-shaped Dalkey Design kitchen/diningroom towards the back of the house has a very large granite-topped island unit, a glossy green Aga set into the tiled chimney breast, and smart cream timber units. There’s a large room described as a playroom next to it, a utility room and at the very back of the house, off the stableyard, a boot room wallpapered with hunting images.
The staircase divides in two upstairs, with short stairs to the left and right leading to five bedrooms: they are mostly doubles, mostly en suite and have cream fitted wardrobes. The main bedroom at the very back has great views of the Sugar Loaf as do other rooms on this side of the house. The walk-in dressingroom isn’t large, but is lined with fitted wardrobes; the family bathroom, with bath and separate shower, is fully-tiled with Travertine tiles.
Outside, there’s a good-sized garden with lots of mature trees and bushes to one side of the house. On the other side is the neat courtyard ringed by one- and two-storey stone outbuildings that include 10 loose boxes. A 334sq m (3,600sq ft) “American barn” a short distance from the back of the house includes 16 loose boxes. The outdoor arena is close to this, with a paved viewing area.
Elaine Flynn ran Ballinteskin Stud as a joint commercial stud breeding thoroughbred and sporting horses for showjumping, hunting and three-day eventing; new owners might want to continue doing that, or perhaps just run it as a sporting equine stud.