Victorian estate with organic farm is a wildlife haven


Co Tipperary: €6mBallybrada House, which sits on 100 acres, is known for its oats and flour. The land includes cottages and a gate-lodge

A Victorian house and 100-acre estate near Cahir in Co Tipperary is asking €6 million by private treaty through Colliers Jackson-Stops.

The lands at Ballybrada House have been farmed organically for the past 25 years and its oats and flour are well-known products on supermarket shelves throughout the country.

Owners Josef and Marion Finke have faithfully maintained the house over the years, disturbing none of the original features while upgrading its fixtures and fittings.

The estate includes 24 acres of woodland, 16 acres of gardens and lawns and 60 acres of arable land suitable for tillage and livestock. The River Suir borders the land and several tributaries run through the grounds. The Suir is famous for its salmon and trout stocks and bank fishing rights are part of the sale.

The years of organic farming have created a haven for wildlife, with otters, kingfisher, snipe, pheasants and barn owls among the species regularly spotted at Ballybrada.

The house is reached down a long avenue and looks out over the Suir Valley and Knockmealdown Mountains.

It was built in 1875 by Belfast architects Otway and Watt, using materials sourced from around the world.

A picturesque gate-lodge at the entrance gates could be restored subject to planning. Closer to the house is a courtyard with cut-stone and brick staff cottages which also show potential.

There is a new hay barn and five-bay shed for livestock and machinery.

Inside the main house are four gracious reception rooms, five bedrooms (two with dressingrooms) and a five-bedroom staff wing with playroom and bathroom.

Doors open from a timber-floored hallway to a bay-windowed sittingroom with white marble mantelpiece and half timber panelling. The formal diningroom has a bay window, panelled walls and a carved wood mantelpiece with open fire.

The kitchen walls are also panelled and there is a solid fuel Stanley. A family room doubles as a library and its open bookshelves are an attractive feature. There is a bay-windowed drawingroom with timber floor, bay window and limestone chimney-piece.

Off the rear hall, a back kitchen and a service wing could do with updating.

The five bedrooms lead off a galleried landing with columned arches. Most have fireplaces and two of the bedrooms have en suite showers.

Separate stairs climb to the staff wing, which includes two double and three single bedrooms, a playroom and bathroom.

A small basement houses the wine cellar and store.

Despite its undisturbed features, services have been updated, with recent wiring, oil/solid fuel central heating and automated entrance gates. Outside, terraced lawns are dotted with rare trees and plants such as mammut, paulownia and handkerchief trees, magnolia, camellia, Chilian fire bush and fern elder.

The woodland sloping down to the river is a riot of rhododendron and azaleas.

A walled garden of an acre is home to an ancient mulberry tree and an orchard complete with old apple species.