Victorian pile in Virginia with private lake, tennis court and indoor pool for €1.8m

Five-bedroom Cavan property dating from 1890 extends to a considerable 590sq m on six acres

Address: The Grange, Drummallaght, Virginia, Co Cavan
Price: €1,800,000
Agent: McPeake Auctioneers
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There’s quite a bit of fabulousness attached to the Grange, a detached Victorian home on over six acres of parkland outside Virginia in Co Cavan. Extensively renovated by current owners over the period 1999-2000, it’s some pile measuring 590sq m (6,350sq ft).

Current owners say they had built and then lived locally in the hope that this fabulous piece of Cavan heritage might come on the market – and after four years their dream came true. Twenty-four years and a raised family later, they are now placing their home on the market in order to downsize.

The detached five-bay, two-storey house dates from about 1890, with “a picturesque character expressed with balanced elevation, projecting bays and decorative elements”, according to the National Built Heritage Service.

This also states that the landscape contains “a number of historic water channels and a mill race that connect to lakes in the west”. The lake archives refer to as completely private, can only be accessed from the house, and has been used extensively by the family over their past two decades, being the magic spot where they learned to fish for pike and how to kayak.


Most interesting is the large hallway – a reception room in itself – as you enter through the imposing front door. Here a grand piano and gas fire add lots of ambience, and you can just picture the place coming alive with chatter, laughter and song at parties and Christmas time. The family who live here love to entertain; and recently had 197 guests for a sit-down family wedding in a marquee on the lawn. It’s a perfect spot for entertaining.

Five reception rooms lie on the ground floor in the main part of the house including a diningroom, drawingroom and conservatory. Then, thanks to amalgamating the old cut-stone buildings, there’s a host of other rooms, including an office, a lovely family room and lounge – both of which are less formal than the grander rooms out front.

It’s a bit like a gift that keeps on giving; besides the five bedrooms upstairs, there’s a two bedroom mews, which would be ideal for guests. And that’s before you add in a gym, tennis court and an indoor swimming pool. (The owners covered the pool with flooring for the wedding to turn the space into a ballroom.)

But if new owners prefer swimming to dancing, it’s a simple enough exercise to remove the floor to reveal the pool – which was given a makeover when the house was redone.

Added to all this is a lovely building the family refer to as the “cricket pavilion”. Attached to a chocolate box cut-stone building (used as storage) the ‘pavilion’ part has concertina doors that open up to reveal a barbecue and bar, where you can sit with the silence of nature and look out over the lake.

Autumnal hues in aerial photographs show its beauty at the end of summer, especially russet tones from native hardwoods standing guard along the meandering driveway. But no matter the season, this gem – a 50-minute drive from Dublin, and 60 minutes from Dublin Airport – will still look lovely.

What’s also important, despite its location close to the town of Virginia, is “wherever you’re standing in the property – you cannot see another house”, and that is one of the reasons the family here love their slice of heaven in the Cavan countryside.

There’s quite a lot on offer at the Grange, which has a Ber of C3, and is now on the market through estate agent McPeake Auctioneers seeking €1.8 million.

Elizabeth Birdthistle

Elizabeth Birdthistle

Elizabeth Birdthistle, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about property, fine arts, antiques and collectables