St. Patrick’s Day is here, and while many may associate the holiday with wearing green and having a little too much fun with friends, there is certainly an element of tradition involved. Ireland is one of the most popular regions in Europe to visit, as it offers thousands of years of history and culture to experience in one beautiful place.
So beautiful, in fact, that it might be worth it to search for a property in the country. Here are two of the most exquisite homes currently available on the market, courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty. Come and own a piece of the Emerald Isle.
At some point in everyone’s life, they have wanted to own a castle. Killaleigh might be just the solution, featuring almost impenetrable walls and a homey touch to boot.
Estimated to have first been worked on around 1590, the grounds feature several buildings that can be turned into homes, including the Bailiff’s House, Sopwell Hall – the principal residence and statement house on the property – and a nearby Gardeners’ Cottage that can house guests. The castle, however, is not to be overlooked for Sopwell. While the stone buildings of the castle don’t offer anything in terms of comfortable living space, the walls, towers and nearby ruins do offer a significant piece of history, and could be seen as a wonderful project for history buffs and interior decorators alike.
Onto Sopwell Hall. Described as “imposing yet welcoming,” the home was built in 1745 by Francis Bidon. With three stories sitting on top of a basement, the house features plenty of traditional features that makes it a wonderful country property, including Doric pilasters, screened arches, and more.
The rooms include, but are not limited to, a morning room – perfect for sipping morning coffee while you plot your enemies’ demise – a drawing room and study for quiet contemplation, and a dining room perfect for conferences with foreign dignitaries… or your in-laws. There’s also plenty of large marble fireplaces to stew over with your chosen partner, a large carved staircase, sienna marble columns and proportioned domed ceilings; not to mention a cute modern kitchen, for those wanting to make meals with current amenities.
The internal decorating also serves as a cross between medieval times and your grandmother’s home, offering a taste of home with carpets, wooden furniture and plenty of nice amenities. Beyond the home, however, there’s also plenty of yard space and things to explore outside of the building, like a nearby woodland area that brings in lots of wildlife – like foxes and falcons – and a few nearby trails to walk through with your dog.
With a price tag of $9.3 million slapped on it, this might be a fantastic opportunity to live out your childhood fantasy… or that from your Sunday evening historical dramas that won 14 Emmys. We won’t judge the motivation. See the listings for Killaleigh Castle and Sopwell Hall.
Just 21 kilometers – or 13 miles, for the Americans – away from Dublin lies a little slice of paradise: a sprawling 8-bedroom, 8-bathroom mansion ripped straight from a period piece. Bushey Park, as the name suggests, is a topiary-lined sprawling property that likely served as the home of an Irish lord when it was first built in 1815. After going through a restoration and extension in 1996, the property now houses both plenty of history and modern amenities that make living in the old country a little more accessible. Ivy lines the walls of this storied villa, with gorgeous gardens and plenty of stone external buildings offer a wonderful experience.
With plenty of rooms filled with natural light, the home is ideal for both entertaining and luxurious family living, with a large kitchen, family room, studio and leisure complex. Beyond the normal rooms, there’s also a spacious indoor pool, home cinema, music studio and games room. There’s also a dining room that comes from a period drama – sans the fancy chatter and dinner – with drapes lining the walls from head-to-toe.
While the home still features plenty of traditional touches, the renovation ensured that modern visitors would be satisfied, with new heating systems and stone outbuildings, like a pool complex and garaging. The pool, in particular, is almost completely unbelievable, in a gorgeous indoor space with a bridge lining the shallow end and a balcony overlooking the space.
Outside the main area and guest lodge, there are also coach house style garages, workshops, four stables for horses, and 27 acres of spacious garden terraces, including a wide variety of plants and trees. While the property promises easy access to the sprawling mountains and nearby stream – as well as the scenic Wicklow Way walking trail – there are also plenty of internal trails to walk through along the grounds. Flowers and fountains are the main attraction here, but there’s also equestrian trails and polo grounds close by, as well as golf and sea fishing in the nearby village.
Of course, all of this comes with a hefty price: roughly $10.7 million. For a slice of traditional living in the emerald isle, however, there might be no better place to spend this kind of dough. Take in the sights and find yourself in a storybook. See the listing here.
Photography by: James Fenlon for Ireland Sotheby’s International Realty