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Monday 6 February 2023 Dublin: 8°C
# Des Res
Limerick country idyll is a luxurious slice of history
The extras have it: secret gardens, pleasure paths, swimming pool, tennis court, croquet lawn, stables – you certainly won’t be bored.

Sherry Fitzgerald Sherry Fitzgerald

THIS WAS GLORIOUS living in the 19th century – and still is, as Ballyneale House in Ballingarry, Co Limerick is in impeccable condition.

This seven-bedroom, four-bathroom classically-proportioned country mansion is the stuff of dreams (and with a three million euro pricetag, is likely to remain so for most of us).

It has an incredible principal house, spread across 8,000 sq ft, but more of that anon. Before you even get to climb the stone steps, still a grand sweep after 162 years of being trodden upon, up to the front door, you might be distracted by some bonus features.

Walk on by

The 17 acres of secluded land to walk on, for example. These include grazing paddocks, rolling lawns, an ornamental lake with its own island and manicured formal gardens.

The gardens are planted with mature trees and spring bulbs, and gravelled pathways lead you across an oriental-style wooden bridge to hidden delights (including a spring garden, a sunken garden, a hazel nuttery, orchard, rose garden and kitchen garden):

Sherry Fitzgerald Sherry Fitzgerald

Room for a pony?

Try a whole polo team, with ten large stables under a slate roof. The area is renowned for point-to-point racing, hunts and professional racing at Limerick, Mallow and Tipperary racecourses, all within a relatively short drive.

Sherry Fitzgerald Sherry Fitzgerald

If you still have energy after all that perambulation, you may enjoy a spot of tennis on the private court (or a civilised game of croquet on the croquet lawn, darling). There is a viewing pavilion so that your guests may politely applaud your forehand:

Sherry Fitzgerald Sherry Fitzgerald

And after all the exertion, perhaps a quick dip in the (heated) outdoor pool?

Sherry Fitzgerald Sherry Fitzgerald

Mansion house

The gem of the estate is of course the main house, built in 1853 as a midway point between the Limerick town of Newcastlewest and the Cork town of Charleville. It is close to the village of Ballingarry and under an hour drive to Shannon airport, but really, this is a place designed to let the residents feel like they own part of the countryside. (And with 37 extra acres available as well as the 17 included with the house, they could well do.)

It also has its own landing strip should you need to arrive in a hurry – and have the airborne means to do so.

It shows an impressive face to the arriving visitor, with its five-bay front and solid stone facade extending its arms out east and west in perfect symmetry.

It has a southerly aspect and a raised ground floor so despite its grand old age, the house satisfies the mantra of the modern interior architect: natural light and elevated views.

You can have any unannounced guests wait in the wide opening lobby:

Sherry Fitzgerald Sherry Fitzgerald

While your real pals can step inside the wainscoted dining room for an elegant candlelit supper:

Sherry Fitzgerald Sherry Fitzgerald

And afterwards retire to any of several generous-sized, en-suite bedrooms with classic sash windows and charming deep bay windows from which to admire the view (if you’re not toasting yourself in front of the open fires):

Sherry Fitzgerald Sherry Fitzgerald

Sherry Fitzgerald Sherry Fitzgerald

There is also a manager’s house, a folly and staff apartment. And if the weather turns poor, a billiards room in a converted barn and a private cinema.

Ballyneale House is for sale through Sherry FitzGerald Limerick for €3,000,000>