Lot 1 Gilford Castle & Farmland, Lot 1, Gilford, Co. Down

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Region £1,600,000 (€1,825,859)

Detached House
6 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms, Detached House

Contact Name: James Butler

Agent: Savills Country Homes

PSR Licence Number: 002223

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Key Features

Exceptional residential
Agricultural & sporting estate
Magnificent castle
About 135 acres/54 hectares
Traditional stable yard
Driven pheasant shoot
Rough shooting
Fishing on the River Bann

Property Description

Spectacular estate with an imposing baronial castle and productive farmland

Gilford Castle. The main entrance to Gilford Castle comprises stone piers, iron gates and bell-mouthed stonewalls flanked by mature deciduous trees. A sweeping driveway is lined by mature trees and rises gently to a parking area at the front of the castle. Dating from circa 1865, Gilford Castle occupies a private, elevated position, with its front having a north-westerly facing aspect. The accommodation is predominantly laid out over two storeys beneath an arrangement of pitched, slate roofs at varying levels. It is in a U-shape of a symmetrical design, with a concealed basement and a three-storey bay to the front. The principal accommodation within the castle is presently occupied by the vendors, with two areas adapted to create two flats which connect internally with the principal accommodation. Akey characteristic of the castle is the extent and flexibility of the internal accommodation, with the ability to host large, lavish house parties or, subject to obtaining the necessary planning consent, a variety of commercial enterprises could be run from the castle. While the castle would benefit from renovation, a notable attribute is that it has principally remained unchanged since its original design, with many period features, both internally and externally, retained. Exterior features include two turrets with conical roofs, saddleback coping, cast iron guttering, moulded stone architraves, a porch with impressive stonework, bay windows, a bartizan on acorbelled stone base and tall chimney stacks. Notable internal period features include decorative cornicing and ceiling roses, sash windows, hardwood floors, impressive marble and oak fireplaces, feature columns in the drawing room, architraves, shutters, oak woodwork including paneling, doors and a staircase, which is overlooked by a detailed stained-glass window. The entrance wing includes a hall which provides access to the reception hall - perhaps the most impressive room in the castle. Also accessed from the entrance hall is Flat 1 which was designed to serve as the estate manager' s quarters and has accommodation over three storeys, with the bedroom accommodation on the first floor connecting to the main landing. The principal reception rooms of the castle are accessed off the reception hall and all have aspects of the garden. The original dining room is now used as a sitting room, while the present dining room was formerly the billiards room which includes a centrally positioned domed ceiling light. There is a basement which includes a cellar with original bins. An enclosed courtyard is situated to the rear and is paved with terracotta tiles. It provides access to a range of stores. A second courtyard lies to the south and has an external access which leads to Flat 2. It connects the castle with the traditional range of outbuildings. There is a mains water supply, a mains electricity supply and private drainage. The house is situated within garden grounds laid to lawn and parkland which is interspersed with a variety of mature deciduous tree species.

Gilford Castle Estate is an exceptional residential, agricultural and sporting estate with amenity extending to about 207 acres (84 hectares) in total. The historic, category " B1" listed castle occupies a commanding position within the heart of the estate and dates from circa 1865. It is constructed in the Scottish baronial style and includes well proportioned principal accommodation, plus two flats. Adjoining the castle is an extensive range of traditional outbuildings, including a former farm yard, sawmill and kennels. There are two flats within an impressive tower which formerly served as the coachman' s quarters and forms part of the traditional outbuildings. The estate includes attractive formal gardens, a walled garden and parkland. The agricultural element of the estate comprises productive arable land which is presently let on a Conacre basis and lies in a contiguous block. There is a general purpose farm building. Due to the topography, the established woodlands provide the foundation of an exciting driven pheasant shoot. The River Bann, Northern Ireland' s longest river, passes through the estate and provides fishing. The estate is partially enclosed by a traditional stone wall. There are many lovely walks within the estate, with a network of paths and tracks to follow, which are particularly attractive by the river.

Gilford Castle Estate is being offered for as whole or in 5 lots.

Gilford Castle stands in a glorious position above the River Bann, on the fringe of the village of Gilford in County Down. The estate enjoys a private setting - in large part thanks to its beautiful trees and woodlands - and yet is only 29 miles from both Belfast City Centre and Belfast International Airport. The A1 is situated 6 miles to east and connects Belfast with Dublin. The village of Gilford is renowned for its linen industry and provides for everyday amenities including a greengrocers, cafe, post office, public house, restaurant, pharmacy, petrol station and health centre. The village has two primary schools. Though nestled in a private setting, the estate lies a short distance from the Down-Armagh county boundary and is convenient for the towns of Tandragee (3 miles), Banbridge (6 miles) and Portadown (6 miles), which offer a wide range of shops, services and secondary education. Portadown has a train station with regular services to both Belfast and Dublin. Lurgan train station provides services to Newry and Belfast. The port of Larne is 52 miles to the north east and provides daily sailings to Scotland. There are also regular crossings to Scotland from Belfast. The vibrant and thriving capital city of Belfast is within daily commuting distance (via the M1) and offers the complete range of selection of shopping, educational and cultural facilities. The area has plenty of sporting opportunities. In addition to a selection of golf courses locally, the Championship course of Royal County Down is 26 miles to the south east. There is sailing both on Lough Neagh and Strangford Lough. For those with equestrian interests, Down Racecourse is 16 miles distant and there is a number of hunts within boxing distance of the estate. The area is characterised by its rolling hills of productive farmland interspersed with impressive country houses arising from the wealth created from the local linen industry. There are many attractive walks locally, while the Mountains of Mourne (situated at the south east of the county) provide more challenging walks.

Gilford Castle Estate is steeped in history. The present castle superseded another dwelling dating from the seventeenth century. In 1635 John Magill, a Scottish settler, acquired land around the present-day village of Gilford from the Magennis clan. The Magennis local stronghold was situated at Clare, close to Waringstown and they were to forfeit more land after the 1645 rebellion. John Magill strengthened his position locally and the village began to develop around " Magill' s Ford" , from which the name of Gilford was derived. The Magills based themselves at Gill Hall near Dromore but a branch of the family - the Johnstons - resided in Gilford and developed the village. The original castle is believed to have been built by the Johnston family close to the present-day bridge (situated at the north-west of the estate) which passes over the River Bann. Local entrepreneurs were encouraged and the Bann water lent itself to the development of the linen industry, resulting in the village expanding and prospering. In the 1772 the castle was the scene of an attack by a disaffected group known as the Hearts of Steel who were suffering from failure of the harvest and a rise in taxation. Raised to a baronetcy, the last Johnston - a bachelor - died in the 1840s and divided his property between his two sisters. In the 1860s the portion granted to one of the sisters was purchased by Benjamin Dickson, who at that time was a partner in the prosperous local linen thread company of Dunbar McMaster. He engaged the fashionable architect William Spence, based in Glasgow, to design the present-day mansion on a new site in the Scottish Baronial style, creating a majestic grouping of river, park and house. Circumstances dictated he never inhabited this magnificent creation, with Percy Jocelyn McMaster, younger brother of Hugh Dunbar McMaster (proprietor of Gilford Mill), believed to be the first occupant, leasing the house between 1887 and 1891. Miss Katherine Carleton purchased the estate in 1902 and subsequently sold it in 1913 to James F. Wright. It has remained in the Wright family' s ownership ever since. Under their stewardship the estate has been enhanced and maintained and it continues its central role in the life of the locality, as it has for nearly 400 years. James Wright was the son of a mill owner from Ballinode, Co. Monaghan who had become a successful Hong Kong and Manila merchant and stockbroker. His wife, Mary Menary, was the niece of Sir Thomas Jackson, third Chief Manager of The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (now known as HSBC), who was responsible for financing the development of Colonial Hong Kong under the first large scale bank. She was staying with her uncle and his daughters in Hong Kong prior to her wedding at St John' s Cathedral in 1902. James and Mary furnished their Gilford home with memories of Manila and Hong Kong. It became an inspired blend of east meets west. They also furnished it with keepsakes and memories of the histories of their families, both of which had roots in Ireland going back at least 400 years. A news account at the time of James Wright' s marriage said he has had service in South Africa, where he was badly wounded, but has now forged his sword into a pruning hook, and means to pursue a domestic, peaceful life under his own vine and a big tree. In his decades at Gilford, it seems that James got his wish. On his death certificate, his profession was recorded as farmer.

From the A1 take the A26 exit to Banbridge. Continue on theA26 passing through Banbridge and after about 3.5 miles take the A50. Proceed for 3 miles towards the village of Gilford. Before reaching Gilford, the entrance to the estate is on the left.

The postcode for the property is BT63 6 DJ.

Belfast International Airport (www.belfastairport.com)
Belfast City Airport (www.belfastcityairport.com).

Railway Stations
The nearest railway station is at Portadown. For timetables call www.translink.co.uk.

Fixtures & Fittings
The fitted carpets and curtains in Gilford Castle are included in the sale.

Local Authority Armagh City
Banbridge & Craigavon Council Customer Correspondence FREEPOST BEL 2081
Civic Centre
Co. Down
BT64 1 AL
Tel: 0300 0300 900
Email: [email protected]

This property was last updated: 74 days ago

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Selling Agent

Savills Country Homes
20 Dawson Street Dublin 2

Contact Name: James Butler

PSR Licence Number: 002223

Show Number
This Detached House located at Lot 1 Gilford Castle & Farmland, Lot 1, Gilford, Co. Down is currently for sale. This property was last updated by Savills Country Homes 74 days ago. Lot 1 Gilford Castle & Farmland, Lot 1, Gilford, Co. Down is priced as: Region £1,600,000 (€1,825,859) and has 6 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms. View all properties for sale in Gilford, Co. Down. View properties for sale with 6 bedrooms in Gilford, Co. Down.
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