Knockdrin Castle, Knockdrin, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath
A splendid 18th-century Gothic Revival Castle, majestically positioned within a rolling parkland estate in County Westmeath, is up for sale for a cool €3.5m - representing a significant drop of €1.5m in recent times.
The stunning property was previously on the market in its entirety (castle and encompassing 1,000 acres) for a whopping €13.5m in 2017.
It boasts a novel historic background in that British Prime Minister Winston Churchill stayed in the castle during the War of Independence.
Knockdrin Castle is one of the finest picturesque castellated country houses built in Ireland during the first half of the 19th Century. The castle was built by Sir Richard Levinge, who commissioned building the castle residence circa 1810. Within the gardens there is also the remains of a Medieval 16th-century tower Castle, thought to date to circa 1550.
A most striking feature at Knockdrin is the top-lit staircase made of carved oak, like the doors throughout the castle. An abundance of natural light provided by a central glazed dome. The elaborate first floor gallery is decorated with fluted shafts and a sequence of ogee-headed niches around the walls.
Reception rooms on the ground floor include a reception hall, drawing room, dining room, ballroom and library. The accommodation within the castle extends to some 19,375 square feet and provides 7 principal bedrooms (12 in total), including the Crown Bedroom where British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill stayed during the War of Independence - his parents being regular hunting visitors to the estate. Four estate lodges complete the accommodation.
In the Irish War of Independence [1917 to 1921] the rail line between Mullingar and Dublin was bombed and was out of commission. It is locally alleged that Winston Churchill, who was staying at Knockdrin Castle, turned up at the local station demanding to go to Dublin. A local policeman is said to have told him this was not possible, to which Churchill replied 'I don't think you realise who I am'. To which the policeman is said to of wittily replied 'Even if you were the Station Masters son we could not get you on a train to Dublin.'
The picturesque is also celebrated beyond the castle with an attractive undulating topography throughout the estate, which includes belts of productive agricultural lands along with commercial woodland and a large lake, Lough Drin, where the footprint of a lakeside Tea House is still visible.
In all the estate extends to some 1,180 acres [477 hectares] comprising circa 630 acres [255 hectares] in agricultural lands and 450 acres [182 hectares] in woodland, with the balance of circa 100 acres comprising lakes and the gardens and farmstead. A sale of the castle on less lands or the entire will be considered.
The location is picturesque and unspoilt but easily accessible with Dublin city centre and Dublin International airport each within driving times of about 60 minutes. The M4 motorway being easily accessible with a driving time of 5 minutes to the nearest intersection.
The large town of Mullingar is about a 10 minute drive from Knockdrin. The smaller towns of Castlepollard and Cloughan are about a 15 and 8 minute drive away respectively. The village of Crookedwood is 2.2 miles (3.6 km) away. Adjacent to the estate is a Petrol Station which has a small grocery and newsagents shop.
Knockdrin Castle is thought to be the first house in Ireland to have both central heating and electricity. Benefitting from major upgrading some 50 years ago and well maintained since Knockdrin Castle is structurally in good repair but, given the passage of time, requires upgrading.
Knockdrin Castle represents an excellent opportunity to acquire one of Ireland's premier and sizable castle estates.
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