County Cork, Ireland encompasses every characteristic your mind’s eye envisions when thinking of Ireland: rolling, green hills, jagged cliff sides sloping down to the sea, idyllic countryside, welcoming hamlets, castles from days gone by. Quite simply, County Cork is just as enchanting as one would imagine. And it is the ideal setting for this charming, Irish dream home.
Located near the town of Fermoy in northern County Cork, Castle Hyde was originally built over two centuries ago by notable Irish architect Abraham Hargrave. The dream home is a perfect example of the Palladian architectural style with its plain façade and pediment windows and doors. Bow-front pavilions sit to either side of the main three-story breakfront in keeping with the symmetrical design that is the hallmark of Palladiumism.
Notably, the magnificent Castle Hyde was once the ancestral home of Ireland’s first president, Douglas Hyde. In addition, some famous visitors to the Ireland castle include actress Maureen O’Hara, dancer Fred Astaire, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and musician Michael Jackson. In fact, a list of previous guests of Castle Hyde reads as a who’s who of famous celebrities from stage, screen, music, and politics.
The currently owner, entertainer and artist Michael Flatley, purchased the beautiful, Ireland castle in 1999. When he purchased the exquisite real estate, he stated that, although it was in a great state of disrepair and decay, Castle Hyde was his dream home. He immediately began the arduous process of restoring it to its former glory. No expense or time was spared during restoration. Craftsman skillfully repaired nearly ever facet of the 35,000 square foot structure including the cornicing, center roses, wall panels, and murals. Artisans used 24 carat gold to amend the gilt work. The original restoration project took four years to complete. And in 2016, Michael Flatley updated the home yet again to achieve the perfect fusion of historic accuracy and modern conveniences.
This impressive mansion sits upon the bank of River Blackwater, one of the best salmon fishing rivers in Ireland. Built into the cliff side found directly behind the main home are the ruins of Carrigansady Castle, a 12th century Norman castle. In addition, bucolic grounds stretch over 150 acres, ensconcing the mansion in privacy.
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Paths meander throughout the property, weaving between formal and informal gardens. Tucked against the tree line, the gazebo is a lovely quiet spot to take in River Blackwater. This prime real estate also includes a small farmstead and grazing paddocks.
The master retreat in Castle Hyde spreads over 3,000 square feet. The regal bedroom features an elevated bed platform and a crystal chandelier. Three large windows allow for natural light and a view of River Blackwater. Generously-sized his and her dressing rooms provide ample space for any fashionista. Also awash with natural light, each dressing room has mirrored cabinetry, a center island, and ample space for seating. In addition, the impressive retreat also has his and her bathrooms, each equipped with an 18th century bathtub. Uniquely, raised upon a dais, the bathtubs also provide bathers with a view of River Blackwater.
No detail has been overlooked throughout this stunning dream home. Dark woods, deep reds, and gilt work combine to create a cozy, yet spacious, library. The two-story room connects with an intricate, wooden spiral staircase. A gold chandelier hangs from a beautiful ceiling mural painted to depict images of Castle Hyde itself.
The mansion’s music room has a stunning view of River Blackwater through the floor to ceiling windows. A dramatic crystal chandelier catches the abundant sunlight and brightens the space even more. In addition, the curvature of the room enhances the acoustics of the luxurious space.
Even the entry to this Irish dream home is majestic. Topped with twin sphinxes sitting sentry, the grand gated entry harks back to another time. Hedges and tall, mature trees line the long drive leading to the mansion.
Castle Hyde is a wonderful place for entertaining. The seven reception rooms are distinct and separate, making them comfortable for daily living. However, these luxurious rooms seamlessly connect providing ample space for guests. In fact, the mansion is able to accommodate an event of nearly 300 people. And to add to the ambiance, all of the main rooms of the castle overlook River Blackwater.
The grounds of this dream home abound with enjoyable amenities. Of course, being on the banks of River Blackwater, Castle Hyde has a fishing deck and boat slip. The putting green is the perfect place to work on your short game. In addition, as the property is expansive, this prime real estate even has a driving range to practice your golf swing. Castle Hyde also has a croquet court, a nod to Ireland’s role in creating the modern version of the recreational activity.
Rather stay inside for your activities? One of the pavilions connected to the home’s main structure houses an indoor pool complex with a large pool, mirrored walls, and ample seating. The spacious home theater features plush surrounds and decor that pays homage to Hollywood greats. In addition to a bar room, this luxurious mansion has a whiskey sipping lounge with ample space to store an extensive collection.
The opportunity to own such exquisite real estate in Ireland does not come often. The current owners have brought this beautiful dream home back to its glory. Now its yours to enjoy.
Location: Fermoy, County Cork, Ireland
Ireland Sotheby’s International Realty listed this dream home with an asking price of €12.500.000 or approximately $14,519,000.