ONE of County Limerick’s most impressive properties – Castle Oliver - has gone on the market for just under €3m.
Set on 15 acres, Castle Oliver overlooks the dramatic scenery of the Ballyhoura mountains, just outside the village of Ardpatrick.
It is for sale through global estate agent, Knight Frank, for €2.95 million.
Emma and Declan Cormack, a couple in their 30s, bought the castle in 2006 when it was in a poor state.
Since then the castle has undergone extensive refurbishment in a bid to bring it back to life.
“We are lucky to have been able to do what we have with it - brought it back,” said Emma this week.
Emma and Declan decided to sell the castle last October and the property went on the market late last week.
“The reason for the sale really is that we want to move on – we want to move on and do something else,” Emma continued.
Built in red sandstone in the Scottish Baronial style, Castle Oliver cuts an imposing figure in the Ballyhoura Countryside with turrets, towers, a flag tower; and 5ft griffins keeping vigil.
Since purchasing the property, the Cormacks have invested a substantial amount of money and restored the premises right down to its original wine cellar with capacity for 55,000 bottles. This is accessed by an original stone spiral staircase that also leads up to the belfry via 97 steps.
The couple made the castle available to rent as an exclusive self catering property for weddings, gala dinners, family get-togethers, reunions, and birthday parties.
“We limited it to a certain amount of bookings every year. It wasn’t really full-on. We had Americans on holiday and different people coming and renting it for a vacation,” said Emma.
Upstairs, there are two wings, one with seven suites, with copper stand-alone baths and large four-poster beds. One of the beds, weighing half a tonne, is a replica of one the King of Norway owned.
Most bedrooms have fireplaces and views over the lawns. A further seven bedrooms, housed in the servants’ wing, are more modest in comparison with the grandeur of the suites.
The new kitchen is behind a secret door from the dining room and features hand-painted cabinets. The private gardens include manicured terraced gardens, a lake, a sunken orchard garden with fountain, and a folly with an out-door hot-tub.
“I am standing outside at the minute looking at it. It is idyllic - breath-taking there is no doubt about it,” said Emma of the castle.
The couple - who have three children Michael, 10, Shane, 7, and Ciara, 6 - have, over the past six years been dividing their time between Templepatrick in County Antrim and Ardpatrick in County Limerick.
The children attended Ardpatrick National School for a time.“We have been travelling quite a bit because our main base is in County Antrim so it’s a good four and a half hours drive for us to come down here. Much of the bookings at the castle have been overseen by the resident butler, Robert Butterwroth.
“He has been great and everybody who has stayed has had such good words for him – there has always been fantastic feedback. He has been part and parcel of our stay at Castle Oliver,” said Emma.
The Cormacks are now keen to explore a new project, though the location has yet to be decided.
“It really has to be by the sea this time - that’s what we are looking for next, something by the sea that ticks all the boxes,” Emma explained.
“We had been thinking of Scotland because there are so many lovely castles by the sea there but I’m sure there are a lot of nice places in Ireland as well – it just depends on what comes up. We will go to wherever our heart goes to,” she added.
The property may only be on the market one week but already there has been huge interest in it.
“These things take time and we could still be here in two years and we are happy enough with that. It is on the market and we will just see what happens,” she concluded.