Irish Country Estate
A spectacular sporting and agricultural estate with a fairy-tale house surrounded by the most wonderful array of gardens; enjoying the riverside setting; its own golf course together with quality agricultural lands.
- Bedrooms: 8
- Bathrooms: 5
- Size: 1,000 m²
- Year of construction: 1851
Lisselan House dates from 1851/53 when it was built for William Bence-Jones. Its architecture is that of French chateau style, a world apart from the traditional Irish Georgian style which was most popular at that time, however very fitting of its dramatic position perched on a height with breathtaking views down the Argideen River valley. Bence- Jones is said to have marked out the foundations of the house with the help of his three daughters. He went on to create the magnificent riverside gardens on both sides of the river and today these spectacular Edwardian gardens stretch over 30 acres and have been progressively developed since their origin. Terrace gardens now drop down from the house lawns leading to flagstone pathways and tree lined walk ways which weave through gardens of mature shrubs, tall trees, ferns, a rose covered pergola, over wooden bridges traversing the river and eventually to the walled garden.
The house was designed by Lewis Vuliamy and in the late 1800s the smoke room wing was added, to the design of Sir Thomas Newenham Deane who also designed the lodge at the front gate. The conservatory was also added during the Bence-Jonese times. It was built for the Cork Exhibition of 1902 in which Lisselan’s setting was a major attraction. The fabulous double-height glass and ironwork conservatory was refurbished in 1992 and has since fallen into some disrepair.
The accommodation is laid out over 4 levels, with the main reception rooms all found on the ground floor, the principal bedrooms over the first and second floor and at lower ground floor there is excellent accommodation including the snooker room (former kitchen) and staff accommodation. The well-proportioned elegant reception rooms, along with the characterful tower, have all retained their many period features. These include excellent ceiling heights, ornate cornicing and ceiling roses, open fireplaces, original wooden flooring and sash windows. The rooms are all bright and airy with views to the gardens below and the drawing room and dining both open to a large terrace which is ideal to enjoy the most spectacular surrounding landscape.
The house is approached by a glorious tree lined avenue which travels through the stone pillared entrance gates, the top gardens and leads directly to the front door. There is also a secondary avenue from the main road which gives direct access to the courtyard and also connects to the front avenue.
Directly behind the house is found the house courtyard with Pear Tree Cottage and a number of useful outbuildings. Pear Tree Cottage is a charming two storey one bedroom cottage perfect for guest accommodation. Beyond the house courtyard are further useful buildings including the stand along two storey former estate offices which is an ideal for conversion to further guest accommodation if one wished. Other buildings include a range of large garages.
The Lisselan Gardens were laid out in Robinsonian style from the early 1850’s.
William Bence-Jones, the owner of the estate, chose a site on a promontory above the river for a French chateau style house, which was designed by Lewis Vuliamy. The Bence-Jones family created 30 acres of gardens which take advantage of the natural features of the West Cork landscape, contours provided by the valley and the Argideen River running through it.
Lisselan Gardens in West Cork are much as they were in their Edwardian hay day containing many spectacular features through the seasons. From early spring the camellias are in bloom, with daffodils scattered throughout the gardens; followed by the rhododendrons and azalea garden. The long avenue, which runs along the garden, is a carpet of bluebells in early May. The herbaceous border takes pride of place in the summer time. From August & September, through to the first frost of the winter, the vast range of fuchsias are in bloom. The fuchsias at Lisselan have been recognized by and are supported by the European Fuchsia Society.
An impressive feature of Lisselan Gardens is the rockery, which has been described by Shirley Lanigan, author of "100 Best Gardens in Ireland", as "The Glory Of This Garden. It is One of The Most Beautiful Features In The County, Breath-taking And Definitely Worth Travelling To See"
Dramatic features in the Gardens include the Japanese maple, rose wreathed pergola, water garden, and the towering trees. The shrubbery contains mature pines, spruce, holly and more unusual plants including acacia, myrtle, eucalyptus, Robinia and Judas tree. A series of flagstone pathways and rustic bridges add ambience and character to the gardens.
The walled gardens grow logan berries, strawberries, raspberries and gooseberries. Vegetables are also harvested; potatoes, cabbage, lettuce, onions, peas and beans. Herbs such as parsley, thyme and sage are grown. There is an orchard on the slopes of the walled garden that produces apples and pears.
Lisselan Golf Club
Lisselan Golf Club is one is one of the most challenging and picturesque of Irish golf courses to be played. The nine-hole parkland golf course set on 80 acres is surrounded by mature woodlands and boasts the Arigideen River flowing through. Each hole can be played twice, with two sets of tees at each hole.
It is possibly the only golf course in Ireland that features two trains on the course to bring the golfer from holes one to two and holes three to four.
The signature hole of the course is definitely the 8th. This spectacular green brings the golfer across and along the river into the scenic Lisselan Gardens with the French chateau style house as the backdrop.
In 1996 Lisselan Golf Course was voted one of the ten favorite courses
Are you interested in visiting this Irish Country Estate? How about owning it or at least a piece of it? This is one of 12 imposing beautiful estates listed in the Connoisseur collection business model for your fancy. Inquire to find out more how you can participate.