Kilmurry House, historic home of celebrated Irish watercolor artist Mildred Anne Butler with its gardens and grounds, offered at €8,800,000
Sited on approximately 100 acres the historic estate dating back to 1690 is completely restored to create an ultimately private and gated estate with a lake, two-acre walled garden and abundant wildlife
New York, New York (July 6, 2021) — Christie’s International Real Estate is proud to introduce to the market one of the finest country houses in all of Ireland: Kilmurry House. Located in Thomastown, Kilkenny County, the Georgian house in the Palladian style boasts a centuries-old provenance while being extensively refurbished, offering both absolute privacy and opportunities for grand entertaining.
Internationally acclaimed watercolorist, Mildred Anne Butler, called Kilmurry home for all her life, from 1858 through 1941. She used the former orangery for her studio and the walled garden, with its magnificent light, as inspiration for her en plein air work depicting the animals and flora that called Kilmurry home. The National Gallery of Ireland purchased seven of her watercolors for its permanent collection. A watercolor of a pair of rooks was commissioned for the Library in Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House. Her art has been exhibited in locations spanning from the United States to Japan. Christie’s London held a dedicated sale of her studio in 1981.
Kilmurry House, totaling 17,861 square feet with eleven bedrooms and with eight full baths is represented by Roseanne De Vere Hunt of Sherry FitzGerald with global marketing provided by Christie’s International Real Estate.
The property dates back to 1690 through lands granted under the Cromwellian settlement. In the late 1800s the estate was bought by Ms. Butler's father, Major Henry Butler. After Ms. Butler’s death in 1941, Kilmurry remained in the family until 1981. The current owners completely restored and renovated the home to its current high standard of luxury country living, infusing the floorplan with flow and space in keeping with the Georgian style.
Said Charlotte Delaney of Christie’s International Real Estate: “What is most notable about the home is the amount of natural light welcomed into the interiors through gorgeous and massive glass doors and windows throughout. For an historic home this is a rare feature while still retaining its centuries-old charm with original appointments such as ornately carved fireplace mantles and crown moldings.”
The estate is introduced by a gated entry opening to a long tree-line drive through the historic grounds and ending at a large motor court. A reception area with a fireplace welcomes guests and flows into the formal living and dining rooms. A completely modern and large kitchen is a chef’s delight and ideal for family dining with its adjoining eating area and sitting room. Also, on this level is a massive games room, once a grand ballroom, with access to the lovely outdoor terrace.
A stunning open staircase winds to the home’s top two levels where the bedrooms are located. The primary en suite bedroom is appointed with a fireplace, a completely modern and pampering bath and overlooks the two-acre walled garden below, which inspired much of Ms. Butler’s work. Her best-known painting, The Lilac Phlox, depicts the plant that flourished on the property for 100 years and still does today.
Another standout feature of the estate is the azure indoor pool with walls of glass doors opening to the terrace for an airy atmosphere in summer and protection from the cold in winter. The courtyard cottage with its own kitchen and sitting room could be used as staff quarters as could the original two-bedroom gate-lodge with its modern kitchen and bathroom. The property also offers mature woodlands, a serene lake and space for a helipad and paddocks for horses.
While Ms. Butler is the best-known of the property’s previous owners, others are no less colorful and include Charles Kendal Bushe, a 19th century Chief Justice, known as "The Incorruptible"; Richard Archer Houblon, a dashing major with the Royal Horse Artillery who served with distinction in India; his wife, Doreen taught the present Queen of England to ride side saddle and, for 19 years, prepared Queen Elizabeth's mount for Trooping the Colour; and the late Dick Walsh of The Irish Times.
Said Ms. De Vere Hunt: “We are still seeing international buyers looking to purchase a slice of Ireland, but very few houses have what Kilmurry House has – fully refurbished and approximately 100 acres of land. This is a massive bonus to have a walk-in property with the privacy and history surrounding it. International buyers are looking for peace and quiet, low density living, which Kilmurry House offers.”
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