Castle goes up for sale for £2.3m

The historic Gilford Castle Estate in Co Down has been put up for sale, with an asking price of £2.3 million.

Monday, 14th May 2018, 12:48 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 8:19 am
For sale: Gilford Castle Estate, Co Down.

The 207-acre property, described by estate agents Savills as an “exceptional residential, agricultural and sporting estate”, includes a ‘B1’ listed castle dating from around 1865, traditional outbuildings, a sawmill, two flats, 127 acres of farmland and 63 acres of woods.

The estate on the banks of the River Bann, which was last sold over 100 years ago, is being offered for sale as a whole or in five lots.

James Butler, Head of Country Agency at Savills, commented: “It is extremely rare for an estate with such an impressive castle and over 200 acres to be offered for sale in Northern Ireland.

The drawing room at Gilford Castle.

“Given the range of assets at Gilford Castle Estate, I anticipate interest to come from local and international buyers looking to purchase an estate for a variety of purposes.”

In the 1860s a portion of the estate was purchased by Benjamin Dickson, a partner in the prosperous local linen thread company of Dunbar McMaster. He engaged Glasgow-based architect William Spence to design the present day country house in the Scottish Baronial-style.

The estate was purchased by James F. Wright in 1913 and has remained in the family’s ownership ever since.

James Wright was the son of a mill owner from Co Monagan who had become a successful Hong Kong and Manila merchant and stockbroker. His wife, Mary Menary, was the niece of Sir Thomas Jackson, third Chief Manager of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (now known as HSBC), who was responsible for financing the development of Colonial Hong Kong under the first large scale bank. James and Mary furnished their Gilford home with memories of Manila and Hong Kong.

The B1 listed Scottish Baronial-style country house is set among woodland overlooking the River Bann.

The castle comprises a kitchen, hall, four reception rooms and six bedrooms. It also has two flats with seven bedrooms and three reception rooms between the two.

Internal period features include decorative cornicing and ceiling roses, sash windows, hardwood floors, marble and oak fireplaces and a staircase overlooked by a detailed stained-glass window.

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