21 April 2020
By Elaine Murphy
- What: Liss Ard Estate, Castletownshend Road, Skibbereen, West Cork
A truly remarkable residential estate with impressive early Victorian Mansion, large private pleasure lake complete with Victorian Lodge and a beach, several Guest Lodges and excellent Pleasure Grounds complete with Tennis Court, private 40-acre Lake with fishing and kayaking opportunities, the ‘Irish Sky Garden’ designed by world renowned James Turrell including a unique man-made Crater to contemplate the ever changing Irish sky design.
The entire estate comprises some 66 hectares (163 acres). The accommodation on the estate extends to 25 bedrooms and includes the splendour of the 6 bedroom Mansion house, adjacent Mews House with 9 bedrooms and the spectacularly positioned Lake Lodge with a further 10 bedrooms and more housing opportunities in the Coach House.
The Mansion house was built by the O’Donovan Chieftain of the O’Donovan Clan circa 1850 and a summer house, a moderately large house, was added to the estate circa 1870. This Summer House now referred to as the Lake Lodge.
In Gaelic the words ‘Liss Ard’ mean high fort, a description most appropriate for Liss Ard House. It commands an elevated and dignified hill top position with far reaching views over farmland and mountains beyond. Providing an important and comfortable home for a number of foremost Irish and foreign families.
One of the most distinctive features of the Estate is its incredible rural and peaceful setting in wonderful mature woodland, interspersed with meandering paths and gardens, open glades and vistas as well as sympathetically landscaped water falls, ponds and streams running into the picturesque Lough Abisdealy, along with the Magnificent Crater designed by James Turrell for the appreciation of the Irish skies.
At the southern end of the Lough is the Lake Lodge, a superbly sited house with extensive accommodation and spectacular views across the Lough.
Liss Ard House and the Lake Lodge are screened from each other and to a large extent from other houses not only by the natural fall of the land, but also extensive mature woodland. The quality of both houses, their gardens and dramatic settings are further complemented by each having important separate gate lodges and long drives.
From the late 1980’s, until mid-2000’s a major restoration of the Mansion, Garden Mews, Lake Lodge and Coach House took place. Today Liss Ard is a hospitality retreat offering guests a place of enchantment and relaxation, with a variety of luxury accommodation to suit all tastes and holidaying needs.
The Lough and its reed covered shores provide a home for many different types of wildlife with birdwatching facilities on the north shore, coarse fishing from the banks and in boats, for a variety of fish including carp, roach, trench and pike.
The gardens and extensive grounds of Liss Ard comprise a mixture of woodlands, meadows, lakes and waterfalls having been devoted to Irish nature. There is a combination of ten inter-linking gardens with carefully laid out paths. The gardens have been created using native Irish flora, reintroducing old rare species of trees and wild flower meadows to help maintain a natural habitat and balanced food chain for the local wildlife. As with all great gardens, they are integrated with landscaping and architecture. James Turrell, the renowned artist famous for his work using the theme of ‘Light’ has created the Irish Sky Garden including a dramatic crater, designed to allow the appreciation of the Irish skies from a different perspective. By lying on the stone structure at the bottom of the crater and looking up, the dome effect frame is truly an unforgettable experience.
Cork City 90 km (56 miles)
Cork International Airport 70 minutes driving time (approx.)
Joint sole agents
Sherry Fitzgerald Country Homes, 164 Shelbourne Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4.
Check out the estate agents listing on https://www.daft.ie/cork/houses-for-sale/skibbereen/liss-ard-estate-castletownshend-road-skibbereen-cork-2047736/