Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Hugh Wallace, presenter of RTE One’s The Great House Revival, standing outside Ballinafad House.


Ballinafad House at Belcarra, near Castlebar, has gone on the property market with an asking price of €2m.

The 19th-century property was extensively refurbished in recent years after it was purchased for just €80,000 by Australian architect Bede Tannock. The 70,000 sq ft building boasts 38 bedrooms with the potential to develop additional accommodation if required.

Galway-based Ivan Connaughton Auctioneers describe Ballinafad House as “a once in a lifetime opportunity to acquire [a] prestigious property nestled in an unspoilt area along the Wild Atlantic Way”.

“Since 2014, the current owners have transformed Ballinafad House to what it is today,” says the brochure for the property.

“Over half of the property has been fully restored to its former glory [while] the majority of the remaining works are well progressed.”

Constructed in 1827, Ballinafad House was part of the Blake estate, which once comprised more than 1,000 acres.

In the early 1900s, it was donated to the Society of African Missions (SMA) by Maurice and Anne Blake’s son, Lieutenant Colonel Count Llewellyn Joseph Blake and it became a secondary school and minor seminary to facilitate student priests preparing for the missions.

Balla Mart purchased the building in the 1970s and turned it into an agricultural college but it was forced to close in the early 1990s and subsequently fell into a state of near-dereliction.

The transformation under the ownership of Bede Tannock has been astonishing and Ballinafad has recently become a popular venue for weddings and other social functions. It featured on RTÉ’s Great House Revival in 2018.

Connaughton Auctioneers speculate that, under new ownership, Ballinafad may become a boutique-style hotel, offering the perfect venue for weddings and retreats or it could be purchased as a private Georgian dwelling.

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