Abbeys and Ancient Forests: Ireland’s Abbey Leix Estate Asks $21.6M

The entertainment industry has no shortage of content surrounding impressive eighteenth-century mansions. Shows such as Downton Abbey display the lavishness of these vast legacy properties, while also telling the story of the decline of the main characters’ stately lifestyle, which is usually associated with these homes. Many of these monumental houses do remain, existing with a deep sense of history. One such estate, Ireland’s splendid and storied Abbey Leix, is now on the market. Sitting on approximately 1,120 acres of rare woodlands, the manor wants $21.6 million (20€ million).

Architect James Wyatt built Abbey Leix in 1773 in the Classical style. The mansion comprises of 26,910-square-feet, including nine bedrooms and ten bathrooms and is further bolstered by a scattering of 10 lodges and cottages on the grounds.

One does not have to exert themselves to imagine hosting an aristocratic ball here. In fact, since nobility from O’More Princes to de Vesci Viscounts have lived on the estate, the home may have seen many in its heyday. A deep hall, guarded by a screen of columns, leads from the major rooms to a music room in which Wyatt’s signature decorative plasterwork is preserved. When the Italianate style arrived on the isles in the mid-19th century, the character was adopted along with the addition of an entrance court, library, and conservatory. An exhaustive restoration undertaken in 1995 ensured the protection of each period detail.

Beyond the house, Abbey Leix estate holds one of the most important swaths of forest in Ireland. Standing there is one of the few remaining primeval forests of oak, birch, alder, and willow. A time capsule amidst an ancient forest, it is listed with David Ashmore of Sotheby’s International Realty.