Friday, September 09, 2016

Harristown for sale

Hubert Beaumont giving a tour of Harristown House in 2011.
Harristown House and its extensive estate of land is up for sale with an asking price of €25m, writes Brian Byrne.

The Georgian house, which has a history as elegant as it is itself in the sprawling estate through which the Liffey river flows, has been home for 22 years to Hubert and Noella Beaumont and their children. Hubert came back from London to farm the estate after the death of his father and he and Noella have put an amazing amount of energy into restoring the house to something like it was in a heyday of busy social comings and goings.

Previously the home to the La Touche family, founders of the Bank of Ireland, Harristown has been in the ownership of the Beaumonts since 1946 when Hubert’s father Michael and his wife Doreen bought it from the Graham family and began its restoration.

It hasn’t been easy to maintain the house, even with the limited grant aid that’s available for historic buildings, but Hubert and Noella have had a passion for the property which has kept them going. Now, though, it’s time to sell the 750 acres, which Hubert has previously said he ‘farmed to keep the house'.

The house is open on a number of days a year by appointment for tours, and has also been used several times as a location for films. It has also been used for weddings. The Halverstown Cricket Club is located on part of the property.

The estate includes three lodges, a stable block and a manager’s house. Selling agent is Paddy Jordan of Jordan Auctioneers.

For Hubert Beaumont it’s the end of an era and the decision to move is very much tinged with regret. “To continue living here would have meant breaking up the land and I just couldn’t do that,” he told the Irish Times this week. “It needs a buyer with the means to retain it intact. For us it just didn’t make sense any more.”