Gilford Castle Estate is an exceptional residential, agricultural and sporting estate with amenity extending to about 207 acres (84 hectares) in total. The historic, category “B1” listed castle occupies a commanding position within the heart of the estate and dates from circa 1865.
It is constructed in the Scottish baronial style and includes well proportioned principal accommodation, plus two flats. Adjoining the castle is an extensive range of traditional outbuildings, including a former farm yard, sawmill and kennels. There are two flats within an impressive tower which formerly served as the coachman’s quarters and forms part of the traditional outbuildings. The estate includes attractive formal gardens, a walled garden and parkland.
The agricultural element of the estate comprises productive arable land which is presently let on a Conacre basis and lies in a contiguous block. There is a general purpose farm building.
Due to the topography, the established woodlands provide the foundation of an exciting driven pheasant shoot.
The River Bann, Northern Ireland’s longest river, passes through the estate and provides fishing.
The estate is partially enclosed by a traditional stone wall. There are many lovely walks within the estate, with a network of paths and tracks to follow, which are particularly attractive by the river.
METHOD OF SALE
Gilford Castle Estate is being offered for as whole or in 5 lots.
LOT 1: GILFORD CASTLE AND FARMLAND (ABOUT 135 ACRES)
The main entrance to Gilford Castle comprises stone piers, iron gates and bell-mouthed stone walls flanked by mature deciduous trees. A sweeping driveway is lined by mature trees and rises gently to a parking area at the front of the castle.
Dating from circa 1865, Gilford Castle occupies a private, elevated position, with its front having a north-westerly facing aspect. The accommodation is predominantly laid out over two storeys beneath an arrangement of pitched, slate roofs at varying levels. It is in a U-shape of asymmetrical design, with a concealed basement and a three-storey bay to the front.
The principal accommodation within the castle is presently occupied by the vendors, with two areas adapted to create two flats which connect internally with the principal accommodation. A key characteristic of the castle is the extent and flexibility of the internal accommodation, with the ability to host large, lavish house parties or, subject to obtaining the necessary planning consent, a variety of commercial enterprises could be run from the castle.
While the castle would benefit from renovation, a notable attribute is that it has principally remained unchanged since its original design, with many period features, both internally and externally, retained.
Exterior features include two turrets with conical roofs, saddleback coping, cast iron guttering, moulded stone architraves, a porch with impressive stonework, bay windows, a bartizan on a corbelled stone base and tall chimney stacks.
Notable internal period features include decorative cornicing and ceiling roses, sash windows, hardwood floors, impressive marble and oak fireplaces, feature columns in the drawing room, architraves, shutters, oak woodwork including paneling, doors and a staircase, which is overlooked by a detailed stained-glass window.
The entrance wing includes a hall which provides access to the reception hall – perhaps the most impressive room in the castle. Also accessed from the entrance hall is Flat 1 which was designed to serve as the estate manager’s quarters and has accommodation over three storeys, with the bedroom accommodation on the first floor connecting to the main landing. The principal reception rooms of the castle are accessed off the reception hall and all have aspects of the garden. The original dining room is now used as a sitting room, while the present dining room was formerly the billiards room which includes a centrally positioned domed ceiling light.
There is a basement which includes a cellar with original bins.
An enclosed courtyard is situated to the rear and is paved with terracotta tiles. It provides access to a range of stores.A second courtyard lies to the south and has an external access which leads to Flat 2. It connects the castle with the traditional range of outbuildings.
There is a mains water supply, a mains electricity supply and private drainage.
The house is situated within garden grounds laid to lawn and parkland which is interspersed with a variety of mature deciduous tree species.
Situated to the south and adjoining the castle is a substantial range of outbuildings which is category “B1” listed. Their architecture is in keeping with the Scottish baronial style of the castle. They are laid out in a U-shape and are of a combination of stone and brick beneath pitched slate roofs. The main estate driveway continues beyond the front of the castle to provide access to the outbuildings. A second tree-lined driveway leading from the east of the estate also leads to the outbuildings and connects with the main driveway. An ornate gated entrance leads to a central courtyard. It comprises an impressive arched entrance with piers and timber lattice gates.
The majority of the traditional range has remained unchanged since its construction, including a number of the original internal finishes. It offers extensive, versatile space, with two sides over two storeys and the third side over one storey. There is a spacious loft which has previously hosted a variety of events. The key feature of the courtyard is the former coachmen’s quarters, over three storeys which is accessed via an impressive tower. It includes Flats 3 and 4.
A sawmill and pair of dog kennels of traditional construction lie to the south of the main range of outbuildings and form a rear courtyard. The construction of the kennels is particularly charming, with decorative cast iron railings and matching gates. There is also a traditional general purpose outbuilding which is particularly notable due to its Belfast Truss roof.
Situated off the east driveway is a Dutch barn of 7 bays which provides general purpose storage and includes an area of hard standing and secure stores.
The land in Lot 1 lies in a ring-fenced block and includes 73 acres of farmland, 48 acres of woods and 14 acres of miscellaneous land. The farmland mostly has a southerly aspect.
LOT 2: WALLED GARDEN (ABOUT 6 ACRES)
Situated in the centre of the estate and to the south east of the castle is a walled garden extending to about 1 acre. It is constructed of brick with ornate railings and a decorative entrance gate. There are potting sheds and the remains of a greenhouse outside the walled garden. About 5 acres of mature woods surround the walled garden and are included in Lot 2.
LOT 3: LAND AT LOUGHBRICKLAND ROAD EAST (ABOUT 34 ACRES)
Lot 3 includes a single field of productive arable land extending to about 23 acres which is of a good size and shape. There are also about 10 acres of mature woods on the southern boundary and a young plantation on the western boundary. It is accessed directly from the public road.
LOT 4: LAND AT LOUGHBRICKLAND ROAD WEST (ABOUT 12 ACRES)
Extending to about 12 acres in total, this includes a single field presently in grass and about 1 acre of woods. The field lies between Loughbrickland and Scarva Roads.
LOT 5: LAND AT TULLYLISH ROAD (ABOUT 20 ACRES)
Lot 5 is an arable field extending to about 20 acres with access from Tullylish Road.