A spectacular abandoned castle in Oranmore, County Galway, is set to be the highlight of Allsop’s next auction. Ardfry House built in 1770, featured in “The Mackintosh Man” starring Paul Newman, has a reserve price of between $1.9 and $2.1 million.

This property includes an orchard, stone cottages and various outbuildings. The lands also contain the ruins of an earlier castle, previously home to the Blakes, one of the 14 `tribes' of Galway.

The total site area extending to approximately 11.65 hectares (28.8 acres). The house itself has a floor area of 1,551 sq. m (16,695 sq. ft). The property also has 747 meters (1,260 ft) of sea frontage.

The detached period residence was originally designed as a two-story house with nine bays, a central pediment to the front and a raised roofed pavilion at either end. It was renovated in 1826 when several gothic features were added.

In September 2001 the property and land was for sale in the region of $2million (IR£1.6m). Planning permission was granted by Galway County Council in 2004 to develop Ardfry House into luxury holiday apartment. However this permission has now lapsed but the site offers development potential subject to obtaining all necessary planning consents.

According to AbandonedIreland.com the house by built by by Joseph Blake, who later gained the title of Lord Wallscourt. The Wallscourts lived there until the second wife of the fourth Earl lost all the family money on gambling. She even sold the lead of every roof on the estate. The mansion was left empty and much of the contents stolen.

In 1922 the Walscourt title became extinct. However, in 1950 the three granddaughters of the fourth Earl succeeded in legally reclaiming the house and 33 acres of the family estate. These three Blake sisters lived in an outhouse close to the ruin.

Ardfry, meaning “The Height of the Heather,” has had a colorful past, thanks to many of its eccentric owners, one of whom was known to walk around the house naked carrying a cowbell to forewarn the maids.

The house will be the highlight of Allsop’s April auctions with separate residential and commercial auctions offering a total of 331 properties going under the hammer with a combined value of almost €72m. For more visit www.allsopireland.ie.

Spectacular abandoned castle. Ardfry House, Oranmore, County Galway.