County Laois is located in the heart of the Irish midlands and is the most landlocked county in Ireland. Laois became known as 'The Queen's County' when it was named after a descendant from the Knights of Ulster.
Belmont House is situated just a short drive from the historic and picturesque village of Durrow. Durrow has grown in the shadow of Castle Durrow, once the home of the Fowler Family and now an internationally known hotel. The town takes its name from its sylvan surrounds, indeed the Irish name Darmhagh Un nDuach translates to mean Oak Plane. With 5 rivers on its doorstep Durrow is a great angling centre famed for its wild brown trout and course fishing rivers, which include the Rivers Nore, Erkina, Goul and Gully. Cullohill is the nearest village to Belmont and its benefits from a selection of services and amenities.
Major neighbouring towns include Portlaoise and Kilkenny City, both providing a wide range of shops, culture and professional services. Kilkenny is a medieval city, renowned throughout Ireland for its rich culture of the arts, music and lifestyle with a wide variety of national attractions, festivals, food and crafts available.
Belmont House is surrounded by excellent transportation systems, positioned moments away from the M8, which connects Dublin to Cork City. Trains to Dublin City run every 15-20 minutes at peak times, then every hour for the rest of the day from both Kilkenny and Portlaoise. There are also daily bus services to and from Dublin City from both towns.
The nearby area offers a wide variety of quality sporting and recreational activities including GAA, rugby, swimming, tennis, equestrian sports, soccer and walks via the Cullahill loop, which is recognised by Fáilte Ireland. Golfing enthusiasts are well catered for locally with courses at Rathdowney, Abbeyleix, Mountrath and Mount Juliet Estate & Golf Club. The keen huntsman has a choice of packs, notably the Laois Hunt and Kilkenny Hunt.
Primary schooling can be found locally in Cullahill and Durrow, with secondary education available in Portlaoise and Kilkenny. Nearby boarding schools are available at Kilkenny College, Cistercian College Roscrea and Rockwell College.
Belmont House is listed on the record of protected structures, National Inventory of Architectural Heritage, Reg No: 12803402.
In 1837, Lewis's Topography records Belmont as the seat of J Roe, but by 1840 John Hely Owen, coroner and land agent was in residence. Jeremy Williams suggests that in the 1850s Hely employed John Mulvany, James Perry's favourite architect, to enlarge Belmont and add the loggia and single-story front.
In the early 1900s Alexander Francis Boyle who was agent for Lord Ashbrook at Castle Durrow bought Belmont. Boyle's antecedents came from the Castlecomer area. In the 20th century, Belmont had several owners. The Hodgins were followed by the O'Connell's who owned The Sportsman's Inn and produced such distinguished chefs as Darina Allen and Rory O'Connell.
The current owners have lived in Belmont House for the 32 years.
Belmont House a stunning period property overlooking the mature countryside of county Laois and county Kilkenny. Belmont House occupies a unique location, situated moments away from the M8 and just a short drive to the beautiful, heritage town of Durrow.
The property is set back from the road and is approached through two mature limestone piers with wrought iron gates, which open to a sweeping driveway. The tree lined avenue leads to an imposing period residence surrounded by gardens and parkland. Belmont House was built c.1860 and is a detached two-storey property beneath a double-pitched slate roof with nap rendered chimney stacks.
Belmont House is quite striking in appearance with the external period features including a loggia to the front, canted bay windows and advanced end bays, nap rendered walls, Lancet-arch window openings with limestone sills and sash windows.
The detail and finishes are notable internally with the accommodation layout being suitable for both modern day family living and entertaining. Prominent internal period features have been retained including Victorian tiled floors, fireplaces, cornicing, architraves, sash and case windows, shutters and ceiling roses. The accommodation is approached through a light-filled hall which leads to the two main reception rooms to the front of the house and a further two reception rooms to the rear.
The bedroom accommodation is laid out on the first floor and comprises four bedrooms in total. The master bedroom suite is an impressive and well-proportioned room with large windows that capture the spectacular views of the rural countryside. It includes a walk-in-wardrobe and bathroom.
While the accommodation could benefit from some modernising, the property has been well cared for by the current owners with the drawing room and library being particularly well presented.
The house is centrally positioned within stunning garden grounds, which are partially enclosed with wonderful mature trees. The garden is mainly laid to lawn and includes areas with shrubs and flowering plants which offer colour, year round.
The south facing garden area, adjacent to the sunroom, has a large lawned area along with herbaceous borders, rose and shrub beds, fruit trees, a pond, a green house and an area with soft fruit bushes.
A charming detached, two-storey lodge cottage of traditional construction is situated at the main estate entrance and comprises kitchen with oil-fired traditional Rayburn, sitting room with open fire, bath room and two double bedrooms upstairs.
The lodge is a beautiful stone structure beneath a pitched slated roof and the light filled accommodation is of generous and elegant proportions, as shown on the accompanying plans. The lodge is situated around a beautiful mature garden. There is a path passing through the garden, which leads to the front door and is accessed off the main road through a picturesque iron gate. The property is ideal for guest accommodation, au pair accommodation or to use as an income-producing asset.
A feature of the property are the impressive traditional outbuildings that connect to the rear of the house. A beautiful old stone wall lies parallel to the outbuildings creating an attractive courtyard which is laid to lawn. The outbuildings contain multiple stores, garages, stables and a loft and can be used for storage in their current form or converted to accommodation subject to the necessary planning permission.
The grounds extend to about 6 hectares / 15 acres of productive grassland, which lies within a single block and is divided into 3 divisions by mature hedging, post and wire fencing and attractive stone walls. The land is gently undulating and has a separate private entrance off the L1558 through a large gate, suitable for heavy machinery. There is a clear, defined boundary between Belmont House and the neighbouring lands and property.