Large Irish castle for sale: CHEAP !!!

A 17th century castle in County Louth, only an hour’s drive north from Dublin, near the coast of the Irish Sea, and which provided the location for RTÉ’s Fáilte Towers reality TV series, has had its price cut by a wopping 66 percent.

The stately ivy-clad Bellingham Castle in Castlebellingham, County Louth is a rambling 2,415 square meter (26,000 square feet) castle on 17 acres of grounds.  The seaside resort of Dundalk is only 11 km (7 miles) to the north and Dublin Airport is only 58 km (36 miles) to the south.

Bellingham Castle first came on the market in 2007 with a price tag of €8 million ($10.2 million). The asking price was then halved last October to €4 million ($5.1 million).  Now the price has been reduced again to only €2.75 million ($3.5 million). At this price, selling agent Savills is hoping to draw in a larger pool of potential buyers.

"Up to now people looking at the castle have been predominantly hoteliers or developers.  However, the hotel and hospitality industry has taken a big hit in recent times," says selling agent Robert Hoban. The price reduction opens Bellingham Castle up to other buyers, such as nursing home operators, or owner-occupiers who would not previously have been able to afford it, he says.

The castle has been run as a hotel since the 1960′s by the Keenan family. The proprietors have retired and are looking to sell.  Bellingham Castle is still functioning as a hotel and has a full wedding diary for 2009. The castle had its "15 minutes of fame" when it was the location for the filming of the RTÉ reality TV series Fáilte Towers, which followed the ups and downs of 12 personalities as they tackled the task of running a busy country hotel for 16 days.

New owners will likely need to give the castle a revamp to bring the decor into the 21st century.  It has 21 bedrooms, a large bar and lounge, restaurant, two banqueting halls, two conference rooms, as well as private accommodation. Bellingham Castle has a wonderful setting on the banks of the River Glyde with a weir and millrace.

 I wish I had an extra $3.5 million to spend.

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