Ballynatray estate sale to set €35m Munster property price record

A new Munster property price record, likely to be between €30m and €35m, is being set for a country estate in Co Waterford, Ballynatray near Youghal, with local sources associating the purchase with one of Britain’s richest men and one of its most prominent household names, James Dyson.

The off-market multimillion-euro sale of the pristine Georgian mansion on 850 acres on the Waterford side of the Cork border is due to close in February, having been quietly available for a lengthy period with its steep price tag via Savills Private in London for its owner Henry Gwyn-Jones.

Serial entrepreneur and inventor James Dyson has been linked with the purchase of Ballynatray in Co Waterford but the transaction is subject to numerous non-disclosure agreements. Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA

Henry Gwyn-Jones had paid over €11m for Ballynatray on 400 acres 20 years ago, describing it as “love at first sight,” and since then has done a second series of renovations as well as more than doubling the estate’s land bank to 850 acres, with up to three miles of frontage on the River Blackwater, historically one of Europe’s great salmon rivers.

If — as has been suggested — James Dyson or his investment companies emerge as the purchaser, Ballynatray’s new owner may be able to visit the remarkable riverside estate by air or by sea: Dyson owns several private jets, a 15-seat helicopter, and a 91m private super yacht, Nahlin, built in Scotland in 1930.

The Ballynatray estate, with the riverside sixth-century Molana Abbey on its boundary and courtyard cottages, set a Munster price record in 2004 when it was sold to Henry Gwyn-Jones by the Boissevain family. Picture: Larry Cummins

Ballynatray has been used as a shooting estate for driven and clay shoots and as a bijou wedding and function venue. It has also been a private Irish home to London-based Henry Gwyn-Jones, whose family comes from the Lough Cutra Estate in Gort, Co Galway (previously visited in 2014 by Britain’s now-monarch, King Charles and Camilla) and who has extensive international property interests, primarily in Britain and Eastern Europe.Local speculation suggests that Deirdre and James Dyson may be about to purchase one of Ireland's finest riverside estates, Ballynatray on the River Blackwater. Picture: David Benett/Getty/AquaShard

Local speculation suggests that Deirdre and James Dyson may be about to purchase one of Ireland’s finest riverside estates, Ballynatray on the River Blackwater. Picture: David Benett/Getty/AquaShard

The Ballynatray estate, with the riverside sixth century Molana Abbey on its boundary and courtyard cottages, set a Munster price record back in 2004 when it was sold to Gwyn-Jones by a European industrialist family the Boissevains, who’d bought it in a raw state in 1997 for €1.5m from its historic owners, the Ponsonby family, and who added a security ‘panic room’ to the 230-year-old house, as well as adding a basement swimming pool and other 21st century features.The Boissevain family who sold Ballynatray to Henry Gwyn-Jones, had bought the estate in a raw state in 1997 for €1.5m from its historic owners, the Ponsonbys. Picture: Ballynatray.com

The Boissevain family who sold Ballynatray to Henry Gwyn-Jones, had bought the estate in a raw state in 1997 for €1.5m from its historic owners, the Ponsonbys. Picture: Ballynatray.com

It’s now set to forge a new price threshold once more, having met or surpassed its €30m+ guide in the private sale which is now proceeding.

The very advanced transaction of the world-class property is subject to numerous non-disclosure agreements and no parties to the sale have commented, or returned queries from the ‘Irish Examiner’ as to the purchaser’s identity, background, and purpose.

Attempts this week to get a comment from James Dyson and his foundation also went unanswered.Head gamekeeper Martin O'Riordan with Niamh McCaughey and Neil Porteous heading out for a simulated driven shoot in 2011 at Ballynatray on the River Blackwater on the Cork-Waterford border. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Head gamekeeper Martin O’Riordan with Niamh McCaughey and Neil Porteous heading out for a simulated driven shoot in 2011 at Ballynatray on the River Blackwater on the Cork-Waterford border. Picture: Eddie O’Hare

However, sources have linked the inventor and entrepreneur with the purchase: He’s among Britain’s five richest individuals, worth c€25bn according to various wealth tables.

The multi-billionaire Dyson is a household name, thanks to his various domestic and household inventions from vacuum cleaners to washing machines, to hand driers, boats, and wheelbarrows, as well as his various interventions in British politics, most recently as a pro- Brexit campaigner and thorn on the side of various British prime ministers.Ballynatray House Estate on the Waterford Cork border. Picture: Denis Scannell

Ballynatray House Estate on the Waterford Cork border. Picture: Denis Scannell

As recently as last week, Dyson attacked British PM’s Rishi Sunak’s tax policies as “shortsighted” and “stupid”, leaving the country in a state of “covid inertia”, adding that “growth has become a dirty word”.

“In the global economy, companies will simply choose to transfer jobs and invest elsewhere. Our country has an illustrious history of enterprise and innovation, born of a culture which we are in the process of extinguishing. “We have got through the worst of Covid, but risk wasting the recovery,” he wrote in the .The dining room at Ballynatray House Co Waterford. Picture: Larry Cummins

The dining room at Ballynatray House Co Waterford. Picture: Larry Cummins

Dyson, aged 76, and his wife, artist and designer Deirdre Dyson (nee Hindmarsh) with whom he has three adult children, currently owns a 300-acre Georgian estate, Dodington Park in Gloucestershire since the early 2000s.

The couple had previously bought an estate and winery in France 25 years ago and have a London home in Chelsea.Ballynatray Estate is on the Waterford side of the Waterford-Cork county bounds. Picture: Larry Cummins

Ballynatray Estate is on the Waterford side of the Waterford-Cork county bounds. Picture: Larry Cummins

Recently, Dyson bought and resold a 21,000sq ft ‘triplex’ apartment in Singapore having temporarily changed its place of residence, and maintains another residence there as well as manufacturing interests in Asia.

Away from his main business interests, over the years Dyson has invested heavily in agricultural land in Lincolnshire, Gloucestershire, and Oxfordshire, and his Singapore-based Weybourne Holdings Pte is reported as controlling about 30 British properties, many of them commercial investments, worth c €300m.

Is he now about to hoover up one of this country’s finest and largest riverside estates, on the Irish Rhine?

 
For Latest Updates Follow us on Google News
 

-

PREV Iran-Israel Crisis Live Updates | IAEA confirms no damage done to Iran’s nuclear sites in Israel’s attack
NEXT Minister Urges UN to Provide Matzos, Wine for Seder to Gaza Hostages