– Exceptional country house with magnificent gardens and pleasure grounds
– Excellent reception rooms, including a dining room, drawing room & billiards room
– 9 double bedrooms with views overs the landscaped grounds
– Accommodation extending to 723 sq.m / 7,782 sq. ft. (approx.)
– Grounds extending approx. 8.69 Ha (21.49 acres)
– Courtyard with a mixture of single and two storey outbuildings in need of restoration
– Frontage onto the Leannan River
– Dual access with avenues at the front and rear of the property
Surrounded by delightful gardens and pleasure grounds, Claragh House enjoys a commanding position overlooking the Leannan River.
It is an enchanting country house nestled within the idyllic countryside. Built circa 1890, this grand residence showcases the timeless beauty of architectural craftsmanship. Crafted from snecked limestone with striking red brick quoins to the corners, ribbed red brick chimneystacks and highlighted by six over one sash windows adorned with red brick moulded cornices and sills.
The rear of the house is approached via a gravel forecourt with a grass turning circle. The main reception rooms are light, well-proportioned and well laid out. An entrance vestibule at the rear of the house opens to a reception hall with parquet flooring, a marble open fireplace and a handcrafted timber staircase. Beyond this is the front entrance hall, with double doors decorated with a stained glass fanlight overhead beckoning you to step outside and explore the breathtaking gardens
The drawing room is a true masterpiece, boasting a tall ceiling adorned with intricate cornicing. This graceful space is bathed in natural light streaming through the large sash windows, while being warmed by an open Adams fireplace.
The splendid dining room also sports tall ceilings with its meticulously crafted cornicing, while the room itself is large enough to accommodate lavish dinner parties. The room has views to the south overlooking the gardens with a French door to a patio off it.
Retreat to the billiards room and enjoy a game of billiards in front of the handcrafted timber fireplace or simply enjoy relaxing in a wonderful setting overlooking the landscaped gardens.
The cosy sitting room, while slightly more intimate in scale, still boasts a tall ceiling with delicate cornicing. The open fire is the centrepiece of the room, radiating warmth throughout the space, making it the perfect place to enjoy family time.
The traditional kitchen /breakfast room has a range of fitted units, together with an Aga and a Belfast sink with a French door to a sheltered patio off it. Adjacent to this are the domestic offices, comprising a pantry, utility room, storage space and a wet room.
The first floor is served by two staircases. As you climb the main stairs, the double-height ceiling accentuates the staircase’s grandeur, allowing natural light to pour in through the large multiple pane window.
This floor boasts nine generously proportioned double bedrooms, each offering views over the splendid grounds that surround the house. Two of which are currently laid out as art studios. The main bedroom features four large windows, framed with shutters, providing picturesque vistas down to the meandering river. Within in the room there is an open fire and a sitting area, perfect for enjoying a morning coffee or indulging in a captivating read from the comfort of your own private sanctuary.
There are two bathrooms on this floor, both of which feature a free-standing roll top bathtubs and cast-iron radiators providing a touch of elegance and warmth.
The second floor comprises of an attic with three rooms, offering the potential to either extend the bedroom accommodation or to be used as storage.
Grounds and Facilities
The house is approached by two separate driveways to the front and rear. The front tree-lined avenue, sweeps gracefully over the Leannan River across a charming three-arch stone bridge, leading you past the courtyard and culminating at the rear of the house.
The gardens and pleasure grounds surrounding the house are exquisite and provide complete privacy and seclusion. The front of the house is framed by a colourful herbaceous border planted with a selection of shrubs and flowers including flocks and geraniums, while the house is adorned by the vibrant colours of a climbing hydrangea. The garden is filled with many specimen trees and include a huge variety of plants and shrubs including azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias, as well as a magnificent kitchen vegetable garden. Lawns flank three sides of the house and gently roll down to meet the Leannan River to the front of the house.
As you enter the courtyard through a stone arch, you will find a coach house and ancillary storage in need of full restoration, along with two stables and three stalls with original cobble floors, offering the perfect haven for equestrian enthusiasts.
There is also a further option to purchase the gate lodge located a short distance from the main house.
While the existing house at Claragh was built in 1890, the site had been home to the Watt family since 1725. James Watt, a significant landowner in Ramelton built the weir and mills on the river Lennon but it was his son Andrew. A.Watt that made the most significant contribution to commerce in the area when he built Watt’s distillery in Derry.
Andrew. A.Watt took control of a relatively small distillers on Abbey St. in the 1830’s and, with the help of his son David, built it into one of the largest distilleries in Ireland. By1900 Watt’s distilleries covered 8 acres of land and produced over 1.5 million gallons of grain whiskey a year. Their whiskies sold throughout the UK and USA with their most famous brand ‘The Tyrconnell’ being the top selling Irish Whiskey in America before prohibition.
‘The Tyrconnell’ was intended only as a small batch whiskey and was originally made to commemorate the surprise 100-1 win of Andrew. A.Watt’s chestnut colt of the same name in the National Produce Stakes of 1876. The character of the whiskey clearly followed that of the colt as it became the Watt families’ most important export. The single malt Tyrconnell is still bottled today under the stewardship of the Kilbeggan Distilling Company and retains the famous horse and Andrew. A. Watt’s name on the bottle.
The last Watt master of Claragh and director of the Watt distillery, Geoffrey Watt, passed away in 1970 with the once global drinks company finally winding up 10 years later. Geoffrey was known locally to be ‘wild sore on hens’ (‘wild’ is a Donegal term for ‘very’) as a not insubstantial number of them were struck by him on his way to work. The story goes that he drove his 1930 Rolls Royce Sports Saloon at breakneck speed on his way to Derry when he occasionally hit a wandering hen. He never stopped on his rush to the office but would always call on the way home and pay the owner for the unlucky bird. Sadly, Geoffrey and the hens are no longer with us but his ancestral home remains beautifully preserved as does his blue Rolls Royce in a new home in the UK.
Claragh House is located approx. 3.7km outside the town of Ramelton, a hidden gem nestled in the heart of County Donegal. Ramelton is a vibrant and historic town, brimming with character and charm located on the banks of the River Lennon. It is home to a range of amenities, including traditional Irish pubs, shops, cafes, and restaurants. The town is also served by excellent schools and sports clubs such as GAA, soccer and tennis.
For outdoor enthusiasts, the surrounding countryside offers an abundance of opportunities. Set sail on the waters of Lough Swilly, where you can enjoy a variety of water sports, including kayaking, sailing, and fishing. Tee off at one of the nearby golf courses, surrounded by stunning coastal views and embark on a scenic cycling tour along the Wild Atlantic Way. While the nearby Glenveagh National Park is a walker and hikers dream, with extensive trails over the Derryveagh Mountains, the Poisoned Glen and part of Errigal Mountain.
Ramelton also boasts a stunning coastline dotted with pristine beaches offering a slice of paradise. Just a short drive from away lies Rathmullan Beach, while a little farther afield are the blue flag beaches at Portsalon and Marble Hill Strand.
Letterkenny is located approx. 12km from the property offering additional amenities, including shopping centres, cinemas, and cultural attractions.
3.7 km to Ramelton
12 km to Letterkenny
14 km to Rathmullan Beach
21 km to Glenveagh National Park
128 km to Belfast International Airport
62 km to Donegal Town
All distances are approximate.
Mains electricity, oil fired central heating, mains water, septic tank foul drainage.#