Halfway there!

I didn’t publish yet this week, because I was busy with holidays and also with attending the terrific 21st Annual Historic Irish Houses Conference organised by the Centre for the Study of Historic Irish Houses and Estates in Maynooth University.

Stephen and I have visited 93 of the Section 482 properties, so we have passed the halfway mark, as there are 179 listed properties in 2023 (I see that 1 Martello Terrace in Bray has dropped off the list, unfortunately). We are just home from a jaunt to County Wexford where we visited Kilmokea, Woodville House and Gardens, and Sigginstown Castle. We also went to see Johnstown Castle, since on our previous visit the castle itself was closed, and we visited the Office of Public Work site of Tintern Abbey.

There are three types of property that can qualify for the Section 482 Revenue Scheme https://www.revenue.ie/en/personal-tax-credits-reliefs-and-exemptions/documents/section-482-heritage-properties.pdf.

The Section 482 Revenue Scheme gives a reduction from income tax for a percentage of the cost of upkeep of a historic property. It took me a long time to understand that there are different types of Section 482 properties. This can make it difficult for property owners as well as for potential visitors.

In general, a property that is included in the Section 482 List, published by Irish Department of Revenue, has to be open to the public for sixty days a year. However, not every property listed under Section 482 has to be open to the public. If a property is listed with the bold type “Tourist Accommodation Facility,” this is another type of listing with different requirements and obligations. A property of this type does not have to open to the general public at all.

Furthmore, I have discovered much to my dismay that a property listed as Tourist Accommodation Facility does not need to facilitate the average tourist. It may be listed as an accommodation facility when it is only available as a whole house rental.

To add to the confusion, several properties are hotels or have accommodationn but are not listed as a Tourist Accommodation Facility under the scheme. They may not qualify under all of the obligations of the scheme, and therefore choose to list as a regular Section 482 property. These, therefore, have to be accessible to the public for visits on the listed sixty days a year.

Many of the properties that are listed officially as Tourist Accommodation Facility are kind enough to have open days, but not all of them! This is purely out of their own generosity. The lack of clarity in the way the list is published means that visitors – like me for a couple of years – think that the property has an obligation to be open to the public, when they actually do not.

It may not be fair that a property qualifies as a “section 482 property” and receives public tax money when it is not open to the public, but this is a matter for legislation. As it stands, these properties do not have to be open to the public at all. So, for example, my excitement at seeing Lambay Castle listed was short-lived, when I realised it is listed as a Tourist Accommodation Facility.

However, Lambay Castle is one of the properties that does open to the public for tours. A visitor has to have deep pockets, since a visit to the island which includes a tour of the house costs at least €790, not the usual €5-10. That can include 6-12 guests and includes the boat over to the island, which makes it somewhat more reasonable, but it is still quite an expensive day out. If you want to take advantage of it being a tourist accommodation facility, you have to book the entire house, unfortunately. So I don’t expect to see Lambay Castle unless I receive a windfall! The same goes for Lisdonagh in County Galway or Lismacue in County Tipperary, which are both “entire house” accommodation and do not open to the public.

The third type of listing is as a garden. Properties that qualify as a garden only have to open the garden to the public. In the Revenue Section 482 list, it does not specify whether a property is listed as a house, or as “garden only.” Therefore at the start of the year I write to the Revenue to ask which properties are garden only. Properties listed as garden only cannot obtain a reduction on income tax from repairs made to a house but only the cost of maintenance and upkeep of the garden.

Many of the properties have gardens, and since it is not specified on the list whether the property is “garden only,” some owners may, I suspect, take advantage of the ambiguity, and seek to direct the visitor toward the garden only – this has certainly happened to me on one occasion! I only found out later that the owner was meant to make the house accessible for a visit.

So, purely for my own sense of achievement, I am going to list the Section 482 properties here, and I will highlight the ones I have visited so far. There are 179 listed properties. However, since there are 21 properties listed as Tourist Accommodation and at least 15 do not have open days for public visits, I actually passed the half-way mark, or the achievement of visiting half of the properties, a while ago! Of the 158 properties that are not listed as Tourist Accommodation Facility, we have visited 83. Of the 179 properties, we have visited 93!

75 remain to visit, that are not tourist accommodation!

1. Borris House, Borris, Co. Carlow

2. Huntington Castle, County Carlow

3. The Old Rectory Killedmond, Borris, Co. Carlow.

The Old Rectory Lorum, Co. Carlow Tourist Accommodation Facility

4. Cabra Castle (Hotel), Co. Cavan

5. Corravahan House & Gardens, Co. Cavan

6. Barntick House, Clarecastle Co. Clare – still to write up and publish

7. Loughnane’s, Main Street, Feakle, Co. Clare

8. Newtown Castle, Newtown, Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare

9. Ashton Grove, Ballingohig, Knockraha, Co. Cork

Ballyvolane House, Castlelyons, Co. Cork Tourist Accommodation Facility

10. Bantry House & Garden, Bantry, Co. Cork

11. Blarney Castle & Rock Close, Blarney, Co. Cork

12. Blarney House & Gardens, Blarney, Co. Cork

13. Burton Park, Churchtown, Mallow, Co. Cork

14. Brideweir House, Conna, Co. Cork

15. Drishane Castle & Gardens, Co. Cork

16. Drishane House, Castletownshend, Co. Cork

17. Dún Na Séad Castle, Baltimore, Co. Cork

18. Fenns Quay, 4 & 5 Sheares Street, Cork

19. Garrettstown House, Kinsale, Co. Cork

20. Kilcascan Castle, County Cork

21. Kilshannig House, Rathcormac, Co. Cork

22. Riverstown House, Riverstown, Glanmire, Co. Cork

23. Woodford Bourne Warehouse, Sheares Street, Cork

24. Cavanacor House, Ballindrait, Lifford, Co. Donegal

25. Oakfield Park, Oakfield Demesne, Raphoe, Co. Donegal (garden)

26. Portnason House, Portnason, Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal

27. Salthill Garden, Mountcharles, Co. Donegal (not listed as Garden Only but when I visited the house was not accessible – perhaps when I visited it was Garden only)

28. Bewley’s, Grafton Street, Dublin 2 – still to write up and publish

29. Doheny & Nesbitt, Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2

30. Hibernian/National Irish Bank, Dublin 2

31. 11 North Great George’s Street, Dublin 1

32. 39 North Great George’s Street, Dublin 1 – still to write up and publish

33. 81 North King Street, Smithfield, Dublin 7

34. The Odeon, Dublin 2

35. Powerscourt Townhouse Centre, Dublin 2

36. 10 South Frederick Street, Dublin 2

37. The Church, Mary’s Street/Jervis Street, Dublin 1

38. Clonskeagh Castle, Clonskeagh, Dublin 14

39. Colganstown House, Newcastle, Co. Dublin

40. Corke Lodge Garden, Shankill, Co. Dublin (garden)

41. Fahanmura, 2 Knocksina, Foxrock, Dublin 18 – still to write up and publish

42. Farm Complex, St Margaret’s, Co. Dublin

Lambay Castle, Lambay Island, County Dublin Tourist Accommodation Facility

43. The Old Glebe, Newcastle, Co. Dublin

44. Martello Tower, Portrane, Co. Dublin

45. Meander, Foxrock, Dublin 18

46. Primrose Hill, Lucan, Co. Dublin – still to write up and publish, it may have been garden only when we visited – we were not given access to the house.

47. St. George’s, Killiney, Co. Dublin

48. Tibradden House, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16

49. Castle Ellen House, Athenry, Co. Galway

Claregalway Castle, Claregalway, Co. Galway Tourist Accommodation Facility

Lisdonagh House, Caherlistrane, Co. Galway Tourist Accommodation Facility

50. The Grammar School, College Road, Galway

51. Oranmore Castle, Oranmore, Co. Galway

52. Signal Tower & Lighthouse, Co. Galway

53. Woodville House, Co. Galway (garden)

54. Ballyseede Castle, Ballyseede, Tralee, Co. Kerry – still to write up and publish

55. Derreen Gardens, Kenmare, Co. Kerry (garden) – still to write up and publish

56. Kells Bay House & Garden, Caherciveen, Co. Kerry (garden) – still to write up and publish

57. Tarbert House, Tarbert, Co. Kerry

58. Blackhall Castle, Calverstown, Kilcullen, Co. Kildare

59. Burtown House and Garden, Athy, Co. Kildare

60. Coolcarrigan House & Gardens, Naas, Co. Kildare

61. Farmersvale House, Badgerhill, Kill, Co. Kildare

62. Griesemount House, Ballitore, Co. Kildare

63. Harristown House, Brannockstown, Co. Kildare

64. Kildrought House, Celbridge Village, Co. Kildare – still to write up and publish

65. Larchill, Kilcock, Co. Kildare

66. Leixlip Castle, Leixlip, Co. Kildare

67. Moone Abbey House & Tower, County Kildare

68. Moyglare Glebe, Maynooth, Co. Kildare

69. Steam Museum Lodge Park Heritage Centre, Kildare

70. Templemills House, Celbridge, Co. Kildare

71. Aylwardstown House, Co. Kilkenny

72. Ballysallagh House, Co. Kilkenny

73. Creamery House, Castlecomer Co. Kilkenny

74. Kilfane Glen & Waterfall, Co. Kilkenny (garden)

75. Kilkenny Design Centre, Castle Yard, Kilkenny – still to write up and publish

76. Shankill Castle, Paulstown, Co. Kilkenny

77. Tybroughney Castle, Piltown, Co. Kilkenny

78. Ballaghmore Castle, Borris in Ossory, Co. Laois

79. Stradbally Hall, Stradbally, Co. Laois

80. Manorhamilton Castle (Ruin), Co. Leitrim – still to write up and publish

Ash Hill, Kilmallock, Co. Limerick Tourist Accommodation Facility

81. Glebe House, Bruff, Co. Limerick

82. Glenville House, Glenville, Ardagh, Co. Limerick

83. Kilpeacon House, Crecora, Co. Limerick

84. Odellville House, Ballingarry, Co. Limerick

85. Mount Trenchard House and Garden, Co. Limerick

86. The Turret, Ryanes, Ballyingarry, Co. Limerick

87. The Old Rectory, Rathkeale, Co. Limerick

88. Moorhill House, Castlenugent, Lisryan, Co. Longford

89. Barmeath Castle, Dunleer, Drogheda, Co. Louth

90. Killineer House & Garden, Drogheda, Co. Louth

91. Rokeby Hall, Grangebellew, Co. Louth

92. Brookhill House, Brookhill, Claremorris, Co. Mayo

Enniscoe House & Gardens, Ballina, Co. Mayo Tourist Accommodation Facility

93. Old Coastguard Station, Westport, Co. Mayo

Owenmore, Garranard, Ballina, Co. Mayo Tourist Accommodation Facility

94. Beauparc House, Beau Parc, Navan, Co. Meath

95. Boyne House Slane, Co. Meath

96. Dardistown Castle, Co. Meath

97. Dunsany Castle, Dunsany, Co. Meath – request not to publish write-up, unfortunately.

98. Gravelmount House, Navan, Co. Meath

99. Hamwood House, Dunboyne, Co. Meath – still to write up and publish

Killeen Mill, Clavinstown, Drumree, Co. Meath Tourist Accommodation Facility

Loughcrew House, Co. Meath Tourist Accommodation Facility – still to write up and publish, garden open to public, and we stayed in the whole house accommodation for our Hen-Stag in 2010!

100. Moyglare House, Moyglare, Co. Meath

101. Slane Castle, Slane, Co. Meath

102. St. Mary’s Abbey, High Street, Trim, Co. Meath

103. The Former Parochial House, Slane, Co. Meath

104. Swainstown House, Kilmessan, Co. Meath

105. Tankardstown House, Rathkenny, Slane, Co. Meath

Castle Leslie, Co. Monaghan Tourist Accommodation Facility

Hilton Park House, Co. Monaghan Tourist Accommodation Facility – still to write up and publish

106. Mullan Village and Mill, Co. Monaghan

107. Birr Castle, Birr, Co. Offaly – still to write up and publish

108. Ballybrittan Castle, Edenderry, Co. Offaly

109. Ballindoolin House, Edenderry, Co. Offaly

110. Corolanty House, Shinrone, Birr, Co. Offaly – still to write up and publish

111. Crotty Church, Castle Street, Birr, Co. Offaly

112. Gloster House, Brosna, Birr, Co. Offaly – still to write up and publish

113. High Street House, Tullamore, Co. Offaly

114. Loughton, Moneygall, Birr, Co. Offaly

115. Springfield House, Co. Offaly

The Maltings, Castle Street, Birr, Co. Offaly Tourist Accommodation Facility

116. Castlecoote House, Co. Roscommon – the two times we have been in County Roscommon I have tried to make an appointment but they have been closed due to having guests. They are not listed as Tourist Accommodation Facility so they should be open to visitors.

Clonalis House, Castlerea, Co. Roscommon Tourist Accommodation Facility

117. King House, Boyle, Co. Roscommon

118. Shannonbridge Fortifications, Co. Roscommon

119. Strokestown Park House, Co. Roscommon

120. Castletown Manor, Cottlestown, Co. Sligo

Coopershill House, Riverstown, Co. Sligo Tourist Accommodation Facility

121. Lissadell House & Gardens, Co. Sligo

122. Markree Castle, Collooney, Co. Sligo

123. Newpark House and Demesne, Co. Sligo

124. Rathcarrick House, Co. Sligo

Temple House, Ballymote, Co. Sligo Tourist Accommodation Facility

125. Beechwood House, Co. Tipperary

126. Clashleigh House, Clogheen, Co. Tipperary

127. Fancroft Mill, Roscrea, Co. Tipperary

128. Grenane House, Tipperary, Co. Tipperary

129. Killenure Castle, Dundrum, Co. Tipperary

Lismacue House, Bansha, Co. Tipperary Tourist Accommodation Facility

130. Redwood Castle, Co. Tipperary

The Rectory, Cahir, Co. Tipperary Tourist Accommodation Facility

131. Silversprings House, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary

132. Ballynatray Estate, Co. Waterford (garden)

133. Cappagh House (Old and New), Dungarvan, Co. Waterford

134. Cappoquin House & Gardens, Co. Waterford

135. Curraghmore House, Portlaw, Co. Waterford

136. Dromana House, Cappoquin, Co. Waterford

137. The Presentation Convent, Co. Waterford

138. Tourin House & Gardens, Co. Waterford

139. Lough Park House, Castlepollard, Co. Westmeath

140. Rockfield Ecological Estate, Co. Westmeath

141. St. John’s Church, Co. Westmeath

142. Tullynally Castle & Gardens, Co. Westmeath

143. Turbotstown, Coole, Co. Westmeath

144. Clougheast Cottage, Carne, Co. Wexford

145. Kilcarbry Mill Engine House, Co. Wexford

Kilmokea Country Manor & Gardens, Co. Wexford Tourist Accommodation Facility – still to write up and publish

146. Sigginstown Castle, Co. Wexford – still to write up and publish

Wilton Castle, Bree, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford Tourist Accommodation Facility

Woodbrook House, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford Tourist Accommodation Facility

147. Woodville House, New Ross, Co. Wexford – still to write up and publish

148. Altidore Castle, Kilpeddar, Greystones, Co. Wicklow

149. Ballymurrin House, Kilbride, Co. Wicklow

150. Castle Howard, Avoca, Co. Wicklow

151. Charleville, Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow

152. Greenan More, Rathdrum, Co Wicklow

153. Killruddery House & Gardens, Co. Wicklow

154. Kiltimon House, Newcastle, Co. Wicklow

155. Kingston House, Kingston, Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow

156. Mount Usher Gardens, Ashford, Co. Wicklow (garden)

157. Powerscourt House & Gardens, Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow

158. Russborough,Blessington, Co. Wicklow

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