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Luxurious Midland mansion bought by Irish billionaire for an incredible amount


A millionaire British banker has sold the iconic mansion of Abbey Leix House in Laois to a young Irish tech billionaire.

Stripe co-founder John Collison has reportedly paid a massive asking price of $ 20 million to purchase the stately home and estate on the outskirts of the heritage town of Laois.

Formerly owned by the de Vesci family, the house was rescued from dereliction and restored to its former glory by Sir David Davies after purchasing the house and 1,200 acres of estate from Viscount Tom De Vesci in 1995.

He published a wonderful book on the property in 2017 and spoke about what Abbey Leix House means to him.

“We have a lot of wild animals, red squirrels, hares and deer, it’s a small oasis. It’s a family home, I wanted it to be called a home and not a home in the title because that’s what it is to me and my family, ”Sir David told the Leinster Express at the ‘era.

However, within two years he put the house on the market with the intention of reducing it to another property in Wicklow.

The sale was managed and marketed internationally by the famous Sotheby’s. He listed the property at 26,910 square feet at 20 million euros.

The Irish Times reports that a statement released by Sotheby’s by Mr Davies said he was happy to confirm that his trust was committed to selling the house and the majority of its contents to a private buyer.

“The selection of the buyer was made because of his ambition and his interest in preserving the integrity of the estate, including the buildings and especially the trees, and his ability to invest in the estate,” he said. he declares.

Collison, who is only 30, is originally from Dromineer, County Tipperary, but grew up in Limerick. He is president of Stripe which he co-founded in 2010 with his brother Patrick. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, his net worth was estimated at $ 11.4 billion, making him one of the richest people in Ireland.

Stripe is an Irish-American financial services and software as a service company based in San Francisco and Dublin. The company mainly offers payment processing software and application programming interfaces for e-commerce websites and mobile applications. Elon Musk was among those who supported the creation of Stipe.

There was public access to the land during the last years of the DeVesci property. Sir David has opened the doors and doors twice a year for fundraisers for local Lions clubs and as part of Heritage Week. It remains to be seen what public access the new owner will give the inhabitants of Abbayeix and Laois to the property. MORE BELOW THE IMAGE.

Laois is home to several iconic mansions dating back to the Queen’s County era, such as Emo Court and Ballyfin House. Sothebys describes Abbey Leix as one of the most venerable 18th century houses in Ireland in its trade literature.

“A splendid and most distinguished 18th century Irish mansion set in a remarkable and ancient woodland estate of over 1000 acres.

“In any list of important Irish country houses, Leix Abbey occupies a prominent place. The late 18th century manor house, dressed in Italian style in 1859-1860, enjoys a remarkable position within ‘a private estate comprising around 1120 acres and includes some of Ireland’s most remarkable old growth forest and extensive frontage on the River Nore, “he says.

The auction house says the accommodation is “large and beautifully” augmented with 10 lodges and cottages on the estate.

Abbey Leix was designed in 1773 by famous architect James Wyatt. The house is an elegant classic three-storey mansion of seven bays, the three central bays under a triangular pediment. Sotheby’s say The layout of the rooms is elegant and simple, with three large rooms facing the park front. MORE BELOW THE IMAGE.

There is a deep hall, with a screen of columns separating it from the east-west facing hall and stairway. The music room at the southeast corner of the house retains the light, decorative plaster that Wyatt was so admired for. Plaster cockades framed with garlands of envelopes were decorated in grisaille by artist De Gree a few years after their completion, probably around 1785.

In the middle of the 19th century, the Italian character was adopted and the large classical library and a conservatory were added. At the same time, the facade of the house was surrounded by an entrance courtyard with terraces added to the rear. A complete and sympathetic restoration was undertaken in 1995. A new state dining room was created.

The entire northwest corner of the apartment has been redesigned to offer a new family room, kitchen and pantry. A major conservation program for the large rooms follows. T

“The works create a 21st century family home with an appropriate balance between comfort and informality on the one hand and grandeur for entertainment and art display on the other,” Sotheby’s said. MORE BELOW THE IMAGE.

Besides the importance of the house, the estate is invaluable.

“Leix Abbey has one of the most important collections of trees in Ireland. While elsewhere in Ireland the pristine forests of oak, birch, alder and willow have been almost completely depleted, Park Hill woods across the river are some of the last remnants of the ancient Irish forest.

“Leix Abbey, like so many places in Ireland, owes its origins to the religious establishment, and in particular to the French Cistercian monks who came to Ireland in the mid-12th century. The present estate evolved from the barns, woods and fields of the monastery. A tree, Ireland’s oldest oak tree still survives from this period. The de Vesci family has fashioned a landscape as beautiful as the house they built during their possession between 1675 and 1995 ”, explains Sotheby’s.

The property also includes a stud farm which includes a nice range of freestone outbuildings. A beautiful main courtyard, with a clock tower, was built in local limestone in 1822. The quadrangular courtyard contains 24 loose boxes. A separate farmyard has a range of farm sheds. Farmland provides good pasture. The limestone soil is ideal for breeding and blood storage, being well landscaped in well sheltered and gently rolling fields and paddocks.

Besides Sir David Davies and the Desci family, Collison will join French Monks, O’More Princes, Ormonde Earls as the last guardian of this jewel of Laois.