Guinness family puts grand Gothic estate where Michael Jackson stayed on the market for £23m

Guinness family puts grand Gothic estate where Michael Jackson stayed on the market for £23m

It is one of Ireland’s most famous homes, used to film scenes in Braveheart and Excalibur, and which has played host to Michael Jackson and the Rolling Stones.

Now Luggala is being sold by a descendant of the Guinness brewing family for €28m (£24m).

It is being sold by the honourable Garech Browne, the great, great, great grandson of Arthur Guinness. The house was brought into the family by Ernest Guinness, who in the Thirties gave it to his daughter Oonagh as a wedding present.

Luggala, with its gothic batiments CREDIT: SOTHEBY’S REALTY/SWNS.COM

The Gothic house is located in the Wicklow Hills, 25 miles south of Dublin, and sits on 5,000 acres. The house has seven bedrooms and there are lodges dotted around the estate with 20 further bedrooms.

It was built in 1787, with grand castellated battlements; in 1996 the 17,782 sq ft house was overhauled in a €6m makeover, including a new library for the house’s 8,000 books and an indoor swimming pool.

Inside the ornately decorate Luggala CREDIT: SOTHEBY’S REALTY/SWNS.COM

Its thousands of acres of rugged mountains and lakes were the backdrop for Braveheart and TV show The Tudors.

There have been calls in Ireland for the state to buy the house to save it for heritage. Minister of State Michael Ring agreed the estate was “of national importance” but said the country “doesn’t have that kind of money”. He has appealed to the Guinness family to donate it instead.

In 1996, Mr Browne, who is married to the Indian princess, Purna of Morvi, held an auction to sell the excess contents of his home. Guests at the pre-sale party were served with an Indian dinner in a white Gothic former hunting lodge, accompanied by traditional Irish laments led by a fourth generation Uilleann piper.

Garech Browne at Luggala CREDIT: GEOFF PUGH

The house acted as a court for many music stars including Michael Jackson, who stayed there soon before his death, the Rolling Stones, and Bono, who describes the house as an “inspiration”.

The living room at Luggala CREDIT: SOTHEBY’S REALTY/SWNS.COM

It has been home to Mr Browne for the past 47 years. One of his brothers was Tara Browne, whose death in a car accident was immortalised in the Beatles song  A Day in the Life.

Garech Browne, 77, the founder of Claddagh Records, is selling up as his wife lives in Singapore. One friend of the family, Mr O’Byrne, said: “You go there for lunch and days later re-emerge blinking into the sunlight, not sure what happened to you but knowing you had a good time.”

The dramatic scenery at Luggala CREDIT: SOTHEBY’S REALTY/SWNS.COM


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