The Co Louth castle which once provided the venue for a number of RTÉ shows including Failte Towers sold for €900,000 before Christmas.
Bellingham Castle, a landmark 17th-century castle outside Dundalk in the village of Castlebellingham, finally sold four years on from initially going on the market with an asking price of €6.75 million.
Most recently on the market through selling agents Savills for €1.75 million, the 21-bedroom hotel – which is now closed – was sold privately by the Keenan family after they were approached by the Corscadden family, owners of Cabra Castle in Co Cavan.
The castle stands on 17 acres and comes with fishing rights on the River Glyde, and an impressive tower house at the entrance. The overall floor area of 2,416sq m (26,000sq ft) includes two large banqueting halls, two conference rooms, a large bar and lounge and 21 bedroom suites. It is envisaged 40 bedrooms will be added in the next four years.
According to Howard Corscadden, a €4 million refurbishment investment is under way and it is expected to re-open in July as a 22-bed four-star boutique hotel. Corscadden added that Bellingham – formerly a popular wedding venue – has three weddings booked for 2013, beginning in August, and a tour series has been scheduled for 2014 by US operator Shades of Ireland.
The Corscadden family, who also run Ballyseede Castle, Co Kerry, have carved a niche in the boutique castle-hotel market. According to Corscadden they saw an opportunity to buy Bellingham during the recession. They bought Cabra Castle during the last recession in 1991 and expanded the accommodation from 20 bedrooms to 106 bedrooms, focusing mainly on weddings and tour offerings. Bellingham Castle will be run by Patrick Corscadden.
Bellingham Castle is located off the M1 on the edge of Castlebellingham village about seven miles from Dundalk and roughly midway between Belfast and Dublin.