The stunning Ballyvolane House was built in 1728 by Sir Richard Pyne, a retired Lord Chief Justice of Ireland. The Georgian-style, three-storey house sprawled after enlargements in the early-19th century. Modifications in the mid-19th century cut it back down to size as Sir Richard’s descendant, George, removed the top storey and turned Ballyvolane into a two-storey house in the Italianate style.

The Pynes remained in residence at Ballyvolane until 1955, when the house and land were bought by the late Cyril Hall Green and his wife, Joyce. The house was passed to Cyril and Joyce’s son, Jeremy, who ran it as a farm until the mid-1980s. It then became one of the founding members of the Hidden Ireland group, an association of town and country houses offering a unique and exclusive style of accommodation and chosen for their architectural merit and interesting characteristics.

Ballyvolane House was run as a successful country house by Jeremy and his wife, Merrie, until 2004, when the reins were passed to their son, Justin, and his wife, Jenny.

Ballyvolane House is the site of one of the most extensive treasure hunts in Irish history. A legend of buried treasure was attached to the property following the double murder of Andrew and Jane St Leger in 1731. The tale spun after their deaths involved accusations of witchcraft and the flight of two servants. While the real events of the murder may be a little less grounded in the supernatural, some facts remain: the St Legers were likely murdered by those very same servants for the chest of gold they kept in their bedroom. Although the accusations of commune with the devil were likely complete fabrications, the House has never shaken the rumour that the murderous servants buried the gold in the grounds and were never able to return for it. As a result, Ballyvolane House can perhaps boast the best dug over shrubberies in Ireland.

– Information from www.ballyvolanehouse.ie