IN what is undoubtedly fantastic news for the Portlaw area, Mayfield House has been sold has been sold to one of Ireland’s largest hospitality companies with a view to turning it into a five-star hotel and leisure centre.
The former country manor house, which dates from the 1740s, was sold via online auction through joint selling agents Brophy Cusack and BidX1 Ireland with a guide price of €300,000.
Reacting to the news, Chairperson of the Portlaw Community Enhancement Committee, Paudie Coffey said the committee are delighted that historic landmark on the edge of the village has been sold.
The property, once the family home of the famed Malcolmson family, which has stood vacant for over 30 years, was in the committee’s action plan, along with the adjoining Cotton Mill site.
On a six acre site, Mayfield House was originally built in 1740 and underwent significant improvement by famous Irish architect William Tinsley in the 1830s, giving the “distinguished Italian style that can still be seen today.”
Various other buildings, including a derelict lodge at the main gates, a coach house at the back of the house with coach yard, a collapsed orangery, and a number of other collapsed structures remain on the estate grounds, which neighbours Curraghmore Estate.
“We have a draft action plan to develop tourism, build on the strong social and heritage history of Portlaw and to tell our story, which is very unique in terms of our linkages to the Malcolmson family and to Curraghmore,” said Mr Coffey, “This news brings it all centre stage, and our committee are delighted that new owners are taking over the site. Obviously, there’s a lot of disappointment and concern regarding the derelict state of the building for many years. However, we’ve always believed in Portlaw that the site and the Cotton Mill site has huge tourism potential.
“I remember visiting New Lanark in Scotland, which is a very similar industrial village to Portlaw. That is designated a world heritage site and attracts thousands of tourists every year. Portlaw has the exact same story and probably a bit more. We feel that this story needs to be told and this development will certainly help us along this road and hopefully it will attract serious investment from commercial operators who know how the industry works.”
According to Mr Coffey the modern tourist is discerning. “They are not just looking for sun anymore, they are looking for unique history and heritage, and we can provide a lot of that in the Portlaw area between the unique industrial history, our woodlands, and the Curraghmore Estate, which is next door to Mayfield House. Building on all that potential, this is a massive step forward,” Mr Coffey said. He looks forward to positive engagement between the new owners and Waterford City and County Council and the local community.