A French-style chateau in Cork, built on the estate on which Henry Ford’s father was born, has been put up for sale. Lisselan House is a dream home that fuses tradition and history with modern day luxury.
It was built in the 1800s, during the ‘Great Famine’ in Ireland. William Bence Jones, an English farmer, inherited the estate form this grandfather and moved to Ireland.
He made moves to improve the lives of the struggling Irish peasants. Teaching them how to farm turnips more efficiently and renovating many of the roads in the area.
However, he was unpopular with the locals, because of the high rent he charged for living and working on the estate. Bence Jones refused to lower the rent, despite pressure from the Land League, and it resulted with many of his tenants being forced to leave.
One of these tenants was William Ford. Unable to survive with the high rent and shortage of food, Ford moved his family to America to begin a new life. A few years later and his son, Henry, had founded one of the most successful companies of the 20th century, Ford Automobiles.
Had Bence Jones relented to the pressures of the Land League and reduced the rent on his land, then who knows what would have become of the Ford family? Henry would have almost certainly not become rich beyond his wildest dreams as a car manufacturer.
The stunning Lisselan House estate would be the sort of property that Ford would’ve been able to buy with his millions. In fact, the current owners the Blackburn family are in the car industry themselves, as the UK distributors of Mitsubishi sports cars.
The estate consists of a French-style chateau home, with a stunning viewing tower. The home is surrounded 315 acres of land, which includes a golf course, and exclusive fishing on the Argideen River which runs through the grounds. The Blackburn family have put it the estate on the market with an asking price of €9m.
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