Monday, 28 April 2008

Mount Panther May Be Trumped

Whilst motoring home yesterday, through Dundrum and towards Clough, my eyes were momentarily drawn to what was, at one time, one of County Down's finest estates, Mount Panther. The noble mansion-house, or what remains of it, still stands proudly at the top of the hill and overlooking the beautiful countryside.

Mount Panther House was built ca 1770. It is reported to have had very fine rooms with Adamesque plasterwork on the walls and ceiling; now it is, sadly, ruinous. Former owners were reputedly the Earls Annesley. As recently as 1963, Princess Margaret and the Earl of Snowden were erstwhile guests; not to mention Joan Collins.

The House was abandoned in the mid-sixties and, perhaps a decade or so later, the roof was removed in order to avoid the need to pay rates. Consequently, little remains of the interior except a huge pile of rubble.

The House and Park, extending to a hundred and seventy acres, are now for sale, the asking price being in the region of eight million pounds. Add renovation costs and that figure could be multiplied considerably. Enter the personage of Donald Trump, Esq, who is apparently interested.

I shall follow this story with great interest, hoping that Mount Panther discovers a sympathetic new owner willing to restore the mansion to its former glory.

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