Mansfield dynasty's lavish €12m mansion to go under the hammer
luxury: Developer's 600-acre country estate up for sale
IT WAS to be their Versailles, the opulently decorated Victorian home that had once been the home of landed gentry and an American heiress.
And once Jim Mansfield took over Palmerstown House he set about building one of the country's finest golf courses on the grounds.
Now the family's dreams lie in tatters and the grand abode which paraded all the trappings of the Mansfield wealth is set to go under the hammer to the highest bidder after the receivers seized it for NAMA in April of last year.
Robert Ganly of Knight Frank is now seeking offers over €12m for Palmerstown House and its 688-acre estate, which has more than half its land still in agricultural use.
Jim Mansfield Snr bought Palmerstown House in 1999 from the US heiress Ann Biddle. The house and curtilage are listed under Kildare County Council's Record of Protected Structures.
The house was extensively refurbished and remodelled, and, with an overall floor area of 25,295sq ft, this was never going to be a simple home.
Described as a "spectacular mansion of grand proportions", the house includes a drawing room, gym, billiard room, wine cellar and library among its many attributes.
A lover of antiques, the head of the Mansfield dynasty fitted his home out in elaborate style.
The ornate decorations and period furniture lent the house a regal air, the very thing the Mansfield dynasty wanted to portray.
A friend of the family recently described Jim Snr's love of antiques: "He had his simple pleasures, like slipping in to the back of an auction to buy old antique furniture and renovate it into something beautiful.
"Both his houses, Tassaggart and Palmerstown House, were dripping with the best of antiques," they revealed.
Throughout the house there are stunning period features including parquet floors, corniced ceilings, sash windows and decorative marble fireplaces.
The PGA National golf course at Palmerstown, designed by Irish golfing legend Christy O'Connor Jr, surrounds the house.
It is one of the toughest challenges in Irish golf and was ranked in the Top 50 of Golf Digest's Top 100 Ranked Golf Courses in Ireland 2012.
The house's grand dining room and 15 bedrooms proved perfect for the lavish parties enjoyed by Mansfield's two sons PJ and Jimmy Jnr. The rooftop Jacuzzi was also put to good use. The pair lived the high life and they didn't care who knew about it.
In 2006, youngest son PJ celebrated his marriage to model and former Miss Ireland Andrea Roche with a reception in a marquee on the grounds of the impressive pile.
But the party lifestyle in the opulent surrounds of Palmerstown House have finally come to an end...for now.