Originally built in 1728 by Sir Richard Pyne, a retired Lord Chief Justice of Ireland, Ballyvolane House was designed in the classic Georgian country house style with three storeys. An amorous descendent, Arthur Pyne, acquired sufficient capital from his marriage to three wealthy women to have the house considerably enlarged in the early 19th century.
The three-storey house was again modified in 1872 by George Pyne. He had the building pulled apart and then, by removing the top storey, recreated a two-storey house rendered in Italianate style, with an extensive west end wing.
Recent research carried out Terence Reeves-Smyth unearthed tender documents for the remodelling of Ballyvolane from this time - the architect was Richard Rolt Brash (1817-1876) from Cork, whose father and brother were well known builders in the city. RR Brash is better known as a very active antiquarian and friend of John Windele - he was especially interested in round towers.
The rebuilding/remodelling in the early 1870s followed the re-acquisition of the house and demesne by the Pyne family in 1869. Arthur Pyne (1747-1839), who probably built the present house c1800 and laid out the present parkland (which looks Regency in date), was succeeded by his eldest son, Jasper. Unfortunately, when Jasper died in 1860-1, he left no male heirs. As a result his wife and daughters did not inherit the property because the estate had been left by his father Arthur entailed for a life and could only be inherited by male issue. Consequently, in the wake of a big court case in May 1861, the property passed to Jasper’s younger brother, the Rev. William Masters Pyne, Rector of Oxted in Surrey. In March 1864, the Rev. Pyne put the place on the market through the Encumbered Estates Courts, where it remained until bought by another member of the Pyne family in January 1869.
It appears that Ballyvolane was originally purchased by Sir Richard Pyne in 1702-3 for £696; prior to this it had been the property of Sir Richard Nagle and Edmond Barry, but had been granted (forfeited lands) to Viscount Sidney. At the same time Sir Richard Pyne also purchased three other County Cork properties from the Commissioners for Sale of Forfeited Estates; one was Blarney, the others were the estates of Ballinaneala and Ardra. He also bought Great Codham Hall in Essex in England where the family continued to live well into the 19th century
The Pynes lived at Ballyvolane until 1953, when it was bought by the late Cyril Hall Green (known as Squirrel Green) and his wife Joyce (née Blake), on their return from Malaya, where Squirrel had managed rubber plantations since the 1920s. Ballyvolane was passed on to Squirrel’s son, Jeremy, who ran it as a mixed tillage and dairy farm until the mid-1980s when Jeremy and his late wife Merrie transitioned into hospitality and ran the house as a historic house bed and breakfast. Jeremy and Merrie had also restored and enlarged the gardens considerably over the decades.
In 2004, the reins were handed to his son Justin and his wife, Jenny, who are experienced hoteliers with international management experience. They have continued on the hospitality path and in 2011, they repurposed some of the old farm buildings into a rustic weddings and events space, added glamping in 2012 and hosted HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall for two nights on their official visit to Cork in 2018. In 2015, Justin, along with a school chum Antony Jackson, opened a distillery in the farmyard where Bertha's Revenge Gin is produced. Three generations of the Green family now live at Ballyvolane.
Address & ContactBallyvolane House, Castlelyons, Cork, P61 FP70
t: (025) 36349
Available as a Film Location
Culture and Education
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Accommodation and Short Breaks
Overnight with Dinner
Special family celebrations
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