In 2014 the new Tullamore DEW distillery made headlines when it was built by William Grant & Sons at a cost of 35 million euros. When the ostentatious building first opened to the public three years later, it did not do so with the usual ceremony one might expect, but with the smashing of a bottle of its famous whiskey against a column of grain, like a ship being launched.
he original journey that took Tullamore DEW to global success – it is now the second best-selling Irish whiskey brand after Jameson, selling 1.5 million cases a year worldwide – began nearly two centuries ago.
First established in 1829, the long-term success of this top Irish brand is largely due to the man whose initials still appear on the label to this day. In 1863, Daniel Edmund Williams began working at the distillery as a 15-year-old stable boy and by the age of 25 worked his way up to manager and eventually owner of the company. He is said to have been active in the business until his death in 1921.
Kingston House on Clonminch Road near the distillery was originally built for the Williams family as Daniel and later generations developed the product into the international success it is today. Daniel’s grandson Edmund Williams (1928-2007) was the last member of the Williams family to live here.
Built in 1909, this Edwardian home has been brought into the 21st century by its current owners who have upgraded it with triple glazing, a modern kitchen and contemporary bathrooms.
Like many people who consider themselves managers rather than owners of historic properties, they were also careful to preserve the character of the home, with original fireplaces, coves, ceiling rosettes, and hardwood floors all intact. Named for its early 20th-century builder, Kingston House retains its original pitched slate roof, plastered quoins, chimneys and, last but not least, high ceilings and sloping bay windows with floor-to-ceiling windows, characteristic of the period in which it was built .
Over the years, various owners have added a two-nave, three-storey extension, a conservatory and a rear extension to the property. A separate outbuilding has been converted into a three car garage. From the outside it is a striking looking house with walls covered in Virginia creeper and a manicured lawn with a stone sculpture.
At 5,447 square feet, it’s more than five times the size of an average single-family home today, but Kingston House isn’t average.
From the entrance hall with its typical semicircular arch, ornate plasterwork and skirting, steps lead down to a wine cellar and cellar compartment. Off the hall there is a sitting room with a marble fireplace and doors leading to a sunroom overlooking the manicured lawn. Further ground floor rooms include a living/dining room, a drawing room, a games room with utility room and adjoining WC, an eat-in kitchen with center island, Aga cooker and Belfast sink, and a guest WC.
The upper level has five bedrooms, the master bedroom with a fireplace, a walk-in dressing room and a Jack and Jill bathroom, the second door of which leads to the landing. Another Jack and Jill bathroom is shared by two other bedrooms and there is a bathroom and separate toilet across the hall. A fifth bedroom is on the back floor, along with a bathroom and separate toilet, and there are two more bedrooms on the top floor.
Kingston House is a 10-minute walk from the main street in Tullamore, where the current selection of popular bars and restaurants will soon be expanded. Last year the former Tullamore DEW Visitor Center at the Old Bonded Warehouse on Bury Quay was acquired by golfer and Offaly native Shane Lowry and businessman Alan Clancy.
That year her company, Emante Ltd, was granted planning permission to convert the iconic 1879 building into a café, gastropub and music venue. Locals will no doubt raise their glasses to further investment in Faithful County.
Schools in the area include Tullamore Educate Together NS, St Joseph’s NS, St Philomena’s NS, Scoil Mhuire, Sacred Heart Catholic School, Charleville NS, Coláiste Choilm, Tullamore College, Offaly School of Special Education, Gaelscoil an Eiscir Riada, Scoil Naomh Colmcille and Scoil Eoin Phoil.
Nearby golf courses include Esker Hills, Birr and Tullamore. Opened in 2017, Offaly GAA’s Faithful Fields Center of Excellence in Kilcormac features four fully-fledged floodlit pitches, a world-class gym, an all-weather ball wall and other facilities. Tullamore Harriers Athletics Club features running tracks, a gym and a social club.
Other amenities on your doorstep include Lough Boora Discovery Park and the historic castles of Charleville, Kinnitty and Birr.
It’s an hour and a half drive to Dublin on the M6, or you can get there in just over an hour from the train station, which is a 10-minute walk away.
DNG Kelly Duncan is aiming for €895,000.
https://www.independent.ie/life/home-garden/homes/19th-century-whiskey-barons-former-home-goes-on-sale-in-tullamore-41858805.html The 19th Century Whiskey Baron’s former home is for sale in Tullamore