Written by By Blaine Harden, CNN
‘Adare Manor,’ an epic, private country house in Ireland, was purchased in August by the team led by Russell Henley of Sentry Insurance.
They now plan to transform the property into the home of the 2027 Ryder Cup, when America hosts Europe. Henley is named as the holder of the winning team’s ceremonial ball; he will have the chance to play his favorite hole alongside current captain Jim Furyk, with the entire team in attendance.
Homes seen as top contenders to host the golf tournament are typically luxury properties frequented by golf-loving fans.
CNN commissioned a team to research and design a bid for Adare Manor. They traveled to the property, which holds a storied history, and to nearby Cork, Ireland, for a look inside. (Adare Manor is an Irish Gaelic name.)
What’s behind this beauty?
Adare Manor, located 25 kilometers outside of Cork, hosts as many as 300 horse races each year. “This is not a fenced-off farm area,” says photographer Blaine Harden, who photographed Adare Manor and its surrounding area. “There’s lots of, like, motorbikes going through the paddocks.”
Many planks of local native wood are used for the home, which is surrounded by a beautiful natural landscape. A maze of small fissures were used to construct Adare Manor’s complicated entrance, according to Harden, who used professional model makers to create a miniature version of the property. The maze also appears in the home’s draftstone exterior.
Adare Manor is instantly recognizable as a unique property. The interior is finished with hand-weathered handboards and horse dung floors. “They were cool because they were worn, they just popped a little bit. Like, when the horses kept hanging on, they would actually pop a crack through it,” Harden says.
It appears as a well-worn home, which was apparently the dream of its first owner.
“This guy, the owner, was a wildcat,” Harden explains. “He literally caught a pony and ran home with it. He had a very strong gene, got pretty exposed — absolutely naked — and had four kids in seven years. He had a very lean body, he was very strong but was also a roughneck.”
The views from Adare Manor
Adare Manor is situated along the edge of Wye Valley, an abandoned golf course in southwest England. These early industrial development tools were snapped up by the 18th century English sheep shearer Joseph Bonscom, who used them as a source of protein to insulate his home against the winter cold. Bonscom’s electricity-powered grills and the technological systems in his home were kept hidden from the neighbors, Harden explains.
Adare Manor also has a deep family history. It belonged to Alfred Augusta Clift, an English industrialist whose wealth was thought to be as high as $13 billion. During World War II, Clift tried to keep his home sheltered from Allied bombing, but his westerly view was so easily scouted that his home was torn down during the invasion.
By 1960, Adare Manor was in the care of George Dixon, a ship’s captain who became involved in business ventures with an Irish royal. The area was eventually sold by Morgan Stanley’s Henry O ‘Brien, who became embroiled in a scandal involving fraud, bribery and influence peddling in favor of the Fianna Fail Party. The scandal was less relevant to the present day, says Harden, because there is currently no Fianna Fail party in power in Ireland.