A 157-acre private island off the southwest coast of Ireland has sold for 5.5 million euros ($6.3 million), despite the buyer never having actually visited.
Horse Island was sold to an anonymous ultra-high-net-worth European buyer in July, following months of negotiations during the coronavirus lockdown, according to London-based Montague Real Estate, which facilitated the deal. The broker had been asked to find an island for the buyer in December 2019.
Located off the coast of Schull in West Cork, the island has three sandy beaches, and is home to seals and other wildlife. Its new owner has never actually visited the island, and purchased it after only a video tour.
There are currently seven properties on the island, including a six-bedroom 4,500-square-foot main house, two three-bedroom guest houses, a couple of two-bedroom homes and two one-bedroom cottages.
Horse Island also has a private pier, a helipad, a games and gym house, tennis court and “shipwreck play house.” The island has its own electricity, water and sewage systems, as well as its own private roads enabling access to the entire land.
Between 1820 and 1874, Horse Island was home to a “thriving copper industry,” with a population peak of 137 people in 1841. Most of its residents worked in its mines.
All of its inhabitants had left by 1965 but some of the ruins of the old village can still be found on the island.
German fitness expert Gert Kolbel bought and renovated the island in the 1980s.