SELLING a stunning 190-year-old Georgian residence is a practical decision that has been taken with “the deepest regret”.

Owned by husband and wife Roland and Lois Eadie, the Aghavea Glebe country estate has recently been put up for sale.

Chartered Surveyor Roland Eadie, a partner in Enniskillen’s Eadie McFarland estate agents, first set eyes on the property when he and Robert McFarland established their business in 1971.

“It was one of the first properties we sold,” he recalls. “It was owned by Eric Graham and we sold it for Mr. Graham to Mr. James Patterson. Ten years later Mr. Patterson put it up for sale and I bought it off him very quickly.” An historical buildings enthusiast, Mr. Eadie has overseen the loving restoration of the building over the past 33 years. He was helped by his wife and architect friend Richard Pierce.

Built in 1825 as the rectory for Aghavea Church, the property and its Glebe lands remained in the ownership of the church until 1925 when it was sold into private ownership, becoming a farm.

Moving into the property in 1982, Mr. Eadie and his wife were aware that “horrendous” extensions had been added to the building during the Victorian era. They set upon a major restoration scheme which included the demolition of the Victorian additions, re-roofing, re-plastering, re-wiring, re-plumbing and the installation of central heating and other modern appliances.

The house was listed by the historic buildings branch of the Department of the Environment in 1983. “I was a member of the Historic Buildings Council of Northern Ireland at that time so it was of real interest to me to be doing this,” Mr. Eadie tells The Impartial Reporter. As a result of their hard work, a letter of congratulation on “the excellent scheme” arrived from the Historic Buildings Council.

Last year they received a Northern Ireland Environment Agency grant to restore all 22 windows, which involved repair, draught-proofing, balancing, re-installation and painting.

“It was a very successful project and important in these days of energy-saving. My motto has always been to keep things up to date,” Mr. Eadie states.

The stable block and the gate lodge were also repaired and maintained over the years.

Indeed, it was the stables and the 27 acres of pastures that attracted the Eadies to the property in the first place because Mrs. Eadie had wanted to expand her horse breeding enterprise.

Having embarked into breeding thoroughbred horses, she needed more space and the Aghavea Glebe property fulfilled the criteria. It was here that 2013 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Bobs Worth was bred, along with two horses that went on to win the Hennessy Gold Cup.

Contemplating the “fun” the pair had in restoring and living on the estate, Mr. Eadie says: “There comes a time in life where you could do with less so we are downsizing.

“I will miss it hugely and immensely and I will leave it with the deepest regret.” He concludes: “As an owner and as an estate agent, what I’ve always admired about Aghavea is the privacy. The house is in the middle of the land, surrounded by trees and that to me is its biggest appeal.”