The idea of welcoming dinner guests across a drawbridge may be romantic, but if your home is a European castle, the maintenance costs can be daunting.
When Malcolm Goodbody heard that the 15th-century, 230-square-meter Dunsandle Castle in County Galway, Ireland, and its surrounding 20 forested hectares were up for sale, he knew he had to have it.
"As a boy, I grew up a mile away from Dunsandle," says Mr. Goodbody, who runs a flooring company in Galway. "We spent our summers playing in that castle—it was part of my childhood. I couldn't let someone come in and wreck it."
In 1995, he bought the roofless and crumbling sandstone castle, along with several acres of forest for £45,000 from the local authorities in Galway, and had originally planned to renovate and live in it. But he soon realized this presented a fundamental conflict.
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