Michael Flatley may be known around the world as the Lord of the Dance, but he is not, of course, actually a member of the royal peerage. In fact, he was born and bred on the rough-and-tumble South Side of Chicago. Nonetheless, the wildly popular, if by some accounts cheeseball, step-dancing phenom has lived for the past 15 or so years like honest-to-goodness aristocracy at Castlehyde, his baronial 150-acre spread near Fermoy in Ireland’s scenic County Cork, now for sale at just over $22 million.
The fit-as-a-fiddle 57-year-old, who plans to retire at the end of the year and makes abstract paintings with — you got it — his dancing feet, purchased the palatial property for just over $3 million, and reportedly spent close to $30 million on a comprehensive, four-year restoration. Set in a vast grassy clearing on the inky bank of the River Blackwater, the hulking, 18th century Palladian manor house measures in at a monstrous 35,000 square feet, with eight en suite family bedrooms, including a three-room master suite with two bathrooms. Several additional staff bedrooms are tucked down in the basement, and there are more than a dozen bathrooms throughout the four-floor behemoth. Lavishly appointed, liberally gilded, and chandelier-lit living and entertaining spaces on the main floor open off an epic, 125-plus foot-long gallery, and include a ballroom-sized reception hall flanked by formal sitting rooms, a two-story library, an oval dining room, and a barroom with adjoining music lounge. The fully finished basement holds a dance studio — natch, walk-in wine cellar, billiards and game rooms, a screening room, and an indoor swimming pool under a vaulted glass ceiling.
Flatley, who keeps an oceanfront getaway near Gibbes Beach on the Caribbean island of Barbados, plans to move with his family to London, where earlier this year he spent about $30 million for a plush mansion in the fancy-pants Belgravia district.
listing photos: Knight Frank