Monday 26 September 2016

Spic and span - Georgian pile that has had a €500k restoration

Over €500,000 has been invested in restoring this elegant Kildare estate

Jim O’Brien

Published 15/06/2016 | 02:30

The main residence at Brookville House estate near Carbury dates back to 1732 and is surrounded by 180ac of top quality land.
The main residence at Brookville House estate near Carbury dates back to 1732 and is surrounded by 180ac of top quality land.
Aerial view of Brookville, Co Kildare which has 180ac of top quality land.
The original courtyard has been completely renovated and re-roofed.

In my travels I have occasion to visit all kinds of properties from vast estates with rambling Georgian piles to small compact farms with neat cottage residences.

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I often find myself in a quandary not unlike that faced by the much lovelier Goldilocks; some places are too big, some too small and some are just right. Others are too dilapidated, too grand and then more are just right.

Brookville House on 180ac outside Edenderry and with an address at Carbury, Co Kildare is just right. The 18th century property has been fully and tastefully restored, the land is in great order and the outhouses are a combination of the classic Georgian courtyard and a fine modern building. The property is coming to auction with a guide price of €1.8m.

It is the warmest day of the heatwave as I cross the midlands along the N52 on my way to Carbury, where Offaly and Kildare meet along a slightly contested border.

Brookville House is just over 3km from Edenderry on the Broadford, Clogharinka Road and about 16km from the M4 at Enfield. Located beside Highfield and Edenderry Golf Courses the place is set in beautiful countryside.

The elegant but modest cut-stone entrance is a portent of things to come. I drive up a lovely curved avenue and the house stands in the middle of parkland, a solid two storey Georgian residence with a sympathetic extension to one side.

The owner greets me and gives me some background. "It was in the Mathers family until I bought it in 2009. It had been granted to them by Oliver Cromwell for services rendered," he explains.

"The house was built in 1732 and lived in by the Mathers after that. It was a 365ac holding at one time but it's at 180ac now."

He says the land and the house were in poor condition when he bought the place. "In fact I came to see it a few times and at one point it was flooded but I came back with a friend and a spade, we dug down and it was dry underneath." He bought the property and spent €300,000 renovating the house and €200,000 reclaiming the lands and on the outbuildings.

The house is in excellent condition throughout. The extension contains an ultra modern kitchen, with plenty of space and light.

There are two reception rooms at either side of the elegant hallway of the main residence, some lovely, simple plasterwork and cornicing and other features include original Georgian doors with original fireplaces at the centre of the rooms. Behind the reception rooms are an office, the scullery/cloakroom, an ensuite bedroom and a utility.

Upstairs and laid out over two landings are four bedrooms, all with access to ensuite facilities. The place has been thoroughly renovated and is in 'walk-in' condition.

To the side of the house a magnificent walled garden is currently under grass but could be returned for use as a kitchen garden or converted into an equestrian arena.

To the rear lies a typical Georgian courtyard in perfect condition. "I brought 40,000 slates from a church in the Curragh to finish re-roofing it," says the owner.

At the side of the house is a series of other useful sheds including a boiler house accommodating a dual wood and oil- burning heating system.

Drained and reseeded

A large, modern, six-bay, A-roofed shed located behind the courtyard is currently used as a workshop and machinery storage area but is also fit for many other purposes. Beside it is a traditional, long hayshed with a slate roof.

It is time to look at the land. "After I bought it I had to coax it back to life," says the owner as we drive along the hardcore, central driveway. "I drained, fenced and reseeded the whole place."

And it has all the signs of this work as we drive past a 25ac field of new grass that has just given up a generous crop of hay.

To the right is a 20ac field of barley and a further series of fine fields lie further to the back end of the farm. The fencing is top class comprising wire and hedgerow with an extraordinary selection of trees dotted throughout the farm.

This is a fine place suitable for a wide range of customers. Selling agents REA Coonans Maynooth are anticipating a lively day out when it comes to auction at the Glenroyal Hotel, Maynooth at 3pm on Wednesday, June 22.

Indo Farming

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