Sunday 28 December 2014

Bespoke €985k home in Wicklow nests right between the twin peaks

A top-end fit out with entertainment capacity in droves characterise this bespoke home in Kilmacanogue.

Published 29/08/2014 | 02:30

Robin Hill, Kilmacanogue, Co Wicklow.
Robin Hill, Kilmacanogue, Co Wicklow.
Robin Hill's dining room.
Robin Hill's kitchen.
The entrance hall at Robin's Hill.
Robin Hill's drawing room.
The Sugar Loaf mountain in Co Wicklow.

NORTH east County Wicklow has been blessed with a peculiar series of scenic landscape landmarks, which make it geographically unique in Ireland and also render it a favourite with hill walkers and Sunday day trippers from the capital.

There's Glendalough with its craggy, serene and almost moon-like terrain. There's the Powerscourt waterfall cascading down a 120-metre rocky drop and the subject of so many paintings through hundreds of years.

Robin Hill's kitchen.
Robin Hill's kitchen.

Then there's the Sugar Loaves, great and little, which stand up elegantly out of the earth and atop which you'll encounter some of the best views on the east coast.

The dramatic peak of the former especially looks like it's made of poured sugar, thanks to its pale colouring, which is provided by its exposed quartzite core and its tapering shape.

The entrance hall at Robin's Hill.
The entrance hall at Robin's Hill.

Despite the fact that it's just 500 metres high and can be easily climbed by a family in an afternoon, this Wicklow peak gives the impression of being much higher when viewed in the distance thanks to being situated in largely flat terrain. A wholly natural trompe d'oeil.

And nestling between the peaks of the great and little sugarloaves (or should that be hills?) in this exotic terrain is the village of Kilmacanogue.

Robin Hill's drawing room.
Robin Hill's drawing room.

Historically the stomping ground of the Jameson Whiskey family and the main coach stop on the road from Dublin to Wicklow Town, more recently, Kilmacanogue and its surrounds has been a target of wealthier home hunters seeking a country spread within reach of the urban centre of Bray and Dublin city.

The boom years saw vast fortunes spent in these quasi-rural parts, on choice site acquisition and the building squat and elegant homesteads where planning permissions could be obtained.

The Sugar Loaf mountain in Co Wicklow.
The Sugar Loaf mountain in Co Wicklow.

This was, by no means, easy given that the local authorities in the country have long had the reputation of being strict with their approvals for building here.

For the financially well-upholstered home hunter scouring the area today, the advantage of the downturn is that they can often acquire a "nearly new" top-end home with the very best of flooring, fireplaces, kitchens and general kit - often for a good deal less than it cost to build them during the boom.

Homestead

Constructed in 2001, just before the boom got "boomier," Robin Hill is a spacious Wicklow homestead which ticks the boxes for top fit out and kit.

The 4,500 sq ft dormer is constructed in a neo period style which actually works well. It's been built for entertainment with all the extra large reception rooms opening in to one another.

At four times the size of the average city semi, the house is accessed by electric gates and up along a lamp lit driveway to the front of the house, which is fronted by regimental pairs of Italianesque tree topiary.

The first thing that hits you on entering is the bright hall with its warm, centre-mounted timber staircase. Built in an atrium style, the hall is tiled and features double folding doors to the dining room.

This room has ceiling coving, solid and richly-stained timber floors. There is a ceiling coving, and the radiators are concealed along with the sound system speakers in the ceiling. The focal point of this room is an imposing period style limestone fireplace.

Like the "big" houses of old times, there's a hidden door - this leads through to the office, an L-shaped room with recessed lighting and double doors leading into the side of the house.

There's a family room/tv room with a built in sideboard, a painted timber floor and double folding glazed French doors open out into the rear garden.

For family morning meets, there's an old-fashioned breakfast room with stained timber floor and, like many of the rooms, it has hidden ceiling speakers and concealed radiators.

An extra large kitchen at almost 20 ft by 17.5 ft contains a hand-built bespoke ensemble of units with painted cream presses, polished granite worktops, a solid and stained timber floor, a butcher's block breakfast bar. There's also an open fireplace with an arched cast iron inset with a gas fire. There's an American style fridge freezer. From here glazed double folding doors also open into the garden as well as to the sitting room. This also has stained timber floors and a limestone fireplace with a raised hearth to aid heat projection.

The master bedroom has its own dressing room off and also an en-suite bathroom. There's an intercom to the front gates and a picture window overlooking the garden.

The dressing area is filled with built in wardrobes and also has a home office.

The en-suite comes with underfloor heating, a large sunken bath and a step-in tiled Grano power shower with side jets and a seat. There's a remote control Velux window overhead.

There are three other bedrooms, two of which also have en-suites, this time with Grohe power showers.

Outside there's an acre of gardens and a sun deck, looking directly onto the Sugarloaf (major).

As well as a centralised sound system with ceiling concealed speakers, this house also has a central vacuum cleaning system.

 

Robin Hill, Kilmacanogue, County Wicklow, Asking price: €985,000. Agent: Lisney Estate Agents (01-2806820)

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