Inside this €645k Waterford estate set on two acres which has a room dedicated to fun
Set on two acres, and at 3,300 sq ft, this house has room for fun
If you're planning to resettle in the vicinity of Waterford city, you'll be following in a long if not necessarily all that honourable tradition.
It was Viking raiders who settled the area, beginning in the ninth century, and established the city as a port. But after they were routed by the natives, and later by the Normans under Strongbow, they left a lot of their belongings behind them.
Back in 2003, when the National Roads Authority was planning a bypass of the city, a ninth-century Viking settlement was discovered at Woodstown, a few kilometres west of the city and upstream on the southern bank of the River Suir. Archaeologists found the remains of dwelling houses and an important burial site, as well as pieces of silver and amber, jewellery, weaponry, armour and tools, and they describe it as one of the most important archaeological discoveries ever on this island.
It might also have given people ideas. The Woodstown settlement covered an area of only some three-quarters of a square kilometre, but there can be little doubt that every landholder in the vicinity took a fresh look at their greensward and contemplated what treasures might lie beneath it.
'Bawnville' is a large detached house less than two kilometres from the Woodstown settlement. It's on two acres of grounds, which would keep a person going for some time with a metal detector, if that sort of thing were still allowed. However, since 2013, it's been against the law to search for artefacts with a metal detector. Indeed, even sifting through your two acres with a teaspoon in the hope of turning up a potsherd is illegal, and subject to a maximum of €126,972 and 12 months in jail.
Should you accidentally find a Viking spearhead while dividing daffodil bulbs, you will escape jail, but you must report it to the National Museum within 96 hours.
Anyway, a two-acre garden, planted with lawns, shrubs and growing trees, should have plenty to keep you occupied on the straight and narrow. As to the house itself, it's 3,300 sq ft on three floors, so there's not much chance of the devil making work for idle hands indoors either. By the time you've finished hoovering all that, you'll be too tired to dabble in the international black market for antiquities.
That floor area includes six bedrooms, five bathrooms and three reception rooms, as well as a soundproof office with a built-in oak desk and shelving.
The main living room is an open-plan kitchen and dining room measuring 33ft by 16ft. The kitchen is fitted with walnut cabinets and marble countertops, and has sliding doors to a patio.
Steps lead down from the kitchen and dining room to the living room, where there's a stove.
The second reception room is a games room, also measuring 33ft by 16ft, with a marble fireplace and a snooker table. There's also a reading room, with an oak bookcase and another fireplace.
The master bedroom is on the ground floor and has an en-suite. On the first floor, up a wider than average pine staircase and arranged around a gallery landing, are four more bedrooms, three of them en-suite, as well as the main bathroom which has a Jacuzzi bath.
The sixth bedroom is on the second floor, up a spiral staircase, and has two skylights and a ceiling with exposed beams.
Thanks to solar panels and a dual central heating system - both oil and wood pellet - Bawnville has a creditable energy rating of C2.
There's parking for numerous cars in a curved forecourt at the end of the driveway, and an L-shaped patio to the west.
Also on the grounds is a garage measuring 20ft by 14ft, together with an insulated log cabin by way of a home office or studio or, as the agents suggest, a clinic.
Bawnville is in the townland of Bawnfune, at Butlerstown west of the city. If you walk north of the house for about 20 minutes, you'll reach Mount Congreve, the 18th-century manor house surrounded by 70 acres of gardens and open to the public, where you'll find plenty of inspiration for your own two acres. There are 2,000 rhododendrons alone there. Close to the grounds of Mount Congreve, you can join the Waterford Greenway, a picturesque walking and cycling route along the River Suir, formed from the old Waterford to Dungarvan railway line.
Waterford Institute of Technology is about four kilometres from the house, and the city centre is about a 15-minute drive away. Using the bypass that was moved so as to bypass Woodstown, you can avoid the city and drive for 10 minutes to join the M9, which will get you to Dublin city centre in roughly two hours.
'Bawnville' is for sale with Liberty Blue Estate Agents in Waterford city, (051) 845 751, and has an asking price of €645,000.
Asking price: €645,000
Agent: Liberty Blue Estate Agents, Waterford city, (051) 845 751