Kerry hideaway is inspired by the Orient and can be yours for €900k
Eclectic home on Caragh Lake would suit creative individual
The Irish term for 'horizon' is bun na spéire, and like so many other expressions in the Irish language, its literal translation is somehow both prosaic and poetic. Literally, it means 'bottom of the sky'.
It's fitting, then, that the house going by the name of Bun na Spéire, near Killorglin in Co Kerry, is a poetic sort of spot. It's on the shores of Caragh Lake, with private lake frontage and long views of an apparently bottomless sky as it's reflected to infinity in the water.
Bun na Spéire is for sale for €900,000 with Savills in Cork, which remarks that the house would be "the perfect hideaway for the artist, the potter, the author or the poet".
It's a romantic notion, if not a very practical one, since the artist, the potter, the author or the poet is unlikely to be able to afford the place. After all, a lifetime spent turning out hand-fired sonnets tends not to add up to €900,000. However, that kind of money probably is quite a realistic possibility for those lucky artists, potters, authors and poets who've managed to bind themselves in holy matrimony to a captain of industry…
The agents' choice of the word 'hideaway' is certainly apt. Bun na Spéire is the kind of house you could easily hide in - in fact, it's the kind of house you could easily get lost in. It's an eccentric layout of 3,000 sq ft, with accommodation on four floors, stairs going hither and thither, and living rooms spread out all over the place.
It's eccentric in appearance too, being composed of wood and stone, concrete and slate, with various levels jutting out arrestingly beneath a very complicated roof.
The apex of that roof is made of glass, and this sheds daylight all the way down through a central atrium, where the staircases run up and down the various levels.
A glazed porch leads to the entrance hall on the ground floor, but there's not much to do on this level. There's a shower room to the left, and to the right are two bedrooms, one of which has an en-suite shower room.
Most of the action takes place on the floor below and the floor above. The kitchen, for instance, can be found downstairs, along with a circular dining room - a single-storey turret-style adjunct fronted in stone, and with a flat roof that supplies a balcony for the living room upstairs.
The dining room has a free-standing Morso stove in it, and the kitchen has a long, curved breakfast bar looking over the dining room, so you can supervise your dinner companions while you cook, or they can supervise you, if needs be.
Also on the lower ground floor there's a utility room, a shower room and a wine cellar, as well as storage spaces.
The main living room is on the first floor, and there you step out onto the round balcony and look out over Caragh Lake. The living room has a wood-burning stove and overlooking it is a so-called 'organ room', complete with organ.
The master bedroom is also on the first floor, and has an en-suite bathroom and walk-in wardrobe. A spiral staircase on this level winds up to a sunroom just under the glass apex of the roof, and this upper ground floor also has the makings of a fourth bedroom, as there's a shower room and dressing room already.
Bun na Spéire is on one-and-a-half acres, at the end of a long driveway which slopes its way up an incline towards a parking area and a detached garage. The selling agents say this garage is ripe for conversion to guest accommodation, with the right planning permission.
From the garage you make your way down a walkway to the house. The walkway has a formidable-looking roof - just in the unlikely event that it might rain - held aloft by timber pillars with ivy gamely ascending here and there.
The gardens are heaped with plants and trees, echoing the kind of oriental design hinted at in the architecture of the house itself, but all looking quite at home.
A pathway at the end of the garden leads to the lake shore itself, where you'll find a private dock should you fancy a spot of fishing, an icy bathe or a picnic. Bear in mind, though, that Caragh Lake is where the rare and endangered Kerry Slug was first spotted in the 19th century, so leave the sachets of salt at home.
The nearest town, about eight kilometres away, is Killorglin, home of the 400-year-old annual goatfest that is Puck Fair. Alternatively, it's 30 kilometres to Killarney, where there's a train station. Kerry airport is about 35 minutes away by car.
Bun na Spéire
Killorglin, Co Kerry
Asking price: €900,000
Agent: Savills in Cork (021) 427 1371