Knock up in Killiney
Secrora, Killiney Hill Road, Killiney, Co Dublin €2m
Keen tennis players looking to improve their game may be interested to know that Secrora was once home to Irish tennis great, Joshua Pim, pictured, who was four times a Wimbledon champion in the 1890s. Perhaps some of the great man's talent will rub off on those who play on the same court as Pim once did?
Built in the 1840s, the house is a classic, double-fronted, five-bedroom Victorian beauty located in the heart of leafy Killiney. And before the Pims lived there Secrora was home to another illustrious Irish man, TW Rolleston, an important figure in the late 19th Century Celtic Revival, the author of Myths and Legends of the Celtic Race, and a collaborator with Yeats, who was photographed in the garden of the house.
Secrora is approached via a wrought iron gated entrance and an avenue flanked by formal hedging, leading to a gravel sweep with parking for several cars. The house retains many period features including ceiling cornicing, centre roses, sash windows and working shutters. At ground floor level there is a drawing room, dining room, breakfast room and kitchen, while upstairs there are five bedrooms, with views over Killiney Bay towards Bray Head, or towards the Sugarloaf and the Wicklow mountains. The former coach house has been converted into a family room and there is a courtyard well suited to outdoor eating.
Outside, the secluded gardens to the front feature mature willow and yew trees and have been planted to provide year-round colour and interest, while the lawn tennis court that dates from Joshua Pim's day takes pride of place at their centre. There's a side vegetable garden that is a wonderful children's play area, and there is room to extend what is already a spacious house, subject to planning permission.
Agent: Savills (01) 288 5011
The holiday home of former AIB chief executive, David Duffy, Aghadown, near Skibbereen in Co Cork, came on the market last year with a price tag of €3.7m, but there have been no takers so far and the agents are now asking €2.5m. It's a classical Georgian mansion with 985 sqm of living space on the coast with panoramic views of the River Ilen estuary approaching Baltimore Harbour and a private floating jetty. In the nine-acre grounds there are two walled gardens, a central courtyard, a hot tub and a gym, as well as a tennis court to keep guests entertained when they are not out on the water.
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald (01) 237 6300
Brookfield House is a converted Georgian carriage house set within the original walled gardens of Ballinacourty House near the picturesque village of Castleconnell on the banks of the Shannon in Co Limerick. There are three acres of beautifully maintained gardens planted with mature beech trees, paddocks, and an all-weather tennis court, which means new owners will have no excuse for not practising their strokes all year round. The house itself has 387 sqm of accommodation, with formal reception rooms for entertaining and a large eat-in kitchen downstairs, and four bedrooms upstairs.
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald (061) 418000
Just down the road from the newly restored Bellingham Castle in Castlebellingham, Co Louth, is Glyde Court, a luxurious four-bedroom house with a courtyard, separate guest house, a library/billiard room/gym/ treatment room, large garage and a floodlit tennis court, which will come in handy for insomniac tennis players who like to get a bit of practice in while the competition is sleeping. Glyde Court stands on six acres and is secluded and spacious. With so many amenities on site, the new owners will never have to leave. The M1 is a three minute drive, handy for access to the airport and Dublin.
Agent: DNG Duffy (042) 935 1011