Sunday 25 September 2016

Labour of love in the Wicklow mountains for €825k

Knockadreet Ashford, Co Wicklow, €825,000

Words by Liadan Hynes Photographs by Tony Gavin

Published 03/07/2016 | 02:30

Gerg Jones at his property Knockadreet, Ashford, Co Wicklow. Photos by Tony Gavin
Gerg Jones at his property Knockadreet, Ashford, Co Wicklow. Photos by Tony Gavin

So enamoured is Greg Jones with his Wicklow home that, had this been a sunny week, he might have turned down the offer of coverage on these pages - the sight of his beloved property at its very best might almost have made him doubt his decision to sell.

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Over the last 30 years since he bought ­Knockadreet, Greg Jones has poured himself into caring for the place. When he first came to view the house, accessed by a winding, tree-lined lane, the original owner was in the garden, washing himself in a barrel of ice-cold water. At the time, the house, with walls made of muck, had no running water.

A view from outside
A view from outside

Jones started from scratch, building the ­present house in an L-shaped layout on the footprint of the original cottage. It also encompasses what was the stables and outhouses.

Running to a total of approximately 314sqm, the living space is mostly on the ground floor. It includes four bedrooms (one of these is upstairs), two en suite, a spacious kitchen with Stanley cooker and built-in units, two ground-floor living rooms, each with a wood-burning stove. One leads out through double glass doors to a sheltered terrace, the other includes a dining area.

The ground floor also includes a spacious conservatory, utility room and a family bathroom. Upstairs there are two mezzanine areas, one ideal for a home office - the property enjoys good wifi - one large enough to be a living room. This space includes double glass doors opening to a balcony with views of the Wicklow Mountains. There is also a fourth bedroom, and a very spacious attic room. The property is now serviced by a private water supply and septic tank, and oil-fired central heating and immersion heater.

The house comes with just under 44 acres. Currently it is a mixture of grazing, and forestry, with trees including oak, cherry, beech, sycamore and weeping willows, all planted more than 20 years ago by the owner. Those areas closest to the cottage have undergone extensive landscaping and are charming with various picturesque nooks and crannies around the building, and an orchard with a sunny terrace. A sunken garden leads through trees to two natural freshwater ponds with streams running through, and a small deck area. There is a walking route through woodland and fields to the River Vartry.

The second living room of the Wicklow cottage
The second living room of the Wicklow cottage

In fact, Knockadreet has all the necessary elements for that dream of moving to the country in search of a slower pace. Often the reality of the Good Life throws up potential pitfalls, isolation being one. But as country escapes go, Knockadreet has the boon of offering privacy, a green space, and easy access to the city.

It is roughly an hour from the city centre, and just over half an hour to the outskirts of the southside. Nearby is Roundwood village, about 5km away, while Ashford is just over 9km.

The property would suit a hobby farmer, or, for those less inclined to work the land themselves, there's the possibility of leasing some of the acreage to a local farmer or even selling a site.

For Greg Jones and his family, Knockadreet has been a memorable place to spend weekends and holidays. "I bought with a view to moving here when I retired but as often happens with plans, your family interferes," he jokes. He arrives down every weekend and gets straight into his work clothes; it's the type of place you could endlessly tip away at. "It's become something of a hobby," Jones reflects.

The mezzanine living room
The mezzanine living room

But now that he is has retired - he worked in advertising - it's time to pass his passion project on to a new owner.

Era: 1980s

Size: c314 sqm

Agent: Ganly Walters (01) 662 3255

The rustic stylish kitchen.
The rustic stylish kitchen.

Viewing: by appointment

The feature stove.
The feature stove.

Sunday Independent

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