Picturesque home in the Kingdom overlooks Kenmare Bay for €465k
The town of Kenmare sits at the point where the Iveragh and Beara peninsulas meet and the River Roughty flows into the sea.
The land in the area was granted to scientist and surveyor William Petty by Oliver Cromwell, and it was Petty who was responsible in 1670 for laying out the triangular configuration of the three main streets that form Kenmare's ordered centre. It looks quite different to other Irish rural towns.
Kenmare's five-star hotels - Sheen Falls and The Park (the latter part-owned by celebrity hoteliers, brothers John and Francis Brennan) - are just two of the town's sophisticated attractions. Restaurants such as Packies, The Mews, Mulcahy's, and The Lime Tree are others.
The current owner of Silvermoon, who relocated to the Kingdom from Co Wicklow 15 years ago, says that she likes Kenmare too much to ever leave, but that it's now time to downsize. So Silvermoon, located about 10km outside the town in the direction of Sneem, is on the market.
It's a fine four-bedroom house that will be of interest both to those in search of a year-round family home, and to those looking for a high-quality holiday house.
When she first saw the house, it was its situation - "on a beautiful site overlooking Kenmare Bay and the islands" - that captivated her. But the 1980s bungalow needed modernisation, and so her son and daughter-in-law, who are both architects, set about re-designing the original property to her brief. There's no denying that it's handy having an architect in the family.
The work was done 12 years ago and involved opening up the ground floor accommodation to provide a modern open-plan layout, and re-arranging the internal configuration to make the most of the spectacular views and the south-facing aspect. An upgrade of plumbing, electrics and central heating was also undertaken.
A raised decking area gets the sun from early morning until late afternoon and the owner says that she was able to take her morning coffee outside on sunny winter days last month.
Since the work was done, Silvermoon has been a busy house, where the current owner has hosted family occasions and holiday visits from her children and grandchildren.
The living accommodation is open-plan, relaxed and stylish, and the solid beech fitted kitchen with granite worktops contains high quality Miele and De Dietrich appliances, which are included in the sale.
Two of the four bedrooms and a family bathroom are on this level, while upstairs there are two en suite bedrooms that face south towards the bay and Kelly's Island. There is also a basement garden room.
The 0.66 acre garden is a particular feature of the property, having been beautifully maintained and well-planted with flowering shrubs and a productive vegetable garden.
The current owner does much of the work herself but admits to having help with some of the more arduous tasks.
She is now on the hunt for a smaller property in the area. Among the many activities that she enjoys in Kenmare are the ladies' club, bridge, bowls, golf and an active garden group that brings in regular speakers. A highlight was the recent visit of Helen Dillon, the grand dame of Irish gardening.
"Kenmare," says the current owner, "is very cosmopolitan and would be a hard place to leave."
For non-golfers, Coss Strand is a kilometre away, and the 60 acres of gardens at Derreen, near Kilmakilloge, with their magnificent rhododendrons and sub-tropical plants that flourish in the micro-climate of the area, are a delight.
William Petty's daughter married the Earl of Kerry, whose family later became Lansdowne, and Derreen is now owned by descendants of the Fifth Marquess of Lansdowne, whose summer home it once was.
Silvermoon Greenane, Templenoe, Kenmare, Co Kerry €465,000
Era: 1980s, upgraded 2005
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald Daly 064 664 1213
Viewing: By appointment