Life Homes

Thursday 2 October 2014

The house that begat Gulliver's Travels is not for the little people

Published 08/07/2007 | 00:00

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I'VE said it before and I'll say it again. Some homes are born great while still others have greatness thrust upon them. In the case of Woodbrook House in Portarlington, however, it happens to be both.

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I mean, check out the history on this one for a start. The Woodbrook Estate came into being on the marriage of Knightly Chetwood (do you think he was bullied?) to Hester Brooking at St Michans Church in Dublin in 1698.

By 1713, Knightly, now doubtless Knightrider, befriended Jonathan Swift and a long friendship began. In fact, Swift travelled to Woodbrook frequently, and used it as his weekend retreat where the bulk of 'Gulliver's Travels' was written in the library.

To think that Swift, like all men with ideas above their Luas station, spent many an hour musing on the little people in this very room. Sure don't we all.

Not content with being born great, Woodbrook House then began to have greatness thrust upon it in the form of extensive and sympathetic restoration, most of which has occurred in the last three years.

This home is now back to its 18th century glory with a bang. In fact a wing from this century, complete with a four storey tower that was banjaxed in the 1970s (weren't we all) has now been reinstated.

The restoration has been massive and systematic. All roofs have been replaced using 18th century slate where required, timber sash windows, rewiring, oil fired heating system, new plumbing and sewage system, broadband, alarms - you name it, it's been done.

My favourite is the Canadian hot tub on the tower roof terrace - the perfect place from which to ponder awhile about those that have less.

With a reception hall, stair hall, six reception rooms, orangerie, a master bedroom suite with twelve further bedroom suites and a selection of offices and stores on offer, it is difficult to see who wouldn't want to buy this home.

Whether thinking of a commercial or private use or both, quite frankly, Woodbrook House is simply the best. Carpe diem.

For further information contact Savills Hamilton Osborne King 01 663 4350 or visit www.savills.ie

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