Time for tennis in Westmeath
Glebe House €595k
The sum of money required to build the Glebe House in Rathowen, Co Westmeath, was calculated and recorded down to the last farthing - literally.
Samuel Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of Ireland describes it as having been built in 1817 at a cost of 461 pounds, 10 shillings, nine pence and a farthing. Sadly, history has not recorded what the farthing paid for, or what egregious loss the building might have suffered without it.
At any rate, the money was well spent, as the rector of the parish of Rathaspick ended up with an august Georgian house, now standing on two-and-a-half acres complete with a yard of lovely limestone outbuildings, an orchard, and a raised tennis court.
In more recent times it's been a guesthouse, which means it has modern domestic comforts such as oil-fired central heating and en-suite bathrooms in all five bedrooms. There are still plenty of period features though, including ornate ceiling plasterwork, fireplaces and original wood floors.
The five bedrooms are all upstairs, leaving the ground floor free for a plethora of reception rooms. The main one is a drawing room with a Kilkenny marble fireplace and French doors giving onto the patio. There's also a library with built-in bookcases and another marble fireplace, as well as a sitting room with exposed ceiling beams and a gas-equipped fireplace, and a dining room off.
The kitchen has an 18ft ceiling and an oil-fired Aga, and off it there's both a scullery and a delph room, complete with hunting hooks.
Outside, the orchard has fig, plum, apple, pear and cherry trees, as well as fruit bushes including strawberries and raspberries. The stable block includes an apartment in the loft that now needs refurbishment.
The agent is Property Partners McDonnell (044) 933 3333 and the asking price is €595,000.