VIDEO: Rare 1940s home with rolling gardens and views of Sugarloaf for €1.475m
HIDDEN behind mature hedgerows, two fields away from the Wicklow border, and approached via a gravel driveway off Crinken Lane, Kilshannig was built in 1948.
In style, it nods in the direction of the Edwardian Arts and Crafts movement with which the early work of British architect, Edward Lutyens, is associated.
The house has been in the current owners' family since the beginning of the 60s. With their children grown, they are downsizing with some reluctance.
In the garden to the front grows an enormous elm tree from which hangs a swing. It's clear that Kilshannig, sitting on over four acres of mature, beautifully-planted gardens and paddocks, has been a happy family home, and there's a touch of Swallows & Amazons to the adventures the children of the family had here while they were growing up.
"When they broke up from school for the summer," recall the owners, "we used to throw them out into the paddock with a couple of tents for a week. They were banned from the house.
"We gave them food and soap and they washed themselves in the stream that runs through the field.
"We found out later that they used to sneak into the house when we were out to watch television and raid the fridge."
The stream is full of eels just waiting to be caught, should that appeal, and the pond is home to an army of frogs.
The family kept horses, and that possibility will be a major attraction for prospective purchasers in search of a property combining rural amenities with proximity to the city.
One of the two double garages on the property used to be stables with two loose boxes, and could easily be reconverted. One bitter Christmas, the owners sat up all night in the stables with a bitch in labour, warming themselves by a brazier. They were rewarded with a dozen Labrador puppies at dawn.
For non-equestrians, the garages could be put to good use by collectors of classic cars.
The house has 3,705 sq ft of living space, with a further 355 sq ft in the basement games room, the location of many a teenage party.
"We found plenty of 'vintage' beer bottles as we were clearing up," say the owners.
Kilshannig is west-facing, so the verandah and paved terrace to the front of the house get plenty of use. The owners eat outside from May to October, providing blankets for their guests if the evening is chilly.
A Chinese paulownia or princess tree grows alongside the front door.
In Chinese tradition, the tree is planted to mark the birth of a daughter and, when she marries, a branch is cut off the tree, dried and carved into wooden objects for her dowry.
With a family wedding in the offing, the owners are planning to do just that.
Inside, the entrance hall is a dramatic space which could be used as a grand dining hall, with a period marble fireplace and a curved, galleried staircase in Canadian pine that leads up to the first floor. To the right is the drawing room, facing south towards the Sugarloaf, with glazed screen doors leading out on to the terrace.
On the opposite side of the hall is a study shelved in mahogany, which faces out to the front.
The dining room is adjacent, while the eat-in kitchen is to the rear of the house and features a dark green Aga range.
There's a separate utility room, guest lavatory and boot room with access to the enclosed courtyard between the two garages.
A compact guest wing has a split-level bedroom/sitting room and an ensuite bathroom.
Upstairs, off the landing, is a west-facing covered balcony and four double bedrooms, two of which are ensuite. The others share a gothic-themed family bathroom. The master bedroom ensuite is glamorous, with both a double shower and separate bath, and there is a separate dressing room.
A balcony faces south and the view, say the owners, is their barometer. If the top of the Sugarloaf is visible first thing, the day will be fine.
Kilshannig is within 25 minutes' walk of both the top of Carrickgollogan Hill and the sea.
The nearest shops are in Shankill Village, from where the Aircoach service runs to the airport.
The village also has buses to the city centre and a DART station.
St Gerard's is the nearest school, catering for ages from two and a half upwards.
A modernised one-bedroom gate lodge, Ellerslie Cottage, located beside the main entrance, may be available by separate negotiation.
The property is on the market for €1.475m, and the selling agent is Sherry Fitzgerald (01) 2866630.
Crinken Lane, Rathmichael, Dublin 18
Asking price: €1.475m
Agent: Sherry Fitzgerald (01) 2866630