Tuesday 25 October 2016

Walled Garden of Eden

The Walled Garden Houses, Mount Juliet, Thomastown, Co Kilkenny Asking price: €875,000 Agent: Hooke & MacDonald (01) 6318402

Published 03/06/2016 | 02:30

The three two-storey homes.
The three two-storey homes.
The dining area and sitting room.
The open-plan kitchen leads to a balcony.

If there are any golf enthusiasts among the prospective buyers of The Walled Garden Houses on the 1,500ac Mount Juliet estate and golf course, they won't have much of a good walk spoiled - these three new homes are just yards away from the 10th fairway of the Jack Nicklaus- designed course.

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The 7,300 yard championship course has hosted three Irish Open tournaments and two American Express World Golf Championships won by Tiger Woods (2002) and Ernie Els (2004), the former being the first time the tournament was ever held outside America. If you're into your golf, this is as good as it gets in Ireland.

But buyers of The Walled Garden Houses won't need a good golf handicap to appreciate their new surroundings; they'll also have the 18th century Mount Juliet manor house on their doorstep, as well as walking and horse-riding trails, angling in the river Nore, dining at the Michelin-starred Lady Helen restaurant and relaxing at the spa, bar and another restaurant at Hunter's Yard.

The latter is currently being extended to include a new clubhouse with a wrap-around terrace and glazed pergola overlooking the golf course, as well as additional accommodation. This year will also see the opening of the estate's new Paul McGinley golf academy.

Likely buyers at The Walled Garden Houses could be recent retirees or people on the cusp of retirement who plan to live there permanently. Or the properties could be acquired by purchasers who will use it as a weekend home, according to Ken MacDonald, managing director of the selling agency Hooke & MacDonald.

The three two-storey homes in the enclave have four double bedrooms, all of which are ensuite. The living space is inverted, so the living, dining and kitchen areas are on the first floor and the bedroom accommodation is on the ground floor.

Each property has two large balconies; one leading off from the kitchen overlooks the internal courtyard, a central fountain and the walled garden from which the development takes its name.

While this balcony maximises the morning sunlight, a second balcony on the other side of the house looks out on to the golf course and takes advantage of the late afternoon sun.

The homes were originally built about six years ago but have recently been totally revamped and upgraded, according to MacDonald.

Prices for No2 and 3 The Walled Garden Houses start at €875,000, but a price has not yet been fixed for No1, which comes with a one-bed double-height cottage.

The builders will finish out the cottage according to the buyer's wishes, so it could be transformed into a granny flat, a studio, an extra bedroom or a home office.

While No1 has a living area of 3,842 sq ft, plus 527 sq ft in balcony and terrace space, No2 and 3 each extend over 2,981 sq ft, excluding their additional balcony space. In keeping with classical exteriors, with their hardwood heritage-style doors and stone-finish windowsills and surrounds, the interiors have high ceilings with coving, hardwood and porcelain-tiled floors, and moulded architraves.

In the top floor living space, ridge skylights flood sunlight on to the open-plan living space and on to an open spindle staircase with hardwood rails, timber wall panelling and scroll detail.

French doors lead out to the decked balconies, which feature outdoor lighting and white balustrades. The kitchen cabinets are contemporary in style and come with polished marble work surfaces.

Downstairs, the bedrooms have bespoke sliding wardrobes with a mirror finish. The bathrooms and ensuites are equipped with German-made Duravit ceramic toilets and sinks, walnut storage units, Carron baths or shower enclosures by Merlyn with Grohe fittings.

Each of the three homes has a plant room to house a water tank, boiler, the heating system controls, and solar panel controls. The heat and hot water can be controlled with a smartphone app.

The Mount Juliet Estate is about a one hour and 40 minute drive from Dublin City Centre and 20 minutes from Kilkenny.

The first viewings of The Walled Garden Houses will take place tomorrow and Sunday, between 2pm and 4pm.

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