VIDEO: Stately country house on 102ac in Meath to generate huge interest
Boltown Hall, Kilskyre, Co Meath: €2.5m
On a bright spring day with the cattle finally - finally! - out in the fields, the rhododendrons in bloom, and Gerry the robot mowing the front lawn, Co Meath is looking its best and nowhere is it more lush than at Boltown Hall, a fine 19th Century country house with 430 sqm of living space on 102 acres located close to the historic town of Kells.
The current owners, Justin Owens and Jackie Cawley and their young family, are moving to Kildare to be closer to their own parents, but one has the sense that if they could simply transplant what they have at Boltown Hall, they would do so in a heartbeat.
"Sometimes we look at each other and say, 'What is there left to be done? We've done it all!'" says Jackie.
Justin, who is the founder of Commtech, which sold to American firm Arrow last year in a deal reported to be worth in the region of €25m, bought the listed property at auction in 2005 for €2.8m. That figure was a considerable increase on the price paid for it in March 1945 when it sold with 185 acres of land for just £4,000.
The couple have since undertaken a comprehensive refurbishment of the house, including rewiring and replumbing and the installation of a new zoned central heating system.
Unlike many period properties in the country, the house feels first and foremost like a warm and comfortable family home, rather than a museum, and is light and bright throughout, thanks to a number of dual aspect rooms and a large skylight on the first floor.
"We use every bit of it," says Jackie. "There are no 'good' rooms other than perhaps the formal dining room, but even that gets plenty of use when we have friends over, as well as at Christmas and Easter. The whole house is designed for convenience."
The front porch opens on to a high-ceilinged entrance hall. The drawing room to the left has a bay window to the front and a fine fireplace with marble surround, while the dining room to the rear also has a bay window and marble fireplace. To the other side of the entrance hall is a family room.