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Tuesday 18 December 2018

Wexford home rules on the Slaney - Renovated regency villa on 48ac guided at €850,000

The exterior of the property
The exterior of the property
Jim O'Brien

Jim O'Brien

The Deeps is the intriguing name given to a regency villa located near Crossabeg in Wexford, between Enniscorthy and Wexford town. Set on 48ac of grassland and woodland, and with frontage on to the tidal end of the Slaney, the renovated villa is for sale by private treaty. Selling agents Savills are guiding the price at €850,000.

Located 13km from Wexford and Enniscorthy, the house was originally home to members of the renowned Redmond family associated with the Irish Parliamentary Party and the Home Rule movement of the late 1800s.

The Deeps was built in 1800 for MP John Edward Redmond, the great uncle of famous brothers John and Willie Redmond. John led the Irish Party from 1900 to 1918 and his brother Willie, an MP for East Clare and an ardent nationalist, fought in the First World War. He was killed during the Battle of Messines in June 1917.

In a quirky historical juxtaposition, the area that was laterally home to a family that campaigned for separation from Britain, is also home to a very early Norman Castle - Deeps Castle - built after the invasion of 1169 and located further up the river.

Purchased by the current owners Peter and Phil Pearson in 2001, the place has been carefully and tastefully restored. Great attention was paid to detail and all improvements remain true to the provenance of the building, "We re-roofed it, rewired it and replaced the windows with proper shuttered sash windows," said Peter.

The house is what might be called split level in design, with a single storey to the front and two storeys to the rear. The front is described by Mr Pearson as having a "striking classical façade and veranda, which gives the air of a colonial villa.

The hall is vaulted in the gothic style with glass windows at either side. A corridor with vaulted ceiling and oval top lights runs along the centre of the house leading to the reception rooms and the bedrooms.

The drawing room and the music room make up the main reception spaces and are lit by floor to ceiling sash windows. This floor is also home to the study and a sitting room with French windows opening to a balcony. There are five bedrooms, of which two are ensuite, and a shower room.

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The land has frontage on to the Slaney
The land has frontage on to the Slaney

Decorative period features are in evidence throughout the house, including fine plasterwork, ceiling roses, decorated panelled doors and architraves, original marble fireplaces and wooden parquet floors.

The garden level which housed the servants' quarters is now the heart of the house. Centred around a large country kitchen with a Stanley range, it has fitted units, a bay window and doors leading to the rear.

The kitchen is a wood-panelled Georgian breakfast room
The kitchen is a wood-panelled Georgian breakfast room

Off the kitchen is a wood-panelled Georgian breakfast room. Other rooms include a wine cellar, pantry, scullery, a laundry room, a guest WC, freezer room, office and various store rooms. A side door and outdoor passage leads to the boiler house, flower room and boot room.

To the rear of the house, the Pearsons also re-roofed the stables and much of the space remains a work in progress or "an open book", as Peter describes it. The yard includes a two-storey coach house, lofted stables, an apple and cider house and a courtyard.

The sitting room
The sitting room

The owner points out that the house is designated as a building of historical and architectural interest and eligible for Section 482 relief. "If it is open to the public for 60 days a year it is possible to write off against tax all expenses associated with remedial and repair works," explains Peter.

Farm accommodation includes an animal barn, cattle crush, a haybarn, a tractor shed and a wood store. The main barn is subdivided into gated stalls and is home to a small dairy.

The land is in grass and timber. The 20ac of grassland is laid out in a range of fields, some of which bounds the Slaney that is tidal in this area. A portion of 20ac is under old woodland containing a range of broadleaf species, including oak and chestnut.

The farm, according to Peter, while not currently licensed as organic, was an organic farm in the 1980s and has been farmed organically since.

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