Gorgeous gardens are the stand out features of these homes.
Roses by the river
Lisselan Estate, Clonakilty, Co Cork €3.6m
There are gardens, and there are Gardens, and the Lisselan Estate near Clonakilty in Co Cork most definitely has Gardens with a capital G. The sporting and agricultural estate comprises a total of 315 acres, although Lisselan House is available with a mere 122 acres for €1.9m.
Lisselan dates from 1851/53, and was originally built for William Bence-Jones in the style of a French chateau, which was very different to the prevailing Irish Georgian style of the time. The house sits in a dramatic position perched on a height with breathtaking views down the Argideen River valley, and comes with desirable double-bank fishing rights.
Bence-Jones created the riverside gardens stretching for over 30 acres on both sides of the river. These drop down from the lawns in front of the house and lead to flagstone pathways and tree-lined walkways that weave through gardens of mature shrubs, tall trees, ferns, a rose-covered pergola, over wooden bridges traversing the river, and, eventually, to the walled garden. The architect of Lisselan House was Lewis Vulliamy and, in the late 1800s, the smoke room wing was added, to the design of Sir Thomas Newenham Deane who also designed the lodge at the front gate. The conservatory was also added during the Bence-Jones times. It was built for the Cork Exhibition of 1902 and, although the double-height glass and ironwork conservatory was refurbished in 1992, has since fallen into some disrepair. The accommodation is laid out over four levels, with the principal reception rooms on the ground floor, and the main bedrooms on the first and second floors. At lower ground floor there is the snooker room (former kitchen) and staff accommodation. The high-ceilinged reception rooms and the tower have retained their period features, including ornate cornicing, open fireplaces and sash windows. The drawing and dining rooms open out onto a large terrace overlooking the gardens and the surrounding countryside.
Agent: Savills (01) 663 4350
Anemonae in Ardmore
Ardoginna, near Ardmore, in Co Waterford sits in an elevated position with terrific views over the Irish Sea, and is within walking distance of the sandy beaches at Goat Island beach cove and Whiting Bay. The house was built by the current owners 10 years ago and has 371sqm of living space, with five bedrooms and three bathrooms. The gardens and terrace are a particular feature and were designed to
take full advantage of the elevated position and panoramic sea views. The terrace is bounded by formal and informal planting perfectly suited to the micro-climate of the sunny south-east.
Agent: Ganly Walters (01) 662 3255
Hostas in Herbert Park
1 The Cedars, Herbert Park Lane, is a two-bedroom, two-bathroom ground floor apartment in this smart Ballsbridge development. The apartment is in excellent condition. For downsizers loathe to give up the luxury of their own garden, yet overwhelmed by the upkeep, or those without green fingers, what better solution than the manicured communal gardens to which residents have exclusive access and the solace of a spacious balcony? The proximity to some of the best public gardens in Dublin - Herbert Park, with its tennis courts, Lolly and Cooks cafe, playgrounds and Sunday market - is the icing on the cake.
Agent: Owen Reilly (01) 677 7100
Foxgloves in Foxrock
Hermitage, at the corner of Hainault and Westminster Roads in Foxrock, Dublin 18, is a fine Edwardian five-bedroom detached house dating from 1906. The house has 342sqm of living space and plenty of original period features. Outside, there's 0.45 acre of landscaped gardens, which have been impeccably maintained by the current owners, with a patio area for outdoor eating, ornate water feature, gravelled pathways, mature planting and an abundance of flowering beds. The gardens are ideally suited to prolonged games of hide and seek, with a summer house, garage, greenhouse, garden shed, fuel store and outside loo.
Agent: Hunters (01) 289 7840
What a difference an architect can make. Keihi House near the village of Kilcloon in Co Meath, which is surrounded by farmland, was once a plain and bland formula bungalow; but having undergone a professional reworking it's now something completely different.