Hollywood House in Co Wicklow is a star buy for €3.5m
Hollywood House, a vast 18th century estate is the main attraction in Wicklow.
For anyone looking for a base from which to pursue equestrian activities, Hollywood House in Glenealy, Co Wicklow is a property that will appeal. With 100 acres of its own - much of it laid out in paddocks - and adjacent Coillte forestry land ideal for riding out, plus numerous stables, a stable yard and a groom's cottage, a horse-lover would rarely have to venture beyond the immediate hinterland.
The Bray and Wicklow hunts meet nearby weekly during the season and, for younger riders, the Wicklow branch of the pony club is active year round. Horsey life in the area revolves around gymkhanas and show-jumping competitions, and there are several stud farms in the vicinity.
Positioned on a secluded and elevated site outside Glenealy Village, and approached by a kilometer-long driveway, the house commands spectacular views over the Wicklow countryside. In winter, there is a frosty beauty to the Garden of Ireland, and in summer the rhododendrons in this part of the world are spectacular.
Hollywood House has been in the same family for 45 years - the current owners purchased from a Major Lockart - and now, with their children grown, they are moving to a smaller property.
They will no doubt leave with heavy hearts, for Hollywood - despite its rather grand appearance - shows all the signs of having been a happy and comfortable family house.
It is, of course, at 7,760 sq ft, a very substantial house and one that is best suited to a young family with the energy, vision and resources to bring the house up to date and make it work for a new generation.
Architecturally, the house is neo-classical in style. The original Georgian house dated from the 1760s and some records indicate that it may have been built by Frederick Darley for the Marquess of Waterford, although this cannot be verified conclusively.
The house was largely destroyed by fire in the late 19th century and James Beckett was subsequently responsible for the reconstruction of the interiors.
The double front doors open on to a large entrance hall decorated in dark green, with elaborate plasterwork and Ionic columns. The flooring is parquet, as it is through much of the ground floor.
To the right of the entrance hall, at the front of the house, is the living room, with a marble fireplace, cornicing and working shutters. The living room leads on to the office and study, also on the right hand side of the house.
To the left of the entrance hall is the bow-ended drawing room and grand formal dining room - the latter decorated in a rich burgundy colour that would be conducive to the consumption of large quantities of game and plenty of red wine.
To the rear of the house on this side is the kitchen - made cosy by the Aga but in need of modernisation. There are pantries and storerooms galore in this part of the house, one of which would make a fine playroom. There's a shower room on this floor, as well as a separate lavatory.
Off the wide staircase up to the first floor is a tack room, full of saddles and horse paraphernalia. Above is a lantern gallery that would not have been a feature of the original architecture but makes for plenty of light throughout the house.
There are six bedrooms and several bathrooms on the upper level, and the rooms to the front of the house have marvelous views, but there is work to be done to enable the first floor to function efficiently and comfortably for new owners. Some bedrooms may need to be sacrificed to create the additional bathrooms and dressing rooms that are now expected.
At basement level there is staff accommodation and a games room, as well as further storage rooms, and a strong room in which to keep all those show jumping trophies.
In addition to the main house and groom's cottage, there is a modern guesthouse that the estate agents say is in good order, and an attractive gate lodge that has been renovated within the past few years. There are also a number of farm buildings in various states of repair.
Without traffic, Hollywood House is about 45 minutes from Dublin city centre and an hour from the airport.
There is a national school in Glenealy and St Gerard's mixed secondary school is about 20 minutes away, while East Glendalough secondary school is also within easy reach. Wicklow Town has branches of all the main supermarkets, as well as boutiques and restaurants, while the new food hall at Avoca Kilamacanogue is a tempting alternative to the multiples and also within a 20 minute drive. Several good golf courses are also close by.
Hollywood House, Glenealy, Co Wicklow
Asking price: €3.5m
Agent: Savills (01) 6634350