Saturday 18 November 2017

Check out the bathtub in this the ivy-clad Wicklow home once favourited by Jonathan Rhys Meyers

House back on the market after stay by a celebrity guest

Hunter's Rest in Wicklow is 4,306 sq ft in an L-shaped footprint; inset Hollywood star Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Hunter's Rest in Wicklow is 4,306 sq ft in an L-shaped footprint; inset Hollywood star Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Eithne Tynan

As well as his acting career, Jonathan Rhys Meyers spent about five years doing ad campaigns for fashion house Hugo Boss. So you might be able to detect a whiff of expensive men's fragrance within the walls of Hunter's Rest, near Ashford in Co Wicklow, as the Tudors star was this home's most recent resident.

The house was on the market previously but was taken off last year to facilitate a corporate let, and was subsequently occupied by Rhys Meyers during the shooting of Vikings at Ashford Studios in Ballyhenry, about three kilometres from the property. He is to star in the fifth season of the TV series as the warrior bishop Heahmund, described by series creator Michael Hirst as "off the scale crazy".

The master's bedroom's ensuite with a sunken bath
The master's bedroom's ensuite with a sunken bath

The house is now back on the market a year later - at the same price as before - and viewers can amuse themselves looking for lingering traces of the hell-raising actor if they're so inclined.

They will probably start upstairs, in the en-suite bathroom of the master bedroom. There's a decided air of Hollywood about the room, as it has a sunken bath which allows you to sit in the tub and look out across the rolling landscape. This room has access to a balcony. So you can stand there as monarch of all you survey, looking out over the Wicklow countryside towards the sea; which is less than one-and-a-half kilometres away to the east.

Hunter's Rest in Wicklow is 4,306 sq ft in an L-shaped footprint
Hunter's Rest in Wicklow is 4,306 sq ft in an L-shaped footprint

The en-suite bathroom is not by any means the only luxurious feature of Hunter's Rest though. It's an opulent sort of house all round and has plenty of enticements to both solitary and sociable recreation, with four reception rooms and a party gazebo in the garden.

Though ivy-clad and established-looking, it was built only about 25 years ago and then extended some 10 years later. The internal dimensions now come to a sprawling 4,306 sq ft in an L-shaped footprint.

Jonathan Rhys Meyers and his wife Mara Lane
Jonathan Rhys Meyers and his wife Mara Lane

Left of the entrance hall on the ground floor there's a library or study, triple-aspect, with fitted bookcases and a fireplace for solitary reading of history, literary fiction or high-concept television scripts - whatever takes your fancy.

To the right there's a sitting room, dual-aspect this time, with another fireplace. There are folding glass doors and steps leading from there down to a family room and dining room with a raised fireplace and floor-to-ceiling windows and doors giving onto the garden.

One of the two staircases in the house
One of the two staircases in the house

The kitchen opens directly off the dining area and is fitted with walnut cabinets and a breakfast bar, and there's a separate utility room.

Behind the kitchen is the fourth reception room - a den and games room big enough for a snooker table, with a surround sound system for noisy gatherings. Also off this room there's a guest toilet and wet room, tiled in marble with a Murano glass sink.

The master bedroom
The master bedroom

There are five bedrooms on the first floor, reached by two staircases - one in the entrance hall and the other in the games room. The master bedroom has oak floors, shuttered floor-to-ceiling windows and a seating area around a gas fire, and there's also a walk-in wardrobe. It's the only en-suite bedroom - but also on this floor there's a modern wet room with shower together with a full bathroom with a roll-top bath and a walk-in shower.

The grounds come to about an acre and the garden is landscaped with mature trees, raised flowerbeds, gravel pathways, lawns and a stream. Directly outside the dining room and den there's a terraced patio, with the lower level meandering towards the party gazebo. It's fitted with a built-in barbecue, fridge, seating and space heaters, so all that's missing now is the celebrity company. Hunter's Rest is close to Killoughter Crossroads, and the nearest village is Ashford, about four kilometres away. The main attraction there is Mount Usher Gardens, where you can wander around among 22 acres of horticultural wonders along the Vartry River, before doing some shopping in the Courtyard Shops and chowing down at the Avoca Garden Café.

The library/study has fitted bookcases
The library/study has fitted bookcases

In the opposite direction, it's less than 20 minutes' walk from the house to Killoughter beach, which is popular with shore anglers, especially at night. If the mood strikes you, you can walk down Killoughter beach to Wicklow town, about five kilometres to the south - itself kick-started and named by the real Vikings when they made themselves at home.

When you need to venture north, it's about 45 minutes' drive to Dublin on the N11, which you can join after about five minutes on a local road, so commuting from here to the city should not prove too onerous.

The family room and dining room
The family room and dining room

Hunter's Rest is for sale with Sherry FitzGerald Catherine O'Reilly in Wicklow town (0404) 66466 and has an asking price of €995,000.

Hunter's Rest

The kitchen is fitted with walnut cabinets and breakfast bar
The kitchen is fitted with walnut cabinets and breakfast bar

Ashford, Co Wicklow

Asking price: €995,000

Agent: Sherry FitzGerald Catherine O'Reilly, Wicklow town (0404) 66466

The den and games room
The den and games room

Indo Property

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