Four properties on the Irish market with a touch of romance.
Luggala, Roundwood, Co. Wicklow
Surely the most romantic house in Ireland, the 18th-century Luggala is home to Garech Browne, pictured, of the titled Oranmore and Browne family. Browne’s mother was Oonagh Guinness, a daughter of Arthur Ernest Guinness of the brewing dynasty, and the ownership of Luggala lies with the Guinness family trust.
Luggala sits at the end of the valley in the midst of 5,000 acres of beautiful Wicklow countryside, looking south towards Lough Tay, its private lake, and with frontage onto Lough Dan. Within the property there is the idyllic main house, with 847sqm of living space, a guest house with 298sqm, and seven further cottages dotted around the estate. The white-washed exterior of the main house serves as a counterpoint to the dense woodland that rises immediately behind and helps to make architectural details like the roof crenellations all the more striking.
Architecturally, Luggala features all the little battlements, crochets, trefoil and quatrefoil windows, and ogee mantelpieces that combine in a style known as 18th-century gothic; in England this came to be called Strawberry Hill Gothic.
Built as a sporting lodge, Luggala has all the features of a grand castle, but on a miniature scale. Inside the main house there are three substantial reception rooms, as well as a number of smaller rooms on both the ground and first floors. There are seven bedrooms within the main house, four within the guest lodge and a further 16 spread between seven estate lodges and cottages throughout the estate. Luggala is 45km from Dublin city centre and the nearest shops are in Roundwood.
Agent: Sotheby’s International Realty
087 251 2909
6 Strand Terrace in Milltown is cute enough to melt the cockles of the hardest of hearts and new owners may even be able to earn extra income selling photographs of their house to chocolate box makers. The quaint artisan cottage is tucked away close to the Luas stop at Nine Arches Bridge, and overlooks the banks of the River Dodder. Inside the 44sqm of living space comprises an open-plan living/dining room with kitchen, a double bedroom with modern shower room, and a mezzanine level overlooking the main living area. To the rear there’s a private courtyard. There are local shops within walking distance and the property is handily located for UCD, Dodder Park and Alexandra College.
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald (01) 496 9909
The Old Rectory on the Sky Road in Clifden, Connemara dates from around 1800 and sits on five acres of magnificent woodlands and gardens overlooking the Clifden harbour and bay. Never mind the romance of sea views, the house itself is pretty peachy too. Originally built by John Darcy, who founded Clifden, for his son, the Rev Hyacinth D’Arcy, the main house has four bedrooms, while the separate coach house and stables, which were converted in 2002, has a further three. The Old Rectory comes with the well-proportioned formal reception and entertaining rooms that one would expect to find in a house of this era, whilst being at the same time a comfortable family home. The country kitchen has doors to the terrace and an adjoining garden room.
Agent: Ganly Walters (01) 662 3255
Bolingbrook lies 4km from the village of Dolla, near Nenagh, and is a pretty two-bedroom cottage standing on an elevated one-acre site from which there are distant views of Nenagh town and the surrounding countryside. The cottage has been renovated recently and is suitable either as a permanent residence or as an attractive holiday home. There is an opportunity to purchase an additional six acres of land, which would be suitable for growing vegetables and keeping a few animals, making Bolingbrook an enticing proposition for those with romantic notions of self-sufficiency away from the madding crowds, perhaps while writing a great Irish novel in their spare time. There are additional outbuildings which could be put to any number of creative uses.
Joint agents: David Ashmore, Ireland Sotheby’s International Realty, 087 251 2909; Nick Crawford, Crawford, 01 285 9441