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Idyllic lakeside home set on 29 acres of Wexford woodland

Lake House Ballaghablake, Curracloe, Co Wexford €875,000

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Lake House, Ballaghablake, Curracloe, Co Wexford

Lake House, Ballaghablake, Curracloe, Co Wexford

Lake House, Ballaghablake, Curracloe, Co Wexford

German architect Egon Winkens was born in 1928 and practised in Bonn before moving to California in 1959.

In Los Angeles, he worked with his mentor, Richard E Neutra, for a number of years before returning to Germany and then moving to Ireland in 1979.

Sadly, Egon died suddenly in 1982 at the age of 53, leaving his Irish practice in the hands of his son, Zeno, who continues to run it to this day and specialises in passive house construction.

Egon Winkens designed Lake House for his own family, and lived there for the few years preceding his death. Later it was owned by another German family, before Dominic O'Sullivan, a builder who is now retired, purchased the property in 2001, with the intention of developing it at some point in the future, perhaps as some kind of holiday village. In the meantime, he and his family enjoyed it as a second home.

"Once we started spending time there, we liked having it to ourselves so much that we never got around to doing anything with it - we just didn't want to have to share it with anyone else," he says.

It is easy to understand how the years might roll by unnoticed in a place such as Lake House, which lies well back from the road in a natural amphitheatre in a completely private setting.

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Lake House, Ballaghablake, Curracloe, Co Wexford

Lake House, Ballaghablake, Curracloe, Co Wexford

Lake House, Ballaghablake, Curracloe, Co Wexford

Centred in the 29 acres of land are two kettle hole lakes formed thousands of years ago, which are suitable for fishing. Roach are plentiful - but the stocks of rainbow trout which Dominic introduced some years back have long been snaffled up by the local otter and heron populations. The lakes are also good for canoeing, but currently not for swimming due to the amount of vegetation.

Approximately half of the acreage is currently leased out to a local farmer for cereal crops.

The Egon Winkens-designed house is a unique property with spectacular views out over the lakes and surrounding woodland from its enormous windows.

As currently configured, the house has five bedrooms and four bathrooms, and includes two self-contained one-bedroom apartments and a garage that's been converted into a bar and snooker room.

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Lake House, Ballaghablake, Curracloe, Co Wexford

Lake House, Ballaghablake, Curracloe, Co Wexford

Lake House, Ballaghablake, Curracloe, Co Wexford

Over the years, Dominic has installed double glazing and a new kitchen and bathrooms, but says that although the house is structurally sound and has what he calls "a great footprint", it is now in need of refurbishment - particularly in terms of insulation to improve the BER, currently D2.

Dominic says that the wildlife around Lake House has been a source of delight during the time that he and his family have spent there.

"Otters, badgers, stoats, foxes, squirrels, rabbits and bats - we have them all. And the birdlife is astounding too. There are woodpeckers, kestrels, owls and buzzards in the woodland planted with native deciduous trees, and we see the occasional kingfisher."

Dominic bought some additional land adjacent to the Lake House site a number of years back, and has now built two houses there, one of which he and his family will occupy.

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Lake House, Ballaghablake, Curracloe, Co Wexford

Lake House, Ballaghablake, Curracloe, Co Wexford

Lake House, Ballaghablake, Curracloe, Co Wexford

The proximity to Curracloe Beach - famously one of the principal locations used during the film Saving Private Ryan and one of the most glorious beaches in the country - is something that he says he would find impossible to relinquish. But now that there are grandchildren to be entertained, he has reluctantly accepted the fact that he is not going to get around to realising the ambitions for Lake House that he once had. New owners may want to consider developing Lake House as an AirBnB-type investment or to refurbish it into an architecturally striking family or holiday home in what is a truly idyllic rural location.

Curracloe Village is close by, with Wexford Town just 8km away.

BER D2

Era 1980

Size 386sqm

5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms

Agent Sherry FitzGerald Haythornthwaite (053) 9146046

Viewing By appointment

Sunday Independent