Inside this fairy tale Clare home complete with 22 acres of land on the market for €1.050m
Annaly Lodge Broadford, Co Clare €1,050,000
Back in the late 1700s, an impoverished Dublin bookseller by the name of Luke White made a fortune on the lottery. Not by buying the winning ticket, but because his facility for figures gained him a partnership at the lottery offices.
"Good luck attended him in every speculation and he knew how to profit by it, but with the fairest fame," said Lady Hardwicke, wife of the Irish viceroy in 1803 about White's rise to riches. Like many a wealthy Irish person before and since, White invested in property and land.
He purchased the Luttrellstown estate in Co Dublin "to the great offence of all the aristocrats in Ireland," continues Lady Hardwicke, describing an "excellent" day out she and her fellow guests spent with him and his wife there.
By the time of the 1798 Rebellion, White was in a position to lend the Government £1m and went on to become MP for Co Leitrim, where he was called by Daniel O'Connell "a decided reformer". He died having "realised the largest fortune ever made by trade in Ireland".
His fourth son, Colonel Henry White, acquired an estate of at least 24 townlands in the parishes of Co Clare, which included the lands where Annaly Lodge now stands and at that time included some 18,266 acres. The Victorian property was built in the 1850s as a hunting lodge for the White family.
Today, the stone-cut house has been extended, restored and modified to suit 21st century tastes. The kitchen is modern and airy, and a large sunroom has replaced a yard to the side of the house and links it to a renovated coach yard building.
The current owners, Anne Manoras and her husband, have lived at Annaly Lodge since 1998. They had been living in the Middle East, Cyprus and London and the arrival of their three children sparked a desire to return to Ireland, "I just wanted them to experience the Irish way of growing up - the freedom," says Anne.
They had bought a plot of land to build on when Anne happened to spot Annaly Lodge was for sale. "We said, 'Forget building. Let's leave the land and go for this house. And we never looked back - we never regretted it."
There was considerable work to be done, however, before they moved in. The roof was replaced, stone repointed, the plumbing and electrics refitted, and dry rot and rising damp addressed. Anne says: "It was a long labour of love trying to get it all in order."
But they were careful to keep the character and many of the original features intact. The ground floor comprises a large family room with wood-beamed ceiling that opens on to the garden and is ideal for entertaining. Off the hallway is a more formal drawing room and opposite, a fine oak-panelled study. The dining room has a pantry linking it to the large modern kitchen.
Upstairs are four large bedrooms, two en suite, with a hot press and store room on the same floor.
The self-contained coach house which adjoins the spacious sunroom contains two further bedrooms, one en-suite, as well as a kitchen and living room. "Some of the children have lived there," says Anne. "My son before he got married - it was his den - and my daughter before she got married." There is also a little cottage on the estate, currently occupied by her nephew.
The grounds of Annaly Lodge extend to 22 acres of woodland and were once owned by Coillte who planted it extensively. "We bought an extra 14 acres of woodland so we could define our boundaries quite easily and it gives a lot of privacy as well." Mature oak, ash, hazel and Douglas fir provide a home to red squirrels, badgers, deer and other wildlife.
"The deer come in the winter," says Anne, who often sees them coming to drink at the picturesque pond in the garden. A wooden barbeque house gets year-round use with summer evening cook-ups and Halloween bonfires for the grandchildren. "It's a children's paradise," she says. "My grandchildren climb trees, make dens, they love it here."
Anne and her husband, who is originally from Cyprus, are reluctantly downsizing. "We want to spend more time abroad. We have a property in Cyprus, and we'd like to spend more time there in winter."
The property is 23km from Limerick, 30km from Shannon and 85km from Galway, making it well-suited for use either as a full-time family home or a second property for those in search of an idyllic slice of country life.
Agent: Ganly Walters (01) 662 3255
Viewing: Strictly by appointment