Peek inside this reduced model of Mount Juliet on the market for €1.1m
Own a reduced model of the famous period house
Back in September 2002, the now-beleaguered Tiger Woods was attracting the spotlight for all the right reasons.
For four days that month, an estimated one billion viewers watched as the world's No1 golfer played at Mount Juliet in Kilkenny and clinched the $1m first prize at the WGC-American Express World Golf Championship.
If Danesrath Lodge, a five-minute drive from the Thomastown parkland course, looks familiar to golf enthusiasts, that's no coincidence: the Georgian-style villa was designed by the same architects behind many of the private homes on the Mount Juliet estate since it was opened in 1991, and who also did much of the work on the big period house itself. The original owners asked them to design a home for them that reflected the visual qualities of both the original house and those in the development. A sort of mini Mount Juliet.
The original design for Danesrath Lodge was created by Brian Conroy, one of the three original partners at Campbell Conroy Hickey, now a company known as CCH Architects. As well as high-profile projects like Blackrock Clinic and the Galway Clinic, CCH was responsible for residential designs, such as Walton's Grove at Mount Juliet.
Danesrath Lodge was built in 2004, but the owners, the Williamsons, put the house on the market for €980,000 in 2009 so they could retire to France.
The property was then spotted online, across the Atlantic, by Tony and Alice Varian, an Irish couple living in Florida who were moving back to Ireland. As the property market continued to falter, the 4,036 sq ft home and the 16 acres of land and woods that surrounds it were eventually sold to the Varians for €875,000.
"As a family, we had been involved with ponies and horses, so 16 acres and a stable block enabled us to come back to Ireland and renew our love for those passions," says Tony Varian.
Now that the children have either flown or about to flee their neo-Georgian nest, the couple plans to downsize to Tony's native Cork. As a result, Danesrath Lodge is on the market, seeking €1.1m.
The double-fronted home is approached by a long driveway lined with beech trees. But it is the rear of the house that is the main attraction: sets of French doors lead out from both the drawing room and kitchen to a patio overlooking south-east facing manicured formal gardens with an ornamental pond.
Both outside and in, the five-bed home bears plenty of hallmarks of a Georgian villa, from timber-frame sliding sash windows to tall ceilings with cornicing and central roses. A separate double garage could be converted into further accommodation if planning permission was secured. There is also a small orchard with apple and plum trees.
Inside, the galleried reception hall is hexagonal in shape with travertine tiles laid to the floor in a traditional chequer-board style. A central glazed atrium floods the double-height hallway with light.
"The glass atrium above the hallway is a glass dome similar to that above the reception area at Mount Juliet," Varian says.
The style of the kitchen echoes that of the villa's reception hall, with its windows laid out in a hexagon shape and a semi-circular glass panel near the vaulted ceiling. This room was fitted with walnut wood flooring, a Neston Martin cast-iron stove, an extra-large granite central island with double sinks and appliances such as a double oven.
In the drawing room, which features a marble chimneypiece, a set of steps leads to a separate dining area with a polished Junckers timber floor. Three of the five bedrooms are ensuite. The master is a dual-aspect space with three windows and comes with its own dressing room and an ensuite bathroom.
The other two ensuite bedrooms come with shower rooms. Also on this level is a study that could be used as a gym, a laundry room, a guest lavatory and a boot room for any buyer who wants to continue the Varians' equine pursuits.
Upstairs are two attic rooms that the Varians used as bedrooms; these have been fitted with Canadian redwood polished floors, also from Junckers, wardrobes, and antique cast-iron radiators.
The central heating is oil-fired and the water comes from a well, albeit through a softener filter.
Thomastown, Co Kilkenny
Asking price: €1.1m
Agent: Savills (01) 6634350