Safe haven at Ivy Villa
Home built close to historic tower that defended trade route from raiders, writes Alison Gill
In days gone by, residents of Crossabeg were protected by a tower house that still stands today on the grounds of the Ferrycarrig Hotel. Built in the 1400s by the Roche family, the tower was built for military purposes. This is quite rare for a structure like this in Ireland, as they were usually erected by wealthy landlords as a means to defend themselves against looters.
During the 15th and 16th centuries, this three-storey tower, equipped with arrowslits and gun loops, protected ferries and boats crossing the river Slaney from bandits and roaming rebels. These crossings were vital for local trade and were used to transport food and livestock as the bridge connecting to the mainland was not built until 1795.
The tower was also built with a murder hole from which those inside could throw rocks or pour scalding water and hot sand at anyone who managed to breach the main door.
It is also said locally that this was where James II hid out for a night with a Quaker family after the Battle of the Boyne. Two nights later he boarded a ship at Waterford and sailed for France where he ended his days.
Thankfully, the kind of security a tower such as this provided is no longer necessary in the area, and the owners of Ivy Villa, just a few minutes away, have lived safely here since 1996.
Property in Crossabeg is at the high-end of the market in Wexford. In a county where the average property price is €220,000, according to a recent Irish Independent house price survey, recent sales in Crossabeg have reached between €399,999 and €460,000.
It's not only the sought-after location that drives prices up in the area, but the size of the homes on offer. This area is where professionals aspire to live as it's just nine minutes outside Wexford town and two minutes from the M11, making a commute into the capital doable in under two hours.
The owners of Ivy Villa built it in 1996 when they were looking for the best of both worlds: somewhere to enjoy the countryside yet not feel cut off from civilisation. With a floor area of 2,500 sq ft and a 1.3 acre site, the house is in very good condition and is crying out for a young family to come fill it.
The entrance hall is bright and fresh with tiled floors and a handcrafted wooden staircase. Off the hall is the living room with maple floors, fireplace, a bay window overlooking the front gardens, and with double doors leading into the formal dining room.
The high ceilings in the kitchen have wooden beams and the room is fully fitted with solid maple units and laminate counter tops. Included in the sale is a five-ring electric hob and double oven, and an integrated dishwasher. A utility room off the kitchen has a washer/dryer and fridge.
A conservatory at the back of the house has a high vaulted ceiling panelled in wood. It offers views over the gardens and opens out to a very large patio area.
A 'snug' or TV room off the kitchen will be a big hit with teens. It is a cosy retreat with a solid fuel stove and sliding doors out to a separate decking area.
If this area is too good to hand over to the kids, there is another room on the ground floor that is currently used as a home office, but which could easily be utilised as a den or spare bedroom.
Upstairs there are five bedrooms. Those at the front of the house come with views over Wexford harbour and the River Slaney. At over 15ft x 13ft, the master steals the show and has an en suite wet room with cedar wood-panelled walls and walk-in shower.
The second bedroom at the front of the house comes with built-in wardrobes. The third has an en suite bathroom with electric shower; the fourth has maple floors, and the fifth, with built-in desk and shelving, is currently used as an office. There's also a family bathroom with bath and electric shower on this level.
Set on 1.3 acres, Ivy Villa's grounds are tastefully landscaped with private gardens off the main lawn planted with mature shrubs and trees. There is also a vegetable plot and shed for those who like the idea of growing their own.
For sunny days, the rear patio is perfect for entertaining, having been laid out on different levels with a pergola and fencing around it.
A detached garage was built to match the main house and has room for storage in the loft, and built-in work bench with electric sockets.
Three minutes down the road is the four-star Ferrycarrig Hotel. Visitors can choose from Reeds Restaurant or the Dry Dock Bar for food, and the leisure centre is open to members.
There is a number of primary schools within a few kilometres of the house, and plenty of local sports clubs such as Crossabeg/Ballymurn GAA, Ferrycarrig Rowing Club and St Killian's Athletic Club and Crossabeg AFC. And if none of that tickles your fancy, the world-famous Curracloe Beach is a 10-minute drive away.
Ivy Villa in Kitestown, Crossabeg, is on the market through agents Brian Wallace Auctioneers (051 560958) with a guide price of €499,500.