Monday 22 October 2018

This secluded 17th century house has been beautifully restored in Wexford

This secluded late 17th century house has been restored and extended

The family room has a huge old stone fireplace and a terracotta-tiled floor, and opens directly into a sunroom
The family room has a huge old stone fireplace and a terracotta-tiled floor, and opens directly into a sunroom
Corrageen House is at the foot of Blackstairs Mountain
The kitchen with a terracotta floor and green Aga
Staircase detail with an exposed stone wall
The recreation room has a vaulted ceiling
One of the bedrooms
The TV room and library

Eithne Tynan

It might seem like one of the most peaceful places on earth today, but Blackstairs Mountain, which straddles the border between counties Carlow and Wexford, played an unlikely cameo in the theatre of World War II.

he mountain - at 735 metres is the second-highest in the Blackstairs range - was unexpectedly made famous in 1941, because twice that year its heathery peak was blasted by Luftwaffe bombs.

The first incident, in January of that year, claimed the lives of three members of the same family who lived at Scullogue Gap, just under the mountain's northern slope.

A German bomber, possibly lost and attempting to gain altitude as the mountain range hove dangerously into view, dropped eight bombs in a straight line, hitting Mount Leinster and Blackstairs Mountain, as well as the home of the Shannon family, killing three of them in their beds.

The kitchen with a terracotta floor and green Aga
The kitchen with a terracotta floor and green Aga

The second incident was in October of the same year, when another Luftwaffe bomber apparently went astray on a mission in the Irish Sea and crashed into Blackstairs Mountain. All four crew were killed and are buried at Glencree military cemetery. The plane's cargo of bombs was later detonated by the Irish Army, and it is said the craters are still visible today.

Post-Emergency, the mountain is the picture of tranquillity and is a Special Area of Conservation to boot. It's a popular spot for hikers who prefer it to its neighbour Mount Leinster - the highest peak in the range - because it's unspoiled.

There's a designated 13.5km loop walk around the mountain which takes five hours up to the summit and down again. But the occupants of Corrageen House can pop up the slope for an emergency airing any time they please.

Corrageen House is just to the south and east of Blackstairs Mountain, on the Wexford side, and snuggled into its giant fragrant foot on 24 acres.

It's in as secluded a setting as you could imagine, at the end of a 3.5-kilometre country lane that departs a small local road and meanders gradually towards Blackstairs Mountain where it comes to an abrupt stop. As you make your way up the lane, you gain altitude all the time, so by the time you reach Corrageen House you're about 300 metres above sea level.

The property reportedly dates from the late 17th century, and certainly a house is shown on the site on the first-edition OS map. It's been completely restored and extended by its current owners, although they've kept its ancient farmhouse feel with exposed stone walls - some bare, some painted - and eye-catching fireplaces.

The recreation room has a vaulted ceiling
The recreation room has a vaulted ceiling

They've also taken in hand the adjacent barn, converting that to living accommodation as well (although it's not connected to the main house), so that in all you get a floor area of 3,704 sq ft.

The main house faces south, away from the mountain and towards a pleasant, sheltered courtyard, with the converted barn to one side and a clematis-covered shed opposite.

Inside the entrance porch is a TV room and library with a wood-burning stove. To the right there's a bedroom with a walk-in wardrobe and en-suite, while to the left is a distinctive family room measuring some 26ft by 13ft. It has a huge old stone fireplace and a terracotta-tiled floor, and opens directly into a sunroom (facing south, at the front of the house) with lush greenery and vines and French doors out to the front courtyard.

On the other side of the family room, at the back of the house, is the kitchen. Here there are exposed stone walls, a terracotta floor and a dark green Aga, and another set of French doors leading to a second courtyard behind the house. Off the kitchen is an inner hall with a utility and guest toilet.

The house is cut into the side of a hill so there's access to the garden from the first floor as well. On this level there are three bedrooms, including the master bedroom which has a walk-in wardrobe and en-suite and gives onto the garden. There's also a family bathroom.

The converted barn consists of a huge recreation room on the ground floor, measuring roughly 22ft by 11ft. It has a wood-burning stove and a vaulted ceiling with exposed beams. Off the recreation room there's a kitchen and bathroom, and on the first floor there's a bedroom, study and another small conservatory giving onto the upper garden.

One of the bedrooms
One of the bedrooms

The gardens feature lawns with shrubs and mature trees (one with a swing) and a kitchen garden, as well as stables, a haybarn and a cattle shed. Along with its own 24 acres, it has access to 968 acres of commonage adjoining the property.

It's a kilometre from the Carlow border but you'd have to climb over Blackstairs Mountain to get there. The nearest village is Rathnure, about seven kilometres away. Enniscorthy is a 20-minute drive.

The agent is Sherry FitzGerald Country Homes (01) 237 6300 and the asking price is €720,000.

Corrageen

Rathnure, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford

Asking price: €720,000

Agent: Sherry FitzGerald Country Homes, (01) 237 6300

Indo Property

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