Transformed Offaly cottage
Ballydownan, Geashill €305k
The second-edition Ordnance Survey map gives a clear picture of the various improvements that took place in Geashill in the mid- to late 19th century.
The Co Offaly village was taken in hand by William Stuart Trench, agent of the (absentee) landlord, the ninth Baron Digby, in the 1860s and 70s.
The community looked positively idyllic by 1909, when the area was surveyed for the second-edition map, with a village green, a school, a dispensary and a church, and a ruined castle adding Gothic glamour.
Also marked on the map is a little house across the road from the school, then described as 'The Cottage'. Like so many of the other historic buildings dotted about the village, it's still well preserved today. But it has also been given the kind of dramatic improvements that might have been the envy of William Stuart Trench.
For one thing, it's been massively extended. Behind the dainty cottage you see from the street is a corridor leading to a new, architect-designed flat-roofed structure, making for a total floor area of 1,830 sq ft.
The original cottage now consists of an open-plan kitchen, living and dining room, dual-aspect and with a high, skylit ceiling. The kitchen and living areas are separated by a double-sided chimney breast with a range on one side and a solid-fuel stove on the other.
There's also one bedroom in this part of the house, with an adjoining room plumbed for an en-suite. The other two bedrooms are in the extension, both with doors to the garden.
The new part of the house also has a dual-aspect lounge, again with sliding doors to the garden. The house is on 0.47 of an acre, mostly in lawn but with neighbouring mature trees.
The agent is Sherry FitzGerald Lewis Hamill (057) 932 0862 and the asking price is €305,000.