FOR those seeking the very grandest and largest new home within commuting distance of the capital, Mountrush in Ardee, Co Louth, spans 12,464 sq ft - likely making it the most substantial new property on the market in Ireland today.
The house is located it the townland of Glack and has been designed and constructed in a period style - reputedly to imitate the famous 1880s built Tinakilly House in Co Wicklow, one of Ireland's best known society wedding venues. Mountrush has its distinctive three bay frontage with the exception of the neo classical entrance portico surround, a copy of which could be added on by a new owner.
Mountrush is so expansive that you could fit the equivalent floor space of an entire scheme of 12 standard family new homes inside. With 13 acres attached, its garden also has to be the most vast of any new property on the market today.
Its asking price of €795,000 also demonstrates just how much house you can get for your money outside of Dublin, compared to what you will have to stump up within the county boundaries. It costs the same as a three-bedroom semi in Terenure, a five-bed estate house in Malahide or a three-bed terrace in Mount Merrion.
So how did a modern "period" house this size end up here? The house was planned and then built by a developer who is believed to have intended living there himself. Before completing it he sold it on in conjunction with a bank two years ago. At that time Mountrush was quickly snapped up by a private institution, which had intended turning it into a specialised care facility. However the management team ultimately determined that the property wasn't entirely suited for the intended use.
So this week this somewhat special 10-bedroom new home has come back to market.
Mountrush is not just a Tiger-era style "MacMansion" and has been constructed using quality materials with no uPVC windows, eagles on the gates or lack of insulation. Instead there are proper sash windows with shutters, ornate plasterwork ceilings, parquet wooden floors and fully marble chimney pieces. The property has an A3 BER rating, which is quite incredible for a dwelling this size. There's a geothermal heating system, central vacuum system and a heat and air recovery system in place. The latter serves a continual supply of fresh air inside, whilst cleverly utilising the already warmed air (through cooking, heating, appliances and human habitation) to heat up the air being drawn in from the outside.
Inside, you enter into the grand hall which is 50ft long and 20ft wide triple-height to an ornate beamed ceiling.
On the ground floor is a front drawing room linking in to the dining room and then into a family room, all of which take advantage of the characteristic bays. There's a very large (33ft x 20ft) kitchen and dining room with an 18-panel island unit as its focal point.
There are two studies to the front, a bathroom, a utility room and a sunroom.
On the first floor are five of the 10 bedrooms, all en suite, while the master chamber has a study off it, a full sized dressing room and its own turret bathroom en suite with a spa bath. This floor also includes a comms room and a store room.
On the second floor is a self contained home with five more bedrooms, four en suites, one main bathroom, a living room and a kitchen.
There are some caveats however. Like any new home, you'll have to do some finishing yourself. Although there is staircase access at the rear to all floors, a grand central staircase needs to be installed. In the absence of a salvaged version, a hand crafted staircase could set the new owner back more than €30,000. The new owner will also have to choose the floor for the main hall.
Mountrush has eight acres fenced for grazing with the remaining five in landscaped lawns. The property is approached via a long, tree-lined private driveway.
This house would suit a business executive with a family who is based between Dublin and Belfast (it's located just over an hour from each) and wants a very large luxury home with a difference.