Sunday 22 July 2018

Peek inside this wonderful - and completely restored - €495k historic home

Craddenstown lodge Raharney, Co Westmeath €495,000

Craddenstown Lodge. Photo: Joe Duffy Photography
Craddenstown Lodge. Photo: Joe Duffy Photography

Words by Caroline Allen

When the vendors of Craddenstown Lodge in Co Westmeath bought the property in 1998, their children were aged six and nine. Now those same children are long grown and flown and the owners are ready to downsize.

"We had been living in a housing estate in Enfield and wanted a family lifestyle that included more space and an older house. I was on the road every day for work so the location - beside Raharney village and 40 miles from Dublin - suited perfectly," said the vendor, who now commutes daily from Craddenstown Lodge to the capital.

Craddenstown Lodge grounds. Photo: Joe Duffy Photography
Craddenstown Lodge grounds. Photo: Joe Duffy Photography

Taking on a 'project' was the only way to get a property of that calibre at an affordable price at the time, he says.

The house dates from around 1830 and was in need of a complete restoration so the owner and his wife set about stripping it back and carrying out a major refurbishment.

Among the work carried out in the spring of 1999 was the installation of oil-fired radiators, with under-floor heating downstairs. Timber rise-and-fall sash windows with double glazing were also fitted before the family moved in a year later.

But they were careful to keep original features such as flagstones in the hallway, working shutters on the windows and fireplaces in the bedroom, and the cornicing in the main reception room, to maintain the character of the property.

Craddenstown Lodge bathroom. Photo: Joe Duffy Photography
Craddenstown Lodge bathroom. Photo: Joe Duffy Photography

"Anyone who comes into the house comments on the warm and welcoming atmosphere," according to the vendor. "It doesn't have that sense of eeriness that some old houses have - it's the polar opposite."

The ground floor consists of entrance hall, lounge with bay window, living room with bay window, kitchen/diner with handcrafted cabinets and granite countertops and pantry, back hall, utility and guest WC.

There are three bedrooms on the first floor, one en suite. The bathroom features a free-standing bath and cast-iron fireplace.

There is also an annexe, or granny flat, that could make staff quarters or have Airbnb potential. It comprises a living/kitchen/dining area with walnut flooring and solid fuel stove on the ground floor. There are two bedrooms on the first floor and a shower room.

Craddenstown Lodge. Photo: Joe Duffy Photography
Craddenstown Lodge. Photo: Joe Duffy Photography

"What we like is the sense of space. The house has an air of grandeur but is very manageable in size," the owners say.

Craddenstown Lodge was originally owned by Lockhart Ramage, a member of the English gentry. An old rent book in the house indicates that it once stood on 150 acres, with the cottages on the land rented out to local tenants. "The road next to us is known as Ramage's Cross," say the vendors.

Now the property is set on a more manageable five acres of gardens, woodland, grassland and walled courtyard. The grounds, with a large number of mature trees, including beech, copper beech, oak and ash, are one of the vendors' favourite aspects of Craddenstown.

"We have worked on the house and the gardens. When we bought the property, there was a field where the lawned garden is now. The task ahead for the new owners - should they choose to accept it - is to restore the series of cottages. One outbuilding has been restored and is used as a fuel store and a general purpose shed," say the vendors. They have also renovated the lovely old walled garden.

Craddenstown Lodge
Craddenstown Lodge

They see the property as having huge appeal to any family in search of space, privacy and general peace and quiet - just as they were once upon a time. However, this time around the hard work of restoration will have been carried out for the purchaser.

Raherney and Kinnegad, they say, have a vibrant community spirit with a primary school, pubs, shops and the plus of easy accesss to Dublin and surrounding areas. Their own children went on to senior school in Mullingar, nine miles away, where a school bus ran a daily service.

Era: 1830s

Size: 270sqm

Agent: James L. Murtagh Auctioneers (044) 934 0088

Bedrooms: 5

Bathrooms: 2

Sunday Independent

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