Four Winds was bought by the Presentation Sisters as a holiday home in 1946 at a time when the nuns lived in an enclosed convent
An imposing coastal house in Wexford on a large elevated site with magnificent views of the sea and private access to the beach, which was bought as a seaside holiday retreat by the Presentation Sisters more then 70 years ago, is on the market, with a guide price of €700,000-plus.
Four Winds is a five-bedroom, two-storey house on a 2.5 acre site at Bing, Kilrane, adjacent to St Helen’s Bay Golf Club and less than 10 minutes from Rosslare Harbour.
The Presentation Sisters bought the property in 1946 and used it for many years as a holiday home for the nuns who lived at that time in an enclosed order. They visited it for a number of weeks each year to enjoy the sea air.
"It is now surplus to requirements. People will have noticed that there has been less activity there in recent years”, said Seamus Weldon of Dublin auctioneers Avison Young, who are selling the property by private treaty.
He said there is potential for further development subject to planning permission. The auctioneers are seeking offers of €700,000 upwards and viewing is strictly by appointment.
In a “Documenting Rosslare” video of ten years ago, Sr Margaret of the Presentation Convent said the first time the sisters stayed in the house was in the summer of 1946, after the order purchased it from the Wyse family. Dr Wyse was a GP who ran his surgery and dispensary from the house, serving patients in the surrounding areas of Rosslare Harbour, Rosslare Strand, Kilrane and Tagoat.
"The house was bought in March and we came that summer for a few weeks “ said Sr Margaret, who joined the convent in Wexford after her Leaving Cert in 1944. “It was an enclosed order at that time. That is why it was decided to buy the house so that the sisters could enjoy the seaside and the fresh air.”
The rules changed under Pope John 23rd in 1962 and the nuns were allowed to leave the convent to visit their families.
Sr Margaret said that at the time of the purchase, the house was quite bare and not nearly as comfortable as it later became under the stewardship of Sr Marie. The property had a wine cellar which was turned into the nuns’ ironing room.
Dr Wyse had died some years before the Presentation Sisters took over and his wife stayed on as caretaker for a while following the purchase, moving out when the nuns arrived to stay.
It is estimated that Four Winds was built in the early 1900s and prior to the Wyses, the occupant was a Miss Goulding, of the well-known flour-milling family.
Sr Margaret told the “Documenting Rosslare” video that Miss Goulding gave the house to the British Government for the duration of World War II when a watch tower was installed.
She believed it was used by the Coast Guard and said there were cables running underwater to various locations including Tuskar Light House, to pick up submarine activity in the vicinity, with advice passed on to ships to avoid the area if anything was detected.
She recalled the friendliness of the neighbours living near Four Winds, including the Stafford, Codd, McCormack and Rackard families.
The property is located on the north shore of Burrow Bay Beach with panoramic sea views to the south. To the west is St Helen’s Bay golf course while the property is accessed by Bing Cliff Road to the north-east.
The house has a total floor area measuring approx. 206.2 sq. m. (2,220 sq. ft.) with an outhouse just north of the main house that was previously used for storage but could be converted to provide additional accommodation.
The ground floor consists of a living room, dining room, kitchen, utility room/small kitchen, a laundry room, a toilet, a bathroom, one small bedroom and a sitting room. The first floor has five bedrooms, a bathroom and a hot press. All the bedrooms are bright and provide sea views. There is also an attic space within the property.
There is significant potential within the 2.5 acre site to further develop the land to extend or provide an additional home with similar sea views and beach access, subject to planning.