Live like a lord at Lyons . . . by renting

Thu, Oct 2, 2008, 01:00

Beautifully furnished homes are available to rent from €1,450 in a restored village close to Dublin, writes Orna Mulcahy, Property Editor. 

A VILLAGE of honey-stone houses, built by the late Dr Tony Ryan in a corner of his 700-plus acre Lyons estate on the borders of Dublin and Kildare, has been put on the rental market at prices to rival those of suburban apartments.

A total of 14 lavishly furnished homes set around formal gardens and a lake are being offered at rents of between €1,450 and €2,700 a month while a quaint row of shops is also available to rent.

The houses come fully furnished with high-spec fittings including Aga cookers, four poster beds and bathrooms inspired by five-star hotels.

There are some unique features - one house has a ballroom, another a grand staircase and a fireplace fit for a museum, while yet another, the Weigh House, has a private garden with a door to the Grand Canal and a guest suite with a glass-walled shower stall designed around a tree.

The houses make up Lyons Village, a pet project of Dr Ryan, who, having refurbished the main house at Lyons as his home, wanted to restore the old buildings, including a mill fronting onto the canal.

The mill building was converted to a restaurant which was run by Michelin starred chef Richard Corrigan for a time, but which closed last month. A second restaurant, La Serre, does a brisk trade in its soaring conservatory diningroom.

Right up to his death, a year ago tomorrow, Dr Ryan was involved in designing and decorating the interiors of the village buildings using the best of the materials, including antique pieces and salvage from across Europe. Much of the stonework, intricate wood carving and furniture making was carried out on the estate by a vast workshop of craftsmen from Poland.

The multi-millionaire businessman, who had homes in Kentucky and Ibiza, as well as a vineyard in France, loved renovations, according to Michael Martin, the general manager of Lyons Village, who at one time ran the Tea Rooms restaurant in the Clarence Hotel and also runs The Vaults, a venue in the IFSC.

"He should have been a builder," says Martin. "He loved putting this together and was involved in every single detail, how the floors should be laid or how the curtains were hung.

He wanted the houses to be absolutely perfect, and he didn't really mind how they would be used. He just wanted them to be beautiful." The houses are to be rented before a final decision is made on their long term future.

The mill building, called Shackleton House, is now being used as a venue for parties and corporate events, and the houses may well also end up as corporate lets.

The units range from a couple of 102sq m (1,100sq ft) one-bed apartments, up to large three and four-bed houses. Overlooking the lake are two adjoining two-bed houses with gorgeous interiors that include panelled rooms, ornate plasterwork, and big airy country-style kitchens with views over neat lawns, a knot garden, and the crunchy gravel paths that criss-cross the village.

Two houses have first floor terraces, while another Another cottage is decorated in the style of a shooting lodge crossed with a Swiss chalet. The downstairs loo has walls covered in pure wool tartan, while in the diningroom there's a wall covered entirely in wood ends. This house also has a vast sittingroom that could double as a ballroom. The houses, just outside the village of Newcastle, close to the M50 and within easy reach of the airport, would be ideal for individuals or couples looking for a truly different home in a serene setting - or simply a weekend bolthole with a difference.

Coonan Real Estate Alliance is handing the rentals at Lyons.