Dream home in stone

Thu, Feb 14, 2013, 00:00

Kilmeedy, Co Limerick €1mOn the west Limerick scenic drive, this charming property is deceptive from outside. It looks like it could be a renovation of old cottages, but in fact the only original part of the house is the large livingroom, a lime kiln dating from 1824.

The original kiln still exists and the hearth, with beautiful keystones, houses a stove, overlooked by a large boar’s head, once owned by a former president of Poland.

The owner, Liam Sheehy, left Ireland aged 19 and worked as a foreman under Maxwell Hutchinson, the English architect and broadcaster. For 20 years, Sheehy collected ideas for his dream home, which he and his Dutch wife built.

The house comprises a cottage and the lime kiln, which meet at a large turret. The windows and doors were custom-built and Sheehy did all the masonry on the 4,000sq ft property. The entire house, with the exception of the wine cellar, has travertine marble floors warmed by underfloor heating in which charcoal was used instead of cement, as according to Sheehy charcoal heats up 10 times faster and retains heat much longer than cement. This coupled with double-insulated two-and-a-half feet thick exterior walls means the house is very energy efficient, with electricity bills of €50 per month and one oil fill per annum.

The colossal 84sq m (900sq ft) kitchen/dining area with its large fireplace oozes cosiness despite its vast space and lack of any upright girders (Sheehy installed concrete ceilings overhead). Four of the five bathrooms are wet rooms . The bedrooms, while not vast, are warm and house smart dressing areas behind false walls.

The turret cost in excess of €100,000 to build and holds a custom-built spiral staircase. This leads to the bedrooms and utility on one level and an office at the top overlooked by a modern dome which allows the turret to fill with daylight and, on clear nights, provides a star- filled ceiling. Off the office is a decked rooftop which has been reinforced to hold up to 100 persons and a hot tub. Sheehy installed a dumb waiter on a pulley system which allows food and wine to be easily transported to the terrace.

The house stands on two acres and backs on to Ballinruane Wood which means a plethora of wildlife visits the landscaped gardens. The house would suit a nature-loving family with a penchant for entertaining, and with two of the countrys top golf clubs within 45 minutes’ drive will make any golfer feel right at home. Heathfield is for sale through Helen Cassidy Auctioneers for €1m including all furniture and fittings. premierpropertiesireland.com

Heathfield Castle,Kilmeedy, Co Limerick

DescriptionA 4,000sq ft stone cottage with turret

AgentHelen Cassidy Auctioneers