The village of Adare is one of the prettiest in Ireland. Host to the 2027 Ryder Cup, it is also home to four fine four-star hotels – the family-run Dunraven Arms, Fitzgeralds Woodlands House, country house The Mustard Seed – and the five-star Adare Manor, which is hidden from view behind security gates. No gawkers get in, unless you have a booking in its restaurants or are overnighting as a guest.
And it is this combination of ultra-private positioning within well-maintained grounds and a sizeable home on 3.3 acres with room for all the family to come and stay that drew the current owners to Winterwood, an eight-bedroom Celtic Tiger-era abode built by Sisk for local developer Robert Butler.
Back in 2008 the property had an ambitious guide price of €12 million. Its current owner bought it in 2012 for €1.78 million, according to the Property Price Register.
The house is one of just 20 built on the grounds of one of Ireland’s best-regarded manor house hotels. There were 21 sites offered for sale and the previous owner of Winterwood bought two, which explains its extensive grounds. These include woodlands where more than 300 native trees were planted.
The golf offering is also first-class. The parkland course, originally designed by American Tom Fazio, has been beautiful upgraded by Robert Trent Jones Snr. Having staged two Irish Opens in its previous incarnation, its 2018 transformation has delivered soft-rolling terrain along the sweeping banks of the River Maigue that helped in its selection for the 2027 Ryder Cup. Golf Monthly describes it as “the most Augusta-like experience you can get anywhere in Europe”.
The three-storey house is similarly well appointed. With eight en suite bedrooms and extending to 1,533sq m (1,6501sq ft) its layout radiates out a triple-height, rotunda entrance hall. A split staircase climbs dramatically to a galleried landing on the first floor. Above it is a leaded glass dome that provides ambient after-dark lighting.
To the left is a formal dining room and to its rear is the large eat-in kitchen. This has a custom-built table with bench seating, where the owner entertains on a more casual basis. This leads through to an orangery.
When the family wants to watch TV together they gather in the sitting room, a smaller space where the seating has been covered in sheepskins.
The formal drawing room is across the impressive hall and adjacent to it is a very masculine study, with Brazilian mahogany bookcases. The internal doors throughout are made of the same fine hardwood.
The children have a games room on the first floor where they can play with their friends on devices. They also have the freedom to roam its grounds, all the while quietly surveyed by the manor’s 24-hour mobile security units.
They can walk to school in the village too, and the owner likes to walk in to meet friends for a drink in one of the pubs.
While sizeable, the house didn’t feel overwhelmingly big to its current owners. “It felt welcoming,” he says. When he had family to stay, “there was a feeling of a full house” but he was able to call everyone to dinner from the hall. They weren’t dispersed into various wings, as can be the case in large period country homes.
The house has an impressive B2 Ber and is warmed by underfloor heating at ground-floor level and by radiators on its two upper floors.
There isn’t a lift but there is scope to install one if you took out the back stairs. These lead from the first floor down to a large basement room that selling agent Ailbhe O’Malley, director at Sherry FitzGerald, says she could see being used as a recording studio. The property has an asking price of €3.5 million.