Estate agents often describe country houses coming to the market as a “rare opportunity”, but once in a while a property like Lough Sillan House, near Shercock, Co Cavan, deserves the expression.
Set on eight acres of gardens and mature trees sloping down to Lough Sillan, the bow-fronted house is set against a gentle hill, offering two storeys to a long driveway, and three facing the lake.
Tony Cameron and his wife, Fedja, moved to Lough Sillan House 20 years ago and set about making the draughty former rectory a light-filled place with warm, cosy corners in which to read a book or simply enjoy the ever-changing lake view through restored 12-pane sash windows.
Stone steps lead up to the front door, which opens to a timber-floored entrance hall. Off this is the main drawing room, with its bow window overlooking the lake. There is also a library with a solid fuel stove, two bedrooms – the guest room can be used as a study – and a shower room.
Down a curved stairs from the hall is the heart of the house including a bright kitchen with a four-door Aga, a bright, comfortable livingroom with floor-to-ceiling windows fronting on to a terrace, and a formal diningroom. Also at this level are a boot room, a utility room, a shower room and a wine cellar.
Up the main staircase, which is lit by two windows, are three more bedrooms – one of them en suite – a further bathroom and another shower room. A space that was probably originally a bedroom is now used as a reading and hobby area. All the principal bedrooms and living rooms, and even some bathrooms, have expansive views through multiple windows.
The house was built about 1819 at the end of the Regency era and, while expanding to 475sq m (5,113sq ft), manages to appear comfortable rather than oversized.
Cameron, who represented Ireland in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and came fourth in the 1962 Grand National at Aintree, says he loves gardens and lakes and has really enjoyed living in this house. Over the years he has relaid paths through the gardens, refurbished the “dry” boathouse on the lake and planted a number of specimen trees which he notes will not be at their best until the autumn. Older, more mature trees are just coming into leaf. “It is ideal if you like gardens, trees, water and country life,” he says.
Sadly however, Fedja died last October and, with their children having moved on, the place is just too big for one person. He has no plans beyond wishing to live somewhere in Co Meath near his family.
Lough Sillan House near Shercock, with a BER of C3, is for sale through Navan agent Raymond Potterton. The asking price is €1.2 million.