Free-range living in Enniskerry village for €595,000

Former coach house with old-world charm and gardens on different levels

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Enniskerry village is chocolate-box pretty, even before the Disney circus came to town and built its rather beguiling set, draping every property on the triangle in faux flowers and foliage and ye-olde-style shopfronts.

The village was built as effective set-dressing to the Powerscourt estate and in a way continues to deliver on this for it sets the scene and whets the appetite for visits to the big house.

But as well as being aesthetically pleasing, the village offers an elevated form of country living: you’re surrounded by mature trees and rolling green fields, and yet everything is within walking distance.

Number 1 The Mews, Church Hill, a former coach house, is within horseshoe- throwing distance of the village centre and is hidden behind an arched, shared access gate.

The owner of the house ran a restaurant here in the 1980s and the space has retained some of that ambience. But the coach house is between 200 and 250 years old, with an extension to it added in the 1950s.

It now opens straight into the open-plan living/dining room where exposed stone walls darken the room and the timber supports, originally railway sleepers, are charcoal coloured.

The space is dark and textured, much darker than the photos demonstrate but charming, its low ceilings adding to the intimate atmosphere. A pair of teal green sofas sit opposite each other and a wood-burning stove in the corner has a beaten copper hood.

From here uPVC sliding doors open to a sheltered terrace that, while north-facing, gets both west and eastern light for it is not overlooked.

And here’s where the house gets really interesting. An innocuous path winds up past shrubbery and really relaxed cottage planting to reveal an elevated terrace that overlooks the whole village, its roofscapes all on show below. The path continues up to climb up to a steep lawn where there are mature apple, plum, cherry trees as well as apricots, gooseberries and redcurrants. The scent of old roses and honeysuckle hangs in the air. It is gloriously bucolic and yet you can be at the shop for a pint of milk in about a minute: ditto a pint of plain. 

All told the house is set on about one-third of an acre and this is what you’re buying, the chance to grow your own vegetables, sunbathe unobserved and garden to your heart’s delight. You could even keep bees and hens.

It’s the kind of fairy-tale setting that would delight a Disney location manager or parents hoping to give kids a more free-range childhood. They can walk to school and when older can commute to any schools along the Dart line via the 185 bus to Bray, or take the 44 towards the city.

But it’s not a house for some traders-down, for it is set over several levels and the garden will require a lot of attention. What it does offer is a huge degree of privacy and a very peaceful setting.

The rest of the property includes a study that leads through to a long narrow kitchen that is very bright thanks to its polycarbonate roof. There is direct access to the garden from here, too.

At the top of the open-tread staircase there are three double bedrooms all set under the eaves with windows almost down at floor level. They’re charming rooms, but again ceiling heights here are low.

The property, with a BER of D2, extends to 125sq m (1,345sq ft) and is asking €595,000 through SherryFitzGerald.