When Sally Gleeson and her husband bought their late Georgian house on 13 acres in the heart of Tipperary's horse country more than 30 years ago, they had their work cut out for them. They rewired it, installed central heating, replaced lintels that had rotted over windows – and, 16 years later, embarked on a major upgrade.
They converted an adjacent coach house into an open-plan kitchen-livingroom-diningroom linked to the main house by a smart gallery-corridor floored with pale tiles and added a fifth bedroom downstairs. Now Brookhill House, a 378.3sq m (4,072sq ft) five-bed on 13 acres with four stables and other outbuildings in Fethard, Co Tipperary, is for sale through Sherry FitzGerald Country Homes for €1.3 million. This is a vivid illustration of the gulf between city and country house prices; many south Co Dublin suburban semis sell for more.
The couple left Dublin to live here all those years ago, but although they're downsizing, they'll stay in Fethard, the home of champion racehorse-breeding Coolmore Stud. Three of their five children live nearby; their son Richard Gleeson, an Ottolenghi-trained chef, owns Dooks Fine Foods restaurant and delicatessen in Fethard.
Pictures show a house, a protected structure built in the early 1800s, that combines formal Georgian elegance with modern country style. The drawingroom and diningroom, on either side of the tiled front hall, have timber floors and timber fireplaces, sash windows with working shutters and simple ceiling coving: the drawingroom is painted a sage/olive green, the diningroom a vivid deep red.
Both the front hall and drawingroom open into the long gallery-corridor that links to the converted coachhouse, designed by architect James Montgomery: it has tall windows looking on to a patio. The long kitchen-diningroom off it has a double-height ceiling and stairs leading up to a mezzanine fitted with bookshelves.
The kitchen-livingroom-diningroom has a beige tiled floor, timber-topped island, a cream Aga at one end and a wood-burning stove in a chimneybreast opposite, at the sittingroom end. There’s underfloor heating in the gallery-corridor and the kitchen-livingroom area. It is BER exempt.
At the back of the house, there’s a utility room and an en suite bedroom with French doors to an enclosed lawn that could be separate accommodation, according to the agent.
Upstairs, there are four more double bedrooms, two en suite, with the other two sharing the family bathroom. The main bedroom is dual aspect and has a dressingroom and an en suite.
The 13 acres on which Brookhill sits are laid out in lawns and patios, a vegetable garden and paddocks. A brook runs along the side boundary. There are stables at the rear. The Gleesons aren’t a “horsey” family, although they had four horses when their children were young. But the property could suit someone “enjoying equine pursuits, whether for business or leisure”, says agent Roseanne de Vere Hunt. It has four loose boxes, outbuildings, a barn over two yards, and paddocks with stud rail fencing.