The word “lodge” in a house name, especially in the countryside, does perhaps suggest an old property at the end of the driveway of a vast period house. Not so in the case of Ballydonagh Lodge in Delgany, Co Wicklow. It stands alone on its five acres and was built relatively recently – in 1972 by prolific author Peter Somerville-Lodge and his wife, Gillian.
They were looking for some peace and quiet and designed their new home, according to the agent selling it, to be reminiscent of a French country house. They didn’t stay long in Ballydonagh moving on just four years after their build was finished to take on an old property in Kilkenny at which point the present owners bought the two-storey 227sq m (2,443sq ft) house which from its elevated position enjoys sweeping and scenic views of the Little Sugarloaf, the Scalp and the Dublin Mountains.
The most unusual aspect of the layout is that access to what was originally the main bedroom – now used as a guest suite – is a spiral staircase that leads up from the kitchen to what they call the tower room, made up of a double bedroom and en suite shower room.
There is another staircase in the entrance hall and it leads to three further double bedrooms and the family bathroom. In the rear hall, an internal staircase leads down to a feature very popular with 1970s builds where space was not an issue – a large, in this case 24sq m, integrated garage. Given that parking is never going to be an issue in this home, it’s a useful, secure and convenient space for all kinds of hobbyists. As for living space there is a sitting room with open fireplace; a room which has been a playroom, home office and fifth bedroom in its time, and a bright spacious eat-in kitchen with windows on three sides, that opens directly into a dining room.
For families, a purchase of a property like this, in the countryside but within commuting distance of Dublin, tends to be a lifestyle move; there’s enough space for pets, maybe a pony, and to allow keen gardeners the space to create their own vision in the garden county. There are two tennis courts – hard and grass – which shows quite the commitment to the game.
The owners did work in 2003, notably replacing the windows, and the house is now painted a striking pink. Some interior details are of their time – such as the stripped-pine ceilings – and so new owners are likely to redecorate throughout, as well as updating the kitchen and bathrooms.
Ballydonagh Lodge on Ballydonagh Lane is for sale through Sherry FitzGerald, asking €1.35 million.