Lessons in commuter-belt living: former schoolhouse in Kildare for €375,000

Five-bedroom, 19th-century cut-stone building is at the heart of a community

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Address: The Old Schoolhouse, Kilkea, Co Kildare, R14 RC6O
Price: €375,000
Agent: Jordan Auctioneers

It’s that time of year when parents breathe a sigh of relief as they wave their little darlings off to school after being bombarded by advertising reminders of the return for more than a month.

The kids are never quite as fired up about the start of the academic year so consider the reaction if, on their first day back, you announced that they were now going to spend all their time at school. Imagine their faces.

The Old Schoolhouse in Kilkea, a pretty historic village in south Kildare, near the Laois and Carlow borders, might just convince them that such a move might be a good thing.

The cut-stone detached period property, which was built in 1863 by the Duke of Leinster, operated as a schoolhouse until the mid-1950s, when a new school was built in the field next door.


The five-bedroom house, which has three doubles at entrance level and two more upstairs, doubled as a sweet shop, a detail that might pique little ones’ interest, especially if you regale them with stories of the allure of fizzy cola bottles, golf-ball chewing gum and Chomp bars.

It is surrounded by a lawn, where the previous owner used to serve tea and scones to guests staying at nearby Kilkea Castle, so you might also be able to operate a café of some sort from the premises, subject to planning. The castle amenities that might help convince kids include a leisure centre. Its golf course, bars and restaurant will likely appeal to adults.

The house extends to about 130sq m (1,400sq ft) with a further 34sq m (370sq ft) of beamed attic space that is crying out to be developed.

The Ber exempt property has oil-fired heating and offers a different kind of three R’s from the traditional reading, writing and arithmetic.

Asking €375,000 through Jordan Auctioneers it is roomy, offers real value to someone that can continue working from home, even part time, and is situated in a real community with shops and amenities within walking distance and a school next door. With a little TLC it could be a lesson in commuter county living.

Alanna Gallagher

Alanna Gallagher

Alanna Gallagher is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in property and interiors