Secluded grandeur near Limerick city centre for €1.75 million

Kilcornan, a Georgian villa with 1.6 acres of gardens, was ‘a magical place to grow up’

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Address: Kilcornan House North Circular Road Limerick
Price: €1,750,000
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald

The North Circular Road, which links with the Ennis Road in Limerick, is the most desirable address in the city. The area was first developed by the Alexanders, a Quaker philanthropist family in the 1800s, and many of the large period houses set on private grounds are still in existence today.

The most expensive house sold was Kilmoyle, on six acres, purchased in 2007 for €26 million by the developer Aidan Brooks, who lives next door at Portland House. Recent sales on the Property Price Register show that period houses on the road still command prices of more than €1 million. Derravoher House went for €2 million in 2013 when it was purchased by Villiers School, which lies adjacent.

Kilcornan, a Georgian villa built by Samuel Alexander in the mid-1800s, is just a short stroll from the city centre. In a bid not to make it appear ostentatious, the house was built into a hollow, so neighbours would think it was a bungalow. It is in fact set on two floors and extends to a rather grand 395sq m (4,250sq ft).

Since 1965 the house has been home to the Sheahan family of architects, who are now downsizing and have placed the property on the market through Sherry FitzGerald with an asking price of €1.75 million.


"It was a magical place to grow up; it was like having your own private park filled with wildlife," says commercial architect Tom Sheahan of the property's 1.6 acres of gardens.

Sheahan's uncle PJ Sheahan was the first Irish architect to made a chevalier of the Order of St Sylvester, an honour bestowed on him by Pope Pius II in recognition of his contribution to ecclesiastical architecture. Sheahan's father, Tom snr, was also an ecclesiastical architect, something to which a plate of St Joseph on the exterior of Kilcornan bears testament.

The property has five bedrooms and five reception rooms, some of which new owners will want to update. Its imposing drawingrooms and diningrooms feature marble fireplaces, sash windows and original coving. There are also several impressive fan lights with original stained glass.

In 1972 Tom Sheahan snr added an extension in the form of a billiards room to accommodate an old billiards table salvaged during a project he was working on.

The grounds are substantial by local standards and include a rare weeping beech with arched pendulous branches and an array of mature oak, lime and copper beech trees.

“Standing in the gardens during the summer, all you can hear is the gentle rustle of the trees in the breeze,” Sheahan says.

Few houses with an address in Limerick city have this distinction.

Elizabeth Birdthistle

Elizabeth Birdthistle

Elizabeth Birdthistle, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about property, fine arts, antiques and collectables