Tipp v Kilkenny for stately homes

This pair of substantial family homes are in walk-in condition and, at less than two hours’ drive from Dublin, they offer a seclusion worlds away from the capital’s bustle. Both are distinctive properties with extensive grounds that embody the good life

 

Hilton House, Mullinahone, Co Tipperary

“The valley near Slievenamon” – spiritual home of Tipperary hurling fans according to the popular ballad – is the location of Hilton House, an attractive, cut-limestone, early Victorian country house on 38 acres.

The businessman owner, who is relocating, has spent a decade refurbishing the 376sq m (4,047sq ft) house which is for sale, by private treaty, through Sherry FitzGerald Power and Walsh in Clonmel with a guide price of €950,000.

Built for a gentry family in the 1850s, the house suffered some minor damage during the troubled 1920s – not at the hands of the IRA as was common at the time – but instead a fire started by the owner “rather than allow the bank to repossess it”.

Tree-lined avenue

Charles KickhamSlievenamon

The electric-gated entrance, flanked by castellated piers and a gate lodge which has not yet been restored, leads to an avenue lined with impressive, mature trees.

Parkland

The impressive restoration of the house was supervised by conservation architect Paul Arnold and it is in turnkey condition. The ground floor has a spacious, elegant hallway off which is a well-proportioned, bright diningroom and a drawingroom with views of Slievenamon. There’s also a study and one of the six bedrooms.

Upstairs, there are five bedrooms and three bathrooms. Downstairs, at basement and garden level, is a big kitchen and dining area, a livingroom, utility rooms and a sauna – handy if there’s a jockey in the house that needs to shed a couple of pounds before the three-o’clock at Limerick Junction.

Behind the house, a courtyard leads to mostly restored, stone outbuildings, including stables, that have the potential for conversion to various uses.

The land includes hay meadows and there’s some pleasant walks to be had through a private five-acre wood with enough fallers every year to ensure a regular supply of logs.

Oak Lodge, Talbot’s Inch, Freshford Road, Co Kilkenny

“Demand here has really taken off” says Peter McCreery a Kilkenny-based estate agent who reports “very strong demand for executive homes”. That ought to ensure interest in what he describes as “one of the finest houses to come on the market for many years”.

Oak Lodge is a detached, five-bed 235sq m (2,530sq ft) edge-of-town residence on 1.5 acres. Situated on the outskirts of Kilkenny city, the property is for sale by private treaty through Sherry FitzGerald McCreery with an asking price of €700,000.

The house sits in the Talbot’s Inch estate, an intact model village built in the style of an English Arts and Crafts hamlet during the first decade of the 20th century.

The project, to provide homes for the workers and managers of a nearby woollen mill and woodworks, was planned and funded by Ellen Cuffe, a politician and philanthropist.

The workers were accomodated in terraced cottages overlooking a decidedly Home Counties-style village green and the managers provided with detached villas.

Oak House was built in 1907 for William Faulds, general manager of the Kilkenny Woodworkers Company.

The structure, as noted by the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage “exhibits an impressive scale in contrast to the houses intended for the workers”. Original features The house retains its original features, including leaded windows and beamed ceilings, and appears to be in very good condition requiring only, perhaps, some redecoration.

The owners, a medical family, are relocating and the location of the house – within walking distance of both Kilkenny hospitals, St Luke’s and the Aut Even, may interest other medics seeking a family home with space and seclusion.

An attractive, sheltered garden adjoins a one-acre paddock with stabling for a pony. Kilkenny city’s medieval centre is accessible either by footpath along the main road or a pleasant riverside walk along the Nore.

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