Work from home in bucolic 19th-century splendour for €550,000

Five-bedroom period house in Borris comes with separate coach house

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The sunny southeast and the west are luring many in search of wide open spaces and bigger, better value homes, but those seeking the perfect balance of town and country should check out Shabeg House, a five-bedroom house.

The house, seeking €550,000, is on the main street of Borris, a Georgian estate town. It looks across to the boundary wall of Borris House, the Tudor-style ancestral home of the McMorrough Kavanaghs, once the Celtic kings of Leinster and one of the few Irish families to retain their seat and lands.

The five-bedroom abode is on 0.6 of an acre of grounds, and extends to 260sq m (2,798sq ft). It has another 100sq m of outbuildings, including a home office. It is also within a short walk of primary and secondary schools as well as shops and pubs.

The semi-detached, three-bay, two-storey over-basement property was built in the Tudor Revival style circa 1835. It has fine period features, including decorative coving; exposed timber beams; casement windows, many of which still have shutters; and lofty ceiling heights.

The granite-fronted house has fine reception rooms on either side of its entrance hall. A formal dining room, with walls painted in Mouse’s Back by Farrow & Ball, has wide plank original boards underfoot and a fireplace of Kilkenny marble into which the owners have set a Stanley stove. Across the hall is the drawing room. This is another square room, also with a stove and polished timber floorboards.

To its rear is a utility room and guest WC, with doors leading out to a small deck and steps down into the garden.

The eat-in kitchen at garden level is where the current owners did most of the upgrades to the property. They rewired, damp-proofed and installed underfloor heating throughout, laying travertine limestone slabs on top so you can pad around barefoot. It also helps keep damp and cold at bay in a period property. There’s also a lounge filled with mid-century furniture.

The extensive gardens are very special for a town centre setting. They are zoned into different areas and are very private, bounded by granite walls.

Stone cobble outside the back door gives way to the first of two lawned areas and a set of steps up to a terraced barbecue area. A low wall divides it from a second paved area, used for outdoor dining and home to a giant-size chess set.

Behind it is a walled garden that is home to fruit trees, mainly apple and pear, and beyond all this is a second green space, laid out in lawn and bordered by specimen shrubs.

So with all this and the town on your doorstep, why are the owners leaving, you might ask? They keep horses and are currently renting land and stables for their string. The opportunity to buy 13 acres, where they can build a house and stables, came up about 18 months ago, and they are moving about a mile away.

There are four doubles and a box room on the first floor. The main bedroom is a sizeable, dual aspect space. It is painted Lamp Room Grey, another Farrow & Ball colour. Both it and the other front room have stylish pitched and panelled ceilings, and one of the back rooms has access to a secret space in the attic.