The National Inventory of Architectural Heritage describes Mount Lodge in Enniskeane, Co Cork, as “an interesting example of a design which was built particularly for leisure houses”, also noting that “due to its single storey over raised basement form, it appears deceptively small scale”. What appears to be a quaint property dating from Georgian times is actually a 400sq m (4306sq ft) pile set on two acres of private gardens.
Dating from 1820, the house was purchased a little more than two years ago by its current owner who set about transforming the house back into its original condition, albeit with bundles of insulation. Fortunately, the owner is a building surveyor and architect so was well aware of the challenges that come with restoring a property that has stood for two centuries. “The old parts are just great and well put together and you just know that skilled craftsmen built the house. When I first came here, the house had a sauna and Jacuzzi but the drains didn’t work properly,” says the owner, who is now downsizing from her turnkey house.
Insulated “within an inch of its life”, the property, which has been replumbed and rewired, now has a Ber of C2, which is an indication of the works undertaken to bring this lovely Georgian gem back to life. All sash windows have been overhauled with new sills and plantation-style shutters.
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Rooms are elegantly proportioned and many retain their original features, such as period fireplaces, cast-iron radiators – all of which are restored – and lovely coving.
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Accessed by a cast-iron and stone perron, which in turn leads to an elegant fan-lit Georgian door, inside lies morning, drawing and library rooms along with two bedrooms. Here bold colours are used which emphasise the period details, while downstairs a white palette is utilised, except in the purple den.
At garden level lies a conservatory, kitchen and dining area in addition to a boot room, shower and bathroom, a snug and three bedrooms. There is also a large storeroom at this level.
Grounds extend to two acres and have been given a complete overhaul by the owner. The first job was to open the gardens up to make the best use of the surrounding views. Trees and shrubs were cleared and paths created, which meander through the now landscaped gardens. In addition, a meadow was rewilded and the clearance of the old site exposed many old dry stone walls which add lots of character to the old pile.
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Curiously, there is a small window in what is now used as a linen cupboard which baffled the owner until a former resident arrived to the house one day. “A neighbour texted to say an elderly lady was in the area, whose parents had purchased the property in 1939, and who lived here for 20 or so years. She called to visit and recounted that the linen press was actually a loo – the first in the village – but she also recounted that the water used to run out and she and her sister would have to walk to the village with a bucket.”
Privacy, views and wildlife – including rabbits, foxes, hedgehogs, badgers and a multitude of birds – along with the gardens themselves are what the owner loves about her home. “When you close the front gates, it’s just you, the house and the grounds; it is all so very quiet and peaceful.”
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Deciding to sell as the property is too big for her needs, the owner has placed her lovely home on the market through Sherry FitzGerald O’Neill West Cork, seeking €725,000.