New life breathed into Georgian estate
Georgian country house in Westmeath on 86 acres, with two-bed cottage alongside
Description: Six-bed Georgian pile with upgraded kitchen and basement space Agents: Savills and Egan Auctioneers When Wardenstown House was last on the market in 2005, it was written in this paper that while the new owners would probably want to upgrade the kitchen, and the basement had plenty of possibility, the location could hardly be bettered, situated as it was within manageable commuting distance to Dublin.
Fast-forward 12 years, and the predictions came true: not only did the new owners upgrade, they actually moved the kitchen to a sunnier spot, adding a large bow window onto the new breakfastroom, which is still in keeping with the rest of this lovely Georgian house.
They also fully exploited the potential of the basement, as it now houses a bar, games room and gym, as well as a wine cellar – presumably to make up for all that hard work in the gym. A patio off the games room has a hot tub, so the party opportunities are endless.
The M4 has brought Dublin even closer in terms of time: Dawson Street can be reached within an hour, while Kinnegad and Mullingar are 7.5km and 18km away respectively.
Harriet Grant of Savills, who is handling the sale (at ¤2.2 million), along with joint agents Egan Auctioneers, also looked after it in 2005, when the house went for auction with Ganly Walters for ¤2.25 million.
It’s estimated a further ¤1 million was spent on rewiring, replumbing, drylining, extending, redecorating and landscaping.
At 497sq m (5,346sq ft), the six-bed house dates back to the 15th century, though the main body was begun in the 1650s, then added to in the Georgian era.
According to the Buildings of Ireland record, it was in the ownership of the Vandeleur family, and associated with the Earls of Lanesborough. With 86 acres of good pasture land, it has done time as a stud farm, and could become so again. There are plenty of well-maintained outbuildings, stables, yards and a sand arena, so ponies could feature. There’s also a separate refurbished two-bedroom cottage, with its own access.
Grant points out the excellent landscaping carried out by the current owners, which inc l udes a beauti f ul , l ong tree-lined avenue leading over a little stone bridge and opening up to the front of the house. There’s also a sunroom and, outside, a walled garden, a classic greenhouse and, of course, a folly.
Inside there are a series of elegant reception rooms leading off the hallway, a new kitchen, and two bedrooms.
The other four bedrooms are on the first floor. Records show that originally the house was a storey higher, but as it is the proportions are excellent for a very liveable family home close to the handy village of Killucan, and on the doorstep of Dublin.
‘‘ Not only did the new owners upgrade, they actually moved the kitchen to a sunnier spot, adding a large bow window