Es­cape be­tween moun­tains and sea

The Irish Times - Thursday - Property - - The Market - ROSE DOYLE 850, 000

De­scrip­tion: Bun­ga­low on .45hectares with five bed­rooms and draw­ingroom with mez­za­nine all built around an in­ner court­yard. Joint agents: Clarkes, Ash­ford and DNG. As scenic set­tings go, Bal­ly­hara has it all. On a 0.45 hectare site (1.5 acres) with pri­vate gar­dens, this is a house with wide views of the Ir­ish Sea to one side, the Wick­low moun­tains and Magher­amore to the other and, ev­ery­where else you look, trees, plants, sweeps of coun­try­side and land­scaped pri­vate gar­dens.

The own­ers are sell­ing af­ter more than 40 happy fam­ily years, down­siz­ing now that the fam­ily has down­sized.

The prop­erty nes­tles into a wooded hill­side and was de­signed for the own­ers by ar­chi­tect Vi­vian Bran­gan in 1975. It is built around an in­ner court­yard with a foun­tain at its cen­tre; floor-to-ceil­ing win­dows through­out give court­yard views and an im­mense amount of light.

The prop­erty is a bun­ga­low, with full wheelchair ac­cess. It was, the daugh­ter of the house ex­plains, “very much a fam­ily home, clev­erly built so that ev­ery sin­gle room in the house would be con­stantly used. As a fam­ily we spent ev­ery week­end in the draw­ing-room and mez­za­nine, where we had a pi­ano and big open fire. Be­cause it’s a bun­ga­low there is a spiral stair­case lead­ing up.”

With a floor area of 285sq m (3,067sq ft), Bal­ly­hara has five bed­rooms (three of them en­suite), kitchen/fam­ily room, util­ity, draw­ing-room and fam­ily bath­room.

Lo­cal agent Stephen Clarke de­scribes it as a house that cap­ti­vates ev­ery­one who sees it. Joint agents Clarkes, Ash­ford and DNG are seek­ing ¤850,000.

The main rooms, such as the l ar ge, mez­za­nine draw­ing-room with its a high, vaulted ceil­ing and warmly wel­com­ing air, are south-fac­ing.

The spa­cious and bright work­ing kitchen/fam­ily room (where, ac­cord­ing to the fam­ily, “all the ac­tion hap­pened”) is rus­tic in style, has a timber-pan­elled ceil­ing, quarry-tiled floor and ex­ten­sive fit­tings. The stylish en­trance hall is quarry-tiled and has an­other vaulted timber ceil­ing.


The own­ers c onti nu­all y worked on the house, changing things about, adding to it and “tweak­ing”. An out­side patio, from where there is a full panoramic view of sea and moun­tains, was given a glass wind­breaker, mak­ing it com­fort­able enough for fam­ily break­fasts and evening glasses of wine.

Care­ful to pre­serve views of the unique vis­tas from Bal­ly­hara’s set­ting, the own­ers were vig­i­lant in pre­vent­ing over­growth in the ex­ten­sive gar­dens.

Orig­i­nally land­scaped by Kilquade Nurs­eries, th­ese have rhodo­den­dron and hy­drangea as well as plants and trees of many kinds, and a pris­tine lawn.

The house has al­ways been the fam­ily’s fo­cal point for chris­ten­ings and wed­dings, the sur­round­ings fa­cil­i­tat­ing a glo­ri­ous “child­hood play­ing in the woods be­hind the house and, just a wal k a way, at the beach”.

Bal­ly­hara is a five-minute drive from the N11. It is 4km from Wick­low town and even less from the main beach at Brit­tas Bay.

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