Live the colo­nial life by the Dar­gle for ¤2.5m

This 445sq m En­niskerry prop­erty sits on the site of the gate lodge to Dar­gle Cot­tage, the former home of Lady Va­lerie Gould­ing. Inspired by a trip to the Caribbean, each room in the river­side set­ting ex­udes a dis­tinc­tive and lux­u­ri­ous charm

The Irish Times - Thursday - Property - - Front Page -

Dar­gle Lodge just off the N11, started life as the gate lodge of Dar­gle Cot­tage, the former home of the late Lady Va­lerie Gould­ing, an English aris­to­crat and daugh­ter of Tory MP Vis­count Mon­ck­ton. Through tire­less cam­paign­ing she helped es­tab­lish the Cen­tral Re­me­dial Clinic, and was de­scribed by Sir An­thony O’Reilly as “part Thatcher, part Florence Nightin­gale and part sergeant ma­jor”. The 75-acre Dar­gle Cot­tage estate, on the banks of the river Dar­gle, was bought by developer Johnny Ro­nan in the early 1990s.

The lodge was last on the mar­ket in 2004 s e e k i ng ¤900,000, when it con­sisted of the orig­i­nal 19th-cen­tury gate lodge at­tached to a mod­est and func­tional 1980s house.

To­day the orig­i­nal lodge at 49sq m (527sq ft), is used as a home of­fice and au pair lodg­ings and lies op­po­site a new prop­erty con­structed in 2008. De­signed by ar­chi­tec­tural firm Traynor O’Toole, the new house ex­tends to 445sq m (4,790sq ft) with an ad­di­tional 39sq m (420sq ft) of stor­age in a garage.


Charm tends to be an at­tribute most of­ten as­so­ci­ated with pe­riod houses; some­thing money can­not buy and very few mod­ern houses ex­ude, but here, de­spite the vast space, it seeps out of every room once be­yond the some­what unas­sum­ing front fa­cade.

Per­haps it’s the set­ting on the banks of the river, the plan­ta­tion shut­ters, the vaulted tim­ber pan­elled ceil­ings or sim­ply the re­laxed dé­cor – it is dif­fi­cult to place a fin­ger on one el­e­ment that makes this prop­erty so spe­cial. “The house was inspired af­ter a hol­i­day in the Caribbean. I loved the style of the homes – that in­clude lots of white, lots of light, shin­gle roofs and high ceil­ings. We de­signed the house to re­flect the ethos of the Caribbean while be­ing mind­ful that we were liv­ing in Ire­land,” says the owner.

And the prop­erty is far more re­laxed on view­ing than de­picted in the photographs. Every room, apart from a small den, opens out on to a wooden ve­randa, mak­ing the very most of the south-fac­ing as­pect of the 0.75acres of gar­dens.

In­te­rior de­signer Min­nie Peters was ini­tially charged with the dé­cor – which has changed some­what from when the pho- tographs were taken, now the style is more re­laxed and “lived in”. The gur­gling sounds of the river Dar­gle – its brown peaty wa­ters run along the bound­ary of the prop­erty – can be heard when win­dows are open in the mas­ter suite. This space alone in­cludes three dress­ing rooms and two bath­rooms. De­spite the ap­par­ent lux­ury at every turn, at no point does this house feel os­ten­ta­tious. The prop­erty has three ad­di­tional bed­rooms, a den and a home of­fice.

A sub­stan­tial hall­way leads into the Chalon kitchen, and from it three sets of doors open out on to the ve­randa. Off the kitchen is a fam­ily room/din­ing area with an el­e­vated stove and four sets of French win­dows al­low­ing ac­cess to the gar­dens.

At the end of the gar­den, shel­tered by a bank of wood­land from across the river, there’s a quaint fish­ing hut which will no doubt de­light en­thu­si­asts be­cause the Dar­gle is fa­mous for its brown trout and sal­mon.

The charm­ing prop­erty has the high­est qual­ity fixtures and will ap­peal to house­hunters look­ing for a sub­stan­tial fam­ily home with a large gar­den in turn-key con­di­tion.

Sherry FitzGer­ald is seek­ing ¤2.5mil­lion for Dar­gle Lodge, Kil­bride Lane, En­niskerry, Co Wick­low.

‘‘ There’s a quaint fish­ing hut, which will no doubt de­light en­thu­si­asts be­cause the Dar­gle is fa­mous for its brown trout and sal­mon

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