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
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