Rambling country idyll near Bray
Rathdown House is a four-bed Victorian opposite Kilruddery estate with lots of prospects for improvement
Description: Revamped Victorian on large garden near Kilruddery estate Agent: Sherry FitzGerald A Victorian house across the road from Kilruddery estate in Bray, Co Wicklow, has been elegantly refurbished since its owners moved in 25 years ago – but there’s more to be done. The kitchen, to the rear of the house, was never revamped and new owners will almost certainly want to reconfigure the back of Rathdown House, which sits in the middle of nearly an acre of sloping gardens. The owner believes opening up the back could potentially double the size of the property.
The detached 251sq m (2,702sq ft) four-bed plus a converted garage with a home office is for sale through Sherry FitzGerald for ¤1 million.
Rathdown House, built in 1856, was, the owner believes, originally the farmhouse of the estate manager of Belvedere Hall, a nearby property that’s now home to SEK international school. An American owner began the refurbishment of Rathdown in the 1970s, building a sitting room in what was once a creamery.
The current owner and her husband did a lot of the basics in the 1990s, upgrading the central heating and the plumbing, insulating the outside walls, re-sashing windows that have their original glass and working shutters. They redecorated with an eye on retaining the property’s original period flavour: the diningroom, for example, has pretty wallpaper by traditional Irish wallpaper company David Skinner.
The decor is mainly light and bright. The drawing room on the right of the front hall has a coal effect gas fire in a white timber mantelpiece and cream double doors open into the small sitting room, dominated by a grand piano. The modest-sized dining room on the left of the marble-tiled hall has a large white marble fireplace and narrow French windows opening into a conservatory to the side of the house.
The kitchen to the rear is large, with an oil-fired Aga and 1970s units, but no windows in the back wall. There’s a downstairs toilet in a back hall off it and a hatch to the dining room in what was once a butler’s pantry.
Upstairs there are four double bedrooms, most with fitted glass-fronted wardrobes. Five steps lead down from the landing to a large family bathroom with a bath, shower and pretty green wallpaper and there’s a shared Jack-and-Jill en suite between two other double bedrooms.
In one of these bedrooms, a mirrored door opens to reveal steps down into another large bedroom currently used for storage. It’s the top floor of the adjacent converted garage, with a covered hatch in the centre: new owners could consider revamping the whole garage as a separate two-storey unit. This 70sq m (750sq ft) space (included in the overall property size) has separate access: it’s here that owner Julie Manning, a complementary therapist, works on creating her botanical Juli Edge skincare range, using produce from her garden.
There’s plenty of room to expand the house, which sits in the middle of the well-tended garden set mainly in lawn amid tall trees and flowering shrubs. Kale, cabbages, chard, potatoes, corn and more grow in the good-sized vegetable garden. Rathdown is on Windgates, a loop country road off the R761 between Bray and Greystones and a short drive to both towns.