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Saturday, July 21, 2012
Belmont House was formerly the home of Dawn Run’s owner, writes Tommy Barker
THERE’S both house and horse history with Waterford’s Belmont House — the 200-year-old property was previously home to Charmian Hill, the ‘galloping granny’ who rode and owned the legendary great mare, Dawn Run.
The late Charmian Hill’s name will always be associated with the only horse to have won both the Champion Hurdle (in England, Ireland and France) and the Cheltenham Gold Cup, in a glittering mid-1980s career. The mare’s streak broke when she broke her neck in a fall in Auteuil, France, in 1986.
Dawn Run’s trainer Paddy Mullins used quip that Hill needed more handling than the horse did, but it was a classic Irish association.
Following Hill’s death, her Waterford home Belmont House was sold, bought by a Waterford city-based architect who has a speciality in old building conservation, and his artist wife. They’ve been here since 1990, and have converted outbuildings into a separate house where they now live.
The original Belmont House would have had dozens of prime Waterford acres to its name, but down the years and through various ownerships they’ve been shorn in the course of suburban development at Waterford’s King’s Channel, with a number of architect-designed one-offs gracing the locality.
Now, Belmont House is new to market guiding €350,000 with Michael Coppinger of Sherry FitzGerald John Rohan, offering it on a half acre adorned with greenery and a sunny high old stone wall used for growing figs and sheltering apple trees.
The selling agents tot up about 3,700 sq ft of space here, so it is pretty substantial. The five-bed, villa-style dormer home comes with a self contained two-bed lower ground basement apartment included as well: it may be capable of earning income to help out any family purchaser’s budget, or may just be ceded for a quiet, semi-independent life for an older relative, or a younger adult.
Thanks to high ceilings internally, and tall casement windows, it’s both airy and bright, and many of the rooms have original retained fireplaces as well as some enhanced older ones refashioned with salvaged timbers.
Rooms include hall, a 16’ by 15’ lounge with fire with pitch pine surround, a larger 21’ by 13’ dining room with fireplace, a 21’ by 14’ kitchen/diner with pitch pine units and a white Aga range. It also has two ground level bedrooms plus bathroom with roll-top bath, as well as a utility and sun room. Overhead are three more bedrooms (two with cast iron fire-places) and another bathroom with bath and shower.
Hop down to the lower ground floor level (with separate access) and Belmont’s tally continues with a kitchen/sitting room with Stanley stove, shower room/utility and two bedrooms.
The agents say houses of this caliber are rare in the Waterford market, and while there’s still a sort of country house feel, for ‘practical’ modern family use, it’s close to shops, the Regional Hospital and the city.
VERDICT: Worth going over the hurdles for.
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