Dutch couple embrace Kerry’s beauty: 'Why do Irish houses have such tiny windows when they have such fabulous views?'

Kenmare, Co Kerry


Size: 361 Sq m (3,885 sq ft)

Bedrooms: 4

Bathrooms: 5


Trish Dromey visits a beautifully-appointed house built by a Dutch couple to embrace Kerry’s beautiful seascapes.

Like many of the unusual and interesting properties located along the West coast, Ban Field House near Kenmare was built by foreigners who fell in love with the Irish scenery.

“We came on a holiday, returned the next year and have been here for 34 years,” says the female half of the Dutch couple residing in the spacious hillside property which looks out over Kenmare Bay and its islands across to the Caha Mountains on Beara.

Initially, they built a house at the top of a hill which was wonderfully scenic but rather wind-blown so, nine years later, they found a more sheltered spot and had an architect design this one for them — Dutch style.

The main living area is on the first floor, while the bedrooms are underneath.

The design incorporates a 40ft long terrace as well as two small sun rooms at first floor level, as well as windows large enough to allow the owners to fully appreciate the views.

"When I came I didn’t understand why Irish houses had such tiny windows when they had such fabulous views,” says the owner, who, after all these years, is still totally smitten by the Irish seascape.

Asked what feature in the house she considers to be specifically Dutch, she says it’s probably the colour scheme and the timberwork.

“The walls are beige and neutral — that way you can bring in colours if you want, but we haven’t used bright colours.”

The timber which is used in the floors and sometimes on the walls, is salvaged pitch pine which the couple got from an old brewery in Cork in 1993.

Occupying a gently sloping site, Ban Field House is a partially stone-fronted property with close to 3,900 sq ft of living space including four bedrooms. It has two and a half acres of well-tended gardens which include a natural stream with four timber bridges as well as a large pond and a little wood.

The central living space is a 42 ft-long living dining room on the first floor which has a marble fireplace, pitch pine flooring, and many windows.

At the dining room end, there’s a wall made of salvaged bricks, which also came from the old brewery, with archway leading in to a kitchen with timber units and granite counter-tops.

Double doors from the dining area lead out on to a long paved terrace with panoramic seas views. At one end of the terrace, there’s a small sunroom designed for dining and at the other, one for lounging and enjoying the views when it’s too wet or cold to sit outside.

At the side of the house facing away from the sea, is the main entrance as well as the master bedroom and a study with a vaulted ceiling which is open plan with the living room.

Interestingly, the owners have located the en-suite for the master bedroom and the dressing room for it on the floor below. A timber staircase leads down to a very sizable bathroom which has a sauna, a solarium and a shower cubicle as well as a standalone Jacuzzi bath located close to the centre of the room.

Facing Kenmare Bay at this level, there are three en-suite bedrooms and a well-equipped utility room.

On the opposite side of the house is a large linen room which used to be a gym.

Time and effort has obviously been spent taming the gently sloping, triangular-shaped site into mature gardens with well-tended lawns and shrubs. There’s a paved patio by the house and a seating area at the bottom of the garden near the pond.

Fitted with flood lighting, the garden has a timber dog kennel and a large garage as well as an electric gated entrance to ensure privacy.

Located at Cappanacush, Ban Field House is eight kilometres from Kenmare, Describing it as a beautiful residence with stunning views, Elaine Daly of Sherry FitzGerald Daly is seeking offers of €900,000.

She says it’s a very scenic area with quite a few amenities.

The top-class Ring of Kerry Golf Club is within a mile, Cos strand is a just a five-minute stroll away, and the piers Templenoe and Blackwater are also within a few miles.


An extra comfortable family home in a spectacular setting.

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