Built in 1820s, now revamped, this beauty is on Anne Street, the best example of Georgian architecture in the town, hears <b>Trish Dromey</b>.
This three storey Georgian townhouse at 20 Anne Street, in the centre of Clonmel, has regained its former elegance, acquired a contemporary extension and, in the process, become a great deal brighter.
Built in the 1820, it’s part of a well-preserved terrace of 24 houses designed by Thomas and John Tinsley which are all listed for preservation. Features such as the round-headed doorway and cobweb fanlight, the Greek goddess shaped brass doorknocker and the wrought iron boot scrape make it immediately identifiable as Georgian. Three years ago the four-bed property came in to the hands of the great grandson of Liam Ruiseal the founder of Cork’s oldest bookshop which has sold schoolbooks to generations of the city’s children. “His son, my grandfather, bought it when he moved to Clonmel in the 1940s or ‘50s. It was my mother’s family home and I stayed there as a child,’’ says the owner.
It was run down and uninhabited for 15 years or more when he inherited it and had to decide whether to sell it as it was, or do it up. Finding that there was already an architect’s plan for an extension, as well as current planning permission, he opted to renovate “Some work had been done on the house by my grandparents, but the basement had been closed off for storage and was a complete mess - I had to clear out five or six skips”.
While much was disposed of he did find some old furniture and a few curios, such as some stuffed birds in a glass case, which he kept.
The first step was the demolition of an old 1960s built rear extension, the second was to replace it with a much larger new modern cedar clad one with two sets of double doors as well as large windows and roof lights.
The work which followed included rewiring, some replastering and putting in new bathrooms, flooring and kitchen units.
The owner is particularly pleased with the way the previously dark and damp basement turned out. “The architect used the Velux windows in the sunroom to throw light on the stairs.’’
Now this space has a living room with original flagstone flooring and oak framed glass panelled sliding doors as well as a guest WC and a modern utility room with a section of glass block wall. Fitted with a desk the lower hallway has become a study area.
At street level there’s a carpeted sitting room with a large shuttered window and a marble fireplace, a recent replacement for one put in during the 1960s. The kitchen at the rear is bright and modern with timber flooring, ivory painted units and granite worktops as well as extra-large oak framed glass doors which open into the brightly lit extension which serves as a dining area.
On the first floor are two carpeted bedrooms including one which has been reduced in size to provide space for a new shower room.
The second floor has a further two bedrooms and a newly fitted tiled bathroom. All the bedrooms have original cast iron fireplaces and some still have cornicing and shutters. The windows, put in by the owner’s grandparents, are double glazed PVC.
In all there is over 2,000 sq ft of accommodation, which has been decorated very neutrally with off-white walls is most rooms.
Guiding the property at €345,000 Dermot Power of Sherry FitzGerald Power & Davern says the property has been beautifully restored and is attracting interest from families who are attracted by the space, the Georgian architecture and the very central location.
“Anne Street is the best example of Georgian architecture in Clonmel and the location is very sought after,’’ said Mr Power who recently went sale agreed on Number 17 – a beautifully restored property with a guide of €400,000.
He says that as a result of the street’s increasing residential popularity in recent years several of the Anne Street houses have now undergone complete renovation.
VERDICT: An attractive mix of the old and the new
Anne Street, Clonmel, Co Tipperary
Size: 196 sq m (2,100 sq ft)
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