Brookvale promises the best of country life

By Tommy Barker

Head north and up hill out of the East Cork town of Midleton for just a mile and a half, and as you crest the top of the hills fringing the town at Broomfield East, turn off the public road down a quarter mile of private shared roadway, turn up again through electronically controlled access gates set into high stone wall, and you could be home. For €1.5 million or so.

Being pitched at an equestrian market, it is the sort of property that promises the best of country life: a fully restored Georgian-style house done to a high specification, complete with spotless courtyard and old stone buildings, some of which have the sturdiest slate roofs you could ask for.

It could be a home, or a business, and quite possibly both: the vendors Terry and Liz Murphy who oversaw the renovations of this family home also included a planning application for conversion of the courtyard buildings to 11 self-contained short term let holiday home units.

The set-up would be ideal for horse riding holidays, or other residential courses based around an accommodating country house on acres of land.

The original house was built for an estate manager on Lord Midleton's sprawling estate, was owned for a while by the family of a local TD, and in more recent decades had begun a dangerous slide into dereliction.

Terry Murphy diplomatically says "it was idle for a while," and more or less with his own hands and handiwork he saved it, made it and re-worked it.

The stairs is about the only original surviving feature, and old door cases were salvaged and re-made to bring back a bit of quality to this 4,200 sq ft home.

It is now comfortable and weather proof, with dry lining, gas central heating, double glazing, new concrete heads and even concrete soffits have been put in, the back has been extended to allow landings divide left and right off the main staircase to service all the bedrooms, three of which have en suites.

A ground floor bedroom/study also has an adjoining en suite, whilst the master bedroom has an extra high vaulted wood ceiling, and its ensuite bathroom has a jacuzzi bath.

There are two principal 20' by 15' reception rooms, one with a marble fireplace, the other has one in brick, both rooms have white oak flooring, the kitchen is large with a range style gas oven, solid wood units and island and Chinese slate floor, and there's a large pantry, rear hall and cloakroom as well.

Selling agent is Miah McGrath of McCarthy and McGrath auctioneers in Midleton, who feels the scope for keeping horses will bring a select band of house hunters galloping to Brookvale House, and it is being pitched at both local Irish and English markets.

The property is private, with secure access, a beech tree-line drive popping up with daffodil and bluebells, there's a gravelled turning circle and a pretty culverted steam runs right by the front door and Victorian-style porch with a limestone trough - so you can bring a horse to water, and make him drink.

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