Snug new home? Get yourself to the Bride on time

IT really is all about the bride for Marcella Ware — she’s just about to relocate from the West Waterford home she built on the banks of the River Bride, moving with her husband Fergal to be closer to the sea and to her Bijou Bridal business in Tramore.

Snug new home? Get yourself to the Bride on time

The coincidence of bride business niche, and Bride river setting is just one of those things that life throws up, but as the couple prepare to decamp, they’re leaving a place done up to the nines, and a job well done.

Fergal Murphy has family farm roots in this Knockanore location near Cappoquin, Tallow and Lismore, and the land here, by the River Bride’s banks has been in his family’s ownership for years. The area, just a half a mile or so upriver from where the Bride meets the Blackwater is home to several large country estates, near Ballynatray House, Strancally Castle, and the land Snugborough’s now built on is close to the old lodge of the Headborough estate, with the house and its tall entrance pillars still standing.

As they put the smart 4,000 sq ft Snugborough on the market with Dungarvan-based agent David Reynolds of Sherry FitzGerald Reynolds, it’s offered on a sizeable 10.5 acres, with several hundred metres of river frontage, and fishing rights along half the river on the property’s length.

It’s a setting that locals and visitors make good use of, from salmon and trout fishing to kayaking, and motor-boating as well, a naturally-supplied amenity before the Bride makes its way to the Blackwater, and thence on to the ocean at Youghal. One of the area’s better know salmon holes, Peery Wade’s, is along this controlled stretch, but any new owner of Snugborough only needs a rod licence and off they go — fish fresh from the garden.

The couple started to build about four or five years ago, using a mix of their own amassed ideas and the professional guidance of designer Paul Ahern of Ahern and Cusack Architecture in Dungarvan, and they moved in nearly three years ago after an exacting build.

It’s a bit of a surprise to find it’s been Macella and Fergal’s first-ever time building, given that Snugborough’s a five-bed, and is both well-conceived, specified and well-delivered. Despite the sizeable floor area, it pretty much all gets well used, with no unused rooms at ground level. That’ s due to making the main wing over to a c 60’ long by 20’ wide living/kitchen/dining/eating space, with high- vaulted ceilings at the split/lower level living area, where it’s all mega-bright thanks to its triple aspect. It’s also got triple glazing, as well as underfloor heating, and tying it all in visually and practically, is a solid fuel stove as a sort of room divide, and space super-heater.

“We were afraid that having such a large volume of space could be hard to heat, but it wasn’t an issue at all, it’s really comfortable thanks to the stove, the underfloor heating, Fergal paying so much attention to the insulation and the triple glazing; in fact, it’s nearly too warm most of the time,” says Marcella. The name Snugborough is, it seems, well earned, just awaiting a BER test to confirm its comfort levels.

The ground floor’s other wing, in a sort of narrow T-section, is home to a large hall, smaller lounge with open fireplace, guest WC, and an en suite guest bedroom. Off the main kitchen, meanwhile, is a utility room, snug/den, and a bar area.

Upstairs, are four more en suite bedrooms, with a very larger master bedroom, complete with raised Jacuzzi bath in a marble plinth surround, and to the other side is a walk-in wardrobe/dressing room.

The upstairs is also home to a big landing and gallery bridge that extends over the living room below to a high, glazed gable with river bank views.

The idea was to have a gable balcony overlooking the river at the end of the gallery bridge, but although there’s a door here, making use of it would be akin to turning the gallery into more of a gangplank. Perhaps at some future time, planners might find the balcony idea actually floating their boat?

On the external front, there are outdoor seating areas on both sides, decked by the front entrance’s impressive double doors, impressively made and sourced via Munster Joinery, who also did the triple glazing.

The back, more private section facing the river has more external seating, on rafts of sandstone paving set in a sea of gravel.

Features of the build (done in traditional block masonry, and mostly by direct labour) include high comfort levels thanks to insulation in the cavity as well as with internal slabbing, plus treble glazing, there’s oil-fired, zoned underfloor heating, and that double-sided feature stove with glass doors in two directions, while up on the roof is a bank of solar panels for heating.

Just a few weeks on the market, Snugborough’s finished to a T, with huge attention to detail, quality materials and very effective floor-plan.

Decor-wise, the look is more classical than contemporary, with a mix of marble tiled and carpeted floors, muted classical colours and papers, and Laura Ashley-type fabrics, in abundance — you can tell that Marcella knows her materials for this Bride-side home.

The design allows lots of access points to the gardens, down through pasture and a zig-zag approach avenue drive from the road above, and that ease of indoor/outdoor interchange is ideal, as whoever gets to live here is going to be outdoorsy, what with angling and boating on the river along the boundary, and acres for gardening and keeping horses.

VERDICT: You get what you pay for at this €545,000-guided river home and land — so get yourself to the Bride on time.

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