This Georgian residence in Co Waterford has much of its original plasterwork and features, says Trish Dromey.
Stradbally, Co Waterford €550,000
Sq m 315 (3,400 sq ft)
LIKE many of the best Georgian residences, Glenamara in Stradbally has a fake bookcase which conceals a secret door leading to a hidden room.
A device used by the Georgian architects to achieve interior balance, the secret door has proved a boon to generations of mystery writers and children’s authors.
In Glenamara, the secret door is just one of a large number of original features which has survived into the 21st Century.
Built in 1830, most likely as the dower house for the nearby Woodhouse estate, it is described as a three-bay, two-storey double -pile house with original fenestration.
Selling agents Shelley & Purcell say that it has been carefully maintained over the centuries and remains relatively untouched by modernisation.
“Decoratively is in pretty good order and still has most of its original decorative plasterwork as well as sash windows and shutters,” notes auctioneer Jonathan Thorpe.
Offering a spacious 3,400 sq ft of accommodation, Glenamara comes with an acre of flower filled gardens enclosed by high stone walls.
Previous owners, Baron and Baroness Monteagle of Brandon put huge effort into preserving the house and planting the gardens.
The owner since 2011 is an English woman who has made few changes to the house and who has retained the services of the gardener used by the Monteagles.
Now Glenamara is attracting interest from across the channel and has a received an early bid of less than its €550,000 asking price.
Previously, the Monteagles put the house on the market in 2009 with a guide of €785,000 and sold it during the depths of the property slump in 2011 for €525,000.
Mr Thorpe says that along with Georgian grace and charm, the other key attraction is the location on the outskirts of Stradbally, a picturesque village close to the coast.
He believes the house has strong appeal for the type of UK buyers who “dream the dream” of living in an authentic period residence.
“For a UK buyer the £390,000 asking price is a bargain — they would pay more than £1 million for a period house of this standard in a pretty village setting in the UK.”
Entrance is up a set of limestone steps, through a portico with a glazed door into an outer hallway with decorative plasterwork on the ceiling and walls.
Laid out to accommodate a long-gone lifestyle, the house has a front drawing room where the original owners would have received callers.
Next to it is a dining room over looking the front garden and beyond this is the library, the room where Georgian gentlemen retired for brandy and cigars.
Perhaps the biggest change in room usage is the fact that the hidden door in the library now leads to a shower room, a concept which would be utterly unfamiliar to the Georgians.
The bedroom beyond the shower room can only be accessed through the secret door, which makes it the type of hidden room that mystery writers find all kinds of uses for.
Other ground floor accommodation include a back sitting room, a kitchen and a utility room. Along with the front staircase there’s a smaller one at the rear which would have been designed to allow servants to move about the house unobtrusively.
Upstairs there are two bathrooms and five bedrooms, all with vaulted ceilings including two with original fireplaces. Reroofed in 1995, the house has oil-fired central heating. It is likely to require some careful updating and sprucing up with fresh paint.
Behind the house is the coach yard, with an attractive blue-doored stone-built lofted coach house Divided by gated gravel pathways, stone walls, and herbaceous borders, the gardens have lawned areas, huge old beech trees, semi tropical plants and a profusion of colourful flowering shrubs.
Located at the edge of the village, Glenamara is a short drive from Stradbally cove and Clonea beach, 13kms from Dungarvan.
VERDICT: House of a bygone era with beautiful gardens.
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