House of the week: Co Waterford

Size: 334 sq m (3568 sq ft)
Bedrooms: 4 Bathrooms: 5
BER rating: Exempt
Best asset: Graciousness

It’s good to see that Waterford’s Medieval museum picked up an award at this year’s RIAI: gong fest — the county deserves a win. Challenged in terms of its old, industrial base and threatened with ugly pylons through it’s verdant valleys, Waterford county is one of the best kept secrets in Ireland in terms of tourism.

It’s stunningly beautiful, heaving with history and has a bewildering array of sandy beaches against the mountainy backdrop.

The location has been a quiet retreat for the rich and famous for quite a while — and the Blackwater rightly deserves its reputation as the Irish Rhine. Wealthy people find the discretion amenable.

And the county has some lovely architecture — from simple thatched cottages to the full-on majesty of Lismore Castle to the city’s Viking Quarter. There’s been a respect for and continual maintenance of property, big and small for centuries.

A case in point is an attractive, but very manageable mansion house at Mahon Bridge, close to Kilmacthomas and not far from Dungarvan.

Rockmount House is a three-bay, two-storey over basement house with dormer attic, dating to 1845, but also incorporating an earlier building dating from 1695. It didn’t escape unharmed from the War of Independence and was partially burnt down, but reconstructed and extended in 1924 which includes the two-story block shown above which extends around to the back of the house.

Located at the foot of the Comeraghs, (which create a cinematic sweep in the approach to Dungarvan), this house is set on seven acres of fertile, valley land with the potential to acquire more, if need’s be, according to Rockmount’s selling agent, Jonathan Thorpe of Shelley and Purcell.

In great nick and with lovely, mature gardens in a mix of shrubs, herbaceous borders and woodland, the house is on the market at €550,000.

Owned by a family with a long and distinguished history in hunting, horse breeding and sales, Rockmount is in very good nick and will possibly only need cosmetic work to bring it up to date. The kitchen is rather dated and a new heating system might be in order, but the high ceilings, well-proportioned rooms and quality fire pieces make for a grand but comfortable house.

There are two good formal rooms and enough casual space for a young family and/or staff. The ground floor has a large drawing room on the south-west corner and a dining room on the opposite side of the 2.56m wide entrance hallway. The dining room has smaller proportions and adjoins a kitchen/ dining room of similar size, with access to both off a rear hallway. This also leads to a little sitting room on the north side of the house, along with a cloakroom, and bathroom. A study, utility and second bathroom are located in the single story addition to the rear, which faces west.

As is the case with a house of this kind, it has two staircases, one leading from the former servants’ quarters and the main staircase from the hallway.

The principal bedrooms are ranged around the landing, with en suite master to the south and bedrooms 2 and 3 and 4 on the south western wing. They share two bathrooms and a standalone dressing room.

Rockmount House also comes with a full basement with five rooms that aren’t used at the moment, but could offer a great location for a cinema room, games room and gym, as well as extra accommodation for guests /staff.

A modest, but pretty period house, Rockmount is set on seven acres in the heart of Waterford hunt country and would suit those with an interest in horses, or just a good quality life in the country. Waterford city is a shot commute, as is Dungarvan and Youghal and the N25.

VERDICT: A very attractive package in a beautiful location.


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