THE click of a gate and the rustle of petticoats against kid leather boots and the run to the train for school.
That’s the kind of image conjured up at Beausite, Rushbrooke.
This stout row of Victorian semis has a Railway Children feel — that turn-of-the-20th century feeling of prosperity and progress, in aspic..
At No 1, the old cast-iron gate still swings heavily inwards, giving access to a lane to Rushbrooke rail station, now brushed and polished with 21st century steel. This is an Empire-built, urban outpost for commuters to the city.
Beausite is a time-capsule gem — an untouched but well-maintained three-storey that’s polished and painted but is the same in layout as it was day one. Despite being a big, six-bay semi with half an acre of gardens, this is a manageable family home.
The ground floor has a gorgeous original door in stained glass and classic green, leading into a lean-to conservatory and then onto the main hallway, flanked by two living rooms on the south side. These 12’-high ceilinged rooms used to connect — the original double doors are secreted behind paper and panelling and easily re-instated.
Then, to the right of the hallway is the original cloakroom, panelled in deep oak and with an unusual ship’s wash basin that stores away after use.
The WC is strikingly original and there’s a companion upstairs along with a thug of a cast-iron bath. The kitchen to the north-western end of the house has modern units strapped onto the old bones, but pull these out and you probably have the makings of an Aga-centred beauty with deep-fire breast. Then, towards the outside, there’s a scullery leading onto the yard, which still has its ceramic and cast-iron drains, coal house, potting shed and back yard, with door leading to the access road.
The bedrooms follow the layout of the ground floor; there is an impressive staircase and four good bedrooms around the landing with separate bathroom.
In the attic, there are four bedrooms used for storage.
And that quick rundown doesn’t do justice to the myriad details of this house — the fireplaces are immaculate timepieces, the cornicing and centre roses are crisp and pristine, the windows, gutters and drains have been consistently painted over the years and the house has been well-kept, especially, the gardens.
Oh, the gardens. Deep and running down in terraces to the rail line, (but screened by a leafy lane), the trees are hundreds of years old on all sides, and, in the centre, holding court, is the most magnificent, magnolia grandiflora, a specimen to rival Fota’s and whose large, cup-size flowers erupt vividly every autumn, says the vendor, filling the garden with its lemony scent.
And that’s just one tree — the place is full of them and although it’s owner is getting on a bit now and finds it a bit of a task, nevertheless, the herbaceous borders here are dense enough to almost take care of themselves.
New owners, in that new broom phase, may look to re-instate the old grass tennis court that lives under the shrubberies and herbaceous planting, and any garden changes would be facilitated by the wide, end-of-row access.
No 1, Beausite has been reduced, to sell, to €445,000, though Liz Hannon, of English Auctioneers, whom, despite dealing with these great old houses all the time, is very enthused about Beausite.
Go see for yourself.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved