Trish Dromeychecks out Pat Shortt’s extended 18th century home on five and a half Shannonside acres.
Castleconnell, Co Limerick €1.65 million
Size: 530 sq m (5,700 sq ft)
If there are jokes to be made about living at World’s End, D’Unbelievables comedian Pat Shortt must have cracked them many times, since he took up residence in this restored Georgian Limerick residence in 2006. Not an approaching apocalypse or a remote hideaway,
World’s End is a real, very scenically-located spot on the banks of the River Shannon at Castleconnell.
One theory is that the romantic-sounding name is a corruption of Worrall’s End. Another is that it became knows as this in the 1800s because it was at the dead end of a bog road.
In 2005 Mr Shortt became the owner of World’s End House — a restored 18th Century residence with five and a half acres of parkland which runs along the banks of the river.
By this time he’d achieved national fame as one half of D’Unbelievables, and for playing a diverse range of madcap characters in the Killinaskully on TV.
It was reported at the time that he paid an “a D’unbelievable €2.7 million million,” for the property, some €1.2 million above the asking price.
He followed up the purchase by carrying out further restoration and adding on a substantial architect-designed extension which probably came close to doubling the size of the house.
From the front this is still a classic Georgian property with a decorative fan light and door panelling, while the back is ultra modern and flat roofed with stone cladding and a high level of glazing.
Selling agents Sherry FitzGerald O’Malley say it is combination of sympathetically-restored 18th Century accommodation and the stylish high spec 21st Century extension that will make this property special.
“We have had local interest and we have had interest from abroad and are expecting US buyers to come view it in April or May,” says auctioneer Ailbhe O’Malley quoting a guide of €1.65 million.
Although, from the front the property still looks like the modest villa style Georgian residence it once was, it now offers over 5,700 sq ft of living space spread over a number of different levels.
It has had several extensions over the years and from above looks a little like a series of interconnected properties.
The Georgian doorway at the front provides access to a high-ceilinged hallway, which mixes modern art and recessed lighting with period cornicing and parquet flooring.
The fact that the hallway has a set of steps going down to the lower ground floor and another going up to the upper ground floor gives an early indication that this is a property which doesn’t have a straightforward layout.
There is a reception room on either side of the hallway — each with original fireplaces and cornicing, reclaimed herringbone parquet flooring and each decorated with modern artwork and modern furniture.
In a single- storey sunroom style section at the side is a music room with a piano and a drum kit, recalling the multi-talented Pat Shortt’s background as a musician, art school graduate, writer and actor.
In the upper ground floor level above the hallway there’s both a bedroom and a library. A staircase from here takes you up to the first floor in the original cottage which has two double bedrooms and a bathroom.
The steps leading down to lower ground level at the back take you out of the Georgian era into the 21st century.
An extension here has been used to create a generous-sized modern bedroom with recessed lighting, pale grey high-gloss wardrobes and the same herringbone parquet flooring used throughout the house.
Decorated in grey with splashes of purple, the bedroom has two walk-in wardrobes and a modern tiled bathroom en suite.
To the rear is a vast contemporary kitchen dining living space with angled ceilings, Velux windows and a fully retractable wall of folding doors on one side.
On another wall there’s a slightly curved long rectangular window which rather spectacularly frames the tree-lined parkland outside as if it were a painting.
The ultra-modern kitchen has sleek high gloss grey units, with high-end German Gaggenau appliances, a breakfast bar and a huge chrome extractor fan.
Repeating the pale grey and purple colour scheme in the bedroom, the living area has a stove and parquet flooring.
Off the kitchen on one side is a pantry and utility area, while another door leads through to a well-equipped gym tiled in pale grey. From here there’s access to a steam room and a wet room as well as a large studio space at the side of the property.
High-tech as well as high-spec, the kitchen living room has programmable mood lighting, while the house has been equipped with a Creston home automation system to control the underfloor heating, security and multi-room audio playback.
World’s End House is accessed at the front through a pillared entrance adjoining a restored one-bed gate lodge which can be used for guest accommodation.
On the grounds, there’s a tennis court as well as cut stone outbuildings housing a three-bay garage and a carport for storing boats and machinery.
Outside the retractable wall of folding doors in the kitchen dining room is a spacious patio, while all around house there are acres of verdant tree-lined parkland.
Whilst living at World’s End with his wife Caroline and three children Mr Shortt is reported to have enjoyed launching a boat from the bottom of his garden and going fishing on the river.
Since moving there, he has gone on tour with the D’Unbelievables show, starred in several movies including Garage, The Guard and Calvary as well as the TV drama Smalltown and is currently touring the country with How’s Tings, comedy show. He is leaving World’s End to start a new project elsewhere in Limerick.
VERDICT: Out of this world and entirely suitable for one hell of a do.