Theatrical flourishes & Artistic intrigue
This fine example of a Georgian country house, brings style and quirkiness to this sleepy corner of Laois.
Surrounded by spectacular gardens with water fountains, wildflower meadows and woodlands, this luxury home can accommodate large family groups celebrating a gathering, or just seeking some special R&R just over an hour from Dublin.
A period piece with panache
The heavy hall door pushing through Virginia creeper exposes a thick walled interior evenly divided to the right and left of a central staircase. Rooms share five split levels – seesawing between the front and rear.
A sitting room enhanced with chinois influence shares broad floor boards with the curious Egyptian blue Map room across the entrance hall, making up the two principal reception rooms overlooking the formal front canal. Like all the rooms, they are blessed with classic Kilkenny Black Marble fire places.
AT A GLANCE
plus an Garden wing for another 8
From €1,250 per night
(Garden Wing €700 per night)
Four double bedrooms
Two with full ensuite bathrooms
One with steamroom
One with ensuite WC
Plus twin/double bedroom
with ensuite WC
plus Family bathroom
- Reception Rooms
Sitting room, Map room
Salon, Dining room
Kitchen & utility room
Designer outdoor garden rooms
Reception patio, BBQ area, fountain
Flat screen TV, DVD player, WiFi internet, central heating
Good Cell phone reception
Weekly: Saturday to Saturday
Weekends: Friday to Monday
- Restrictions Children over 12 are welcome
Sorry, pets are not permitted
A handful of steps down brings you to similar antique floorboard in the rear salon, a reception area that fluently divides cooking from dining on this level. From here French doors open onto a broad terrace ideal for summer soirees.
Facilities & Ameneties
• 5 ring electric ceramic hob
• Electric Oven
• Twin Toaster
• Washing machine-dryer
• Electric heating
• Sizes – Two single beds, one double, one King-size and one Super King-size Zip & Link
Tech & Entertainment
• Wi-Fi Internet
• Flat-screen TV
• USB charger sockets
• DVD player
• Some books
• Selection of games
The lofty stone flagged farmhouse kitchen is expansive and traditional with both Aga range and gas hobs, plenty of workspace and a comprehensive catering fridge. There’s also a six seater breakfast table, and a utility pantry that escapes to the walled garden at the side.
The opposing formal ochre dining room will comfortably seat ten to eighteen guests. All the rooms can be isolated with tall paneled shutters if required.
There are two split levels above the ground floor. The one to the rear is home to two magnificent dual aspect bedrooms, both featuring stunning bathrooms complete with steamrooms – new additions.
To the front, one landing up and with double windows onto that magnificent formal canal, there is a gorgeous double bedroom, and a twin bedroom with double potential. Both have hidden ensuite washroom closets.
The bedroom to the east boasts floral painted murals above a four poster bed in an awesome whirl of romance.
An additional family bathroom with shower separates the two rooms off this landing.
A fifth, cool, eccentric double bedroom is hidden downstairs, half submerged below the living room.
The Garden Wing
Across the Shackleton Gardens myriad of colours, a stretch of out-buildings has been cunningly converted into a chic run of separate double bedrooms, each with its own ensuite shower room and individual contemporary aesthetic.
These are available as a supplement if additional space is required when renting the main house.
Poet laureate C. Day–Lewis was born in these Garden Sheds in 1904.
The 14 acres of beautifully designed organic gardens that surround the house, are a work in progress that started in 1850 and are at the core of what this estate is all about. The property is divided by hedges, trees and shrubs into a series of garden rooms, with tantalising glimpses through openings and down hidden walkways.
The enclosed side garden is named after the acclaimed Irish Garden Architect, Arthur Shackleton who designed it; the Water Garden is Sir Edwin Lutyens, complimented by Gertrude Jekyll style planting schemes.
A 100m long tree lined formal canal which points at the front of the house is recent addition, built in the early 2000’s.
Dotted among orchards and rose garden you will find semi-permanent structures which come into their own for occasions such as weddings.
Immediately adjacent to the garden is the associated 1780 Church of Ireland.
Out & About
Co.Laois is especially suited to relaxed country life style with hill walking, golf, horse racing and trekking all available locally and this home is an ideal base for those who wish to explore Ireland’s Ancient East.
Here are some of our favourites…
- Horse Racing at the Curragh
- A trip to the Famine museum
- Theatre nite plus Dunmase Arts Centre
- Dine at the Gate House
- Cowboy style pony trekking
- Kildare Village retail therapy
- Traditional music with pints atClancys
- Join a steam train in Stradbally
- Play a round in Athy
- More horses at Punchestown racecourse
- Go motor racing at Mondello Park
- Take a whiskey tour with Walshes
- Check out the curios at the Storeyard
Ballintubbert House is in a sleepy rural setting about 10 minutes from Athy and Stradbally – both with supermarkets – and about 10 minutes away from the main Dublin Cork motorway.
Pilgrimages were made as early as 1540 to partake of the beneficial waters from a healing well which now sits in the graveyard of St Brigid’s church, a stone’s throw from the house.
Some interesting history…
The renowned poet laureate Cecil Day–Lewis, father of actor Daniel Day–Lewis, was born in one of the side-bedrooms in the main house in 1904, and on a return visit in the 1960’s penned the poem The House Where I Was Born here.
The dramatic actor Sebastian Shaw, who was famously unmasked as Darth Vader in Star Wars Return of the Jedi, owned Ballintubbert for a period during 1940s & 50s.
Sir John Hurt the inveterate and highly acclaimed English actor who harboured a love of Ireland subsequently bought and occupied the house from the mid 1980’s.
Athy Heritage Centre-Museum has the only permanent exhibition anywhere devoted to Sir Ernest Shackleton, the great 20th century polar explorer, who was born at Kilkea House, near Athy, in 1874. Highlights include an original sledge and harness from his Antarctic expeditions.
The very British expletive “Gordon Bennett” is an expression of incredulity which alludes to the outrageous behaviour of the American sportsman, publisher and all-round hell-raiser James Gordon Bennett Jr. who sponsored the first ever international motor race.
The course chosen for the first race outside France, was centred on Athy. England was to host the 1903 competition but motor racing was forbidden there. As a compliment to Ireland the British team chose to race in Shamrock green which thus became known as British racing green.
To the west, the Slieve Bloom Mountains along with the Massif Central in France, are the oldest mountains in Europe. Once also the highest at 3,700m, they have been whittled away by erosion over the millennia to a mere 527m today. Slieve Bloom Way , a recently opened seventy kilometre hill walk starts about half an hour away. You could try a part of it…
Stradbally is home to the oldest established heritage railway in Ireland. This narrow gauge railway is operated and managed by the Irish Steam Preservation Society.
How to get there – Car advised..
By Air: Flights to Dublin, Cork or Shannon airports.
Dublin Airport – approx 1 and half hours from the house.
Cork Airport – approx 2 hours from house.
Shannon Airport – usually under 2 hours from house.
By Sea: Ferry crossings
Dublin City Port/Holyhead has a fast crossing and is about an hour and a half from the house
Rosslare Harbour for Ferries to South Wales is usually under 2 hours from house.