A long driveway leads through partially wooded parkland to this charming Period residence set in a striking and tranquil coastal setting.
Prior to 1980 Garafin House, together with its extensive outbuildings had served the local community for over 150 years as a general store, famine relief centre, Surgery, Court House, and travel agents.
The original house built in the 1750’s was somewhat different and probably resembled a long cottage. It remains in the family to this day, albeit in a much altered and more comfortable incarnation.
A grand multi-light doorway occupies the enduring castellated entrance in the elbow of this angular layout.
The lobby opens onto an L-shaped tiled hallway – Left runs to the large drawing room.
This radiant room features an elegant antique marble fireplace facing a broad catty-corner bay window with views across to the islands.
Much of the original house has been modified across the centuries, and much remains, such as sash windows with flush wooden panel shutters. The plain white walls are thick and the ceilings high. Oak boards with under-floor heating now replace the original.
The magnificent encaustic coloured tiles typical of the period, are hardly worn.
Two classic English Arm sofas, create an informal divide to the study area with TV.
A mixture of antique and contemporary furniture, Persian rugs and curios grace the home.
A second black marble fireplace confers a cosy atmosphere on the dining room at the opposite end of the hallway.
In the dining room, the extendable table will comfortably seat ten – long meals followed by long walks.
Adjoining the dining room is a generous modern kitchen, in pastel painted style.
Everything is here for some seriously creative cuisine – or simply breakfast together around the kitchen table.
The spacious back porch off the kitchen is very warm – perfect for drying coats and boots should you get caught in a Connemara shower.
There are two bedrooms off the hallway on the ground floor, with a third beyond the dining room. All are ensuite – this one has half-paneled walls, original tiles, and a fine free standing roll-top bath.
The addition of a second storey to Garafin House is comparatively new and the upstairs reflects that. Here the styling is contemporary, with white floorboards, lime-washed tongue and groove ceilings, and velux windows.
A few steps across the yard is the utility, laundry and boot room.
The names of some of the outbuildings at the back of the house reflect their earlier employment – the local doctor held a weekly surgery in the Dispensary; the Courthouse hosted the quarterly Magistrate’s court. These are not part of the rental property.
The foreshore at the house is rocky, and in places covered in seaweed, but offers safe and current-free swimming. To the east of the house a lane runs down to a small public pier, where there is excellent swimming from half tide onwards.
In times gone by boats from here brought supplies from Galway, turf to the Aran Islands, distributed bread from the house bakery, and ferried cattle and sheep to and from the local islands.
Garafin House comes with access to about a mile of private foreshore, which you may wander at will. There are no paths, so the walking is quite rough in places. Look out for seals and otters – nature at its best.
The house is equipped with everything you would expect from a five star home – from WiFi to barbeque, clothes dryer to microwave, books, games, videos ..
TV reception is terrestrial channels only. There is Oil fired central heating, and logs and turf are supplied.
Crisp Egyptian cotton bed linen, feather duvets and pillows and soft cotton towels are provided in all the bedrooms. There are heated towel rails and wall heaters in the bathrooms. Two of the rooms have super-King size beds that can be divided into twins, and all the bedrooms have ample storage space. There are also a few wetsuits and a small supply of basic fishing tackle in the boot room.
Out and About
Connemara is quite simply one of Europe’s great treasures. A wilderness on the Wild Atlantic Way, it is packed with almost deserted beaches of gin clear water, incredible lake and river fishing, and of course brilliant restaurants.
The secluded Rosmuc peninsula finds itself in an inlet already crowded with islands on the northern stretches of Galway Bay.
The area is typical of the spectacularly broken Connemara coast, with dry stone walls and boggy fields, and big skies.
There are a few local cottages near the house, and a small shop 3 km away.
The nearest large supermarket is in Oughterard some 40 km away on the southern shores of Lough Corrib.
A drive or cycle around the deeply indented coastline reveals many beaches of staggering beauty, and some of golden coral. You will also discover quirky little fishing harbours; sanctuary from the huge Atlantic swells.
Tra An Doilin at Carraroe is a Blue Flag beach made of very rare biogenic gravel resembling tiny pieces of coral. It’s half an hours drive away, with lifeguards, toilets, and great swimming.
Carraroe is today most important centre for traditional Galway Hooker fishing boats. Every August bank holiday, the town hosts the Galway hooker festival, one of the largest maritime festivals in the country.
The Aran Islands can be reached by ferry from Rossaveal which is just half an hour away by car. The trip takes 40 minutes and you can bring a bike, or hire one there.
The spectacular semi circular stone fort of Dun Aengus which backs onto a 90 metre cliff is considered one of the most important pre-historic sites in Western Europe, and not to be missed. It is reckoned to be about 2,500 years old.
A day out in Clifden, the capital of Connemara would be well rewarded.
Rosmuc is a Gaeltacht region, in fact the most strongly Irish-speaking area in the country.
Pádraig Pearse, who was involved in the 1916 revolution in Dublin had a cottage in Rosmuc where he wrote many of his pieces including his famous ” … the fools, the fools, the fools! …” oration.
With quantities of lakes and fast flowing rivers has been the Mecca of Trout and Salmon fly-fishing for nearly two centuries. There are numerous sites where a boats and ghillies can be hired. Copies of appropriate fishing guidebooks and brochures are held in the house.
Excellent sea angling charters can easily be arranged from Roundstone – where there are wonderful beaches for those who prefer to stay ashore!/p
Unique to the region, Connemara marble shows twisted and interlocking bands of soapstone, in various shades of light and dark green. It has been used over the centuries as a means of exchange, for features in stately buildings and is recognised for its beautiful colour and resilience, with no two pieces being similar.
A broad range of souvenirs and ornamental products are produced from the stone which is more than 500 million years old.
By Air: Flights to Dublin or Shannon airports.
Shannon Airport – approx 2 and half hours from house.
Dublin Airport – approx 3 and half hours from house
By Sea: Ferry crossings
Dublin City Port/Holyhead has a fast crossing and is approx 4 hours from house.