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Theatrical flourishes & Artistic intrigue

Ballintubbert House, County Laois

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.

sitting room

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.

hall door stairway

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.

map room view from map room sitting room


  • Sleeps
    10 guests
    plus an overflow wing for another 6
    From €5,950 per week
  • Bedrooms
    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
    Cellar Bar
  • Features
    Designer outdoor garden rooms
    Reception patio, BBQ area, fountain
    Catering available
  • Contempo
    Flat screen TV, DVD player, WiFi internet, central heating
    Good Cell phone reception
  • Availability
    Weekly: Saturday to Saturday
    Weekends: Friday to Monday
  • Restrictions Children over 12 are welcome
    Sorry, pets are not permitted
view from sitting room

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.

french doors

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.

kitchen kitchen table
dining room

The opposing formal ochre dining room will comfortably seat ten to eighteen guests. All the rooms can be isolated with tall panelled shutters if required.

downstairs lobby
Facilities & Amenities

Kitchen Appliances

• Aga range with 4 ovens & hot plate
• 4 ring gas hob
• Catering Fridge, plus Freezer
• Dishwasher
• Toaster
• Microwave

Utility Appliances

• Washing machine
• Tumble dryer
• Iron


• Sizes - Two Super-King size, One King size and pair of Zip & Link singles
• Steam Room in Bridal suite ensuite
• Garden wing – three Super-King size beds
• 2 Hairdryers

Tech & Entertainment

• Wi-Fi Internet
• Flat-screen TV
• DVD player in living room


• Good selection of books
view across from dining room
fountain small small tree

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.

shackleton bedroom shackleton bathroom

The bedroom to the east boasts floral painted murals above a four poster bed in an awesome whirl of romance.

honeymoon bedroom

An additional family bathroom with shower separates the two rooms off this landing.

small butterfly picture small skylight picture

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.

double bedroom twin bedroom small shower pic small basins pic

A fifth, cool, eccentric double bedroom is hidden downstairs, half submerged below the living room.

jungle bedroom jungle bedroom mirrors

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.

garden wing
Poet laureate C. Day–Lewis was born in these Garden Sheds in 1904.
garden wing bedroom garden wing doors
honeymoon suite


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.

garden pond carved tree totem

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.

front canal

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.


Smoking - No, sorry!
Parties - The owners regret Stag, Hen, Wedding or 21st parties are not admissible.
Pets – No, sorry

house from rear

Out and 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.

car in front drive
Here are links to some of our favourite activities-

Annual Events
Electric Picnic September
Stradbally Steam Festival August


New to Unique Irish Homes - 2019

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chinese art

About the Locality

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.

Click here for more information on Ireland’s Ancient East

Some interesting history…

The renowned poet laureate Cecil Day–Lewis, father of actor Daniel Day–Lewis, was born in the garden wing of the 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.

John Hurt

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

Slieve Bloom Mountains

photo Mooro1

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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.

old car ralley pic

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.

steam train

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.

Photo Gallery

Gallery of photographs