As if the archetypically straight avenue isn’t classical enough, the gleaming white panelled entrance hall with its elaborate mouldings, and a guestbook touting entries from 1929, confirms you’re arriving somewhere slightly baroque and enduringly special.
There are four other lofty reception rooms spanning the core of Sandbrook House, and all of them ooze eclectic charm. In the sitting room, on the left, we find the TV and a contemporary wood-burning stove imbedded in the first of a series of white marble mantles.
Once a music room at the end of the house, the drawing room has a few reminders, including a baby grand piano. A majlis style daybed fills the arched bay window that extends onto a covered barbecue veranda.
The décor throughout is an idiosyncratic blend of antique furniture and contemporary art, with a smattering of collected memories from foreign travels. Rugs from Iran thrown across traditional sisal carpets, while little brass men perch in precarious poses.
This covered terrace overlooking the croquet lawn, is furnished with a long rustic table, and accessed from both reception rooms, is equally perfect for afternoon tea, barbeques or sundowners.
There is a comprehensive selection of books to be read, not all of them in the library at the other side of the hall.
Elegant and cosy, with another roaring fire in another classic white marble hearth. A wireless Sonos sound system allows your favourite music to follow through the ground floor rooms, today’s essential companion when entertaining.
The large family kitchen abuts on to the house at the rear, with a door onto the huge lawn which reveals uninterrupted views of Mount Leinster. It is country style, with tall windows, a four oven Aga range, and a substantial rustic table in the centre.
Beyond the library, there is a formal dining room. Resplendent gold walls, full length drapes, a blazing log fire, and a mahogany table surrounded by faux Chippendale chairs, before you even get to the starters…
For more comprehensive cooking the adjacent catering kitchen has more of everything from freezers to microwaves.
There is also a separate pantry and a busy laundry room contiguous.
There are five double bedrooms on the first floor each with its own unique character, and each with an idyllic pastoral view. The spacious master suite has a relaxed seating area, and an integral dressing room, with an ensuite embracing both slipper bath and walk-in shower.
The dormer floor at the top of the house is given over to family accommodation. There are two large dorm style bedrooms, each with four single beds – ever popular with the younger ones! A single bedroom with ocular view separates them.
Four shared bathrooms plus a shower room are distributed across the landing, and all the bedrooms have wash hand basins.
Annexed to one end of the first floor there is a separate and commodious apartment. It comes with its own open plan living area and kitchen, a double bedroom and a twin, and a family bathroom. It can also be accessed from a dedicated back stairs.
The house is sits on 25 acres, surrounded by paddocks and mature trees. The sunny south facing croquet lawn is overlooked by an exceptional all-weather veranda.
A number of the original out buildings are undergoing renovation. If you’re a horsey sort, you could bring a couple of animals to Sandbrook – the estate has its own stables and dry arena, and there’s plenty of riding space.
• Aga range, plus
• Multiple appliances and catering equipment
• Multiple laundry appliances
• Sizes – Five double beds, one King-size and 11 single beds
• 3 Hairdryers
Tech & Entertainment
• Wi-Fi Internet
• 3 Flat-screen TVs
• DVD player
• Sonos sound system across ground floor & master suite
• Huge selection of books
• Children’s high chair
• Livery stables available
• Gas Barbeque
• Croquet lawn
• Chef available
Out and About
Dotted with mountains and rivers this rural landscape brings more than just golfing, history and horses.
- Back a horse at Gowran
- Pick a winner at Punchestown
- Enjoy some Carlow culture
- Go paddling on the Barrow
- Browse quirky in the Old Yard
- Go golfing in Bunclody
- Stock up at Tinahely Farm Shop
Try one of the numerous local Festivals:
The local village of Ballon has a couple of pubs, a great butcher and filling stations, but you will need to go the 20k to Carlow town for a broader spectrum of goods.Carlow town was the country’s capital in the 1300’s but it’s probably best known as home of the nation’s 4th most popular Institute of Technology.
Just east of Carlow Town, Browne’s Hill Dolmen is regarded by many as one of the foremost prehistoric monuments in Ireland. Its burial chamber roof is certainly one of the heaviest in Europe at about 100 tons.
Carlow Castle is a popular 13th century attraction. An attempt by a doctor in the 1800’s to convert the stone castle into an insane asylum destroyed most of the castle, however the two remaining towers demonstrate what an impressive construction it had been.
The vibrant medieval city of Kilkenny is a short drive, with its fine cathedral, and thirteenth-century Castle, which was principal residence of the Butler family for over 600 years, and well-known design and craft heritage. The city is renowned as an arts and crafts centre and is well served by restaurants and festivals.
The River Barrow which flows through Carlow town, is the second-longest river in Ireland after the River Shannon.A long-distance walking trail known as The Barrow Way which follows the original towpath of the river for 114 kilometres, and would take approximately 4 days to cover on foot, though cycling is permitted. It is one of Ireland’s most scenic long distance trails but remains largely undiscovered.
As mentioned elsewhere, the region is spoiled for fine golf courses within a short distance of Sandbrook. If you enjoy a spot of leisurely fly fishing, Rathcon Lake is well stocked with top quality rainbow trout. The lake is designed so that 90% of the water is coverable from the bank. Rods and tackle are available for hire.
By Air: Flights to Dublin, Belfast or Shannon airports.
Dublin Airport – about 1 and a half hours from the house.
Cork Airport – Just under 3 hours from the house.
Shannon Airport – under 2 and half hours from the house.
By Sea: Ferry crossings
Dublin City Port/Holyhead has a fast crossing and about 1 and a half hours from the house.
Rosslare Harbour for Ferries to South Wales is about an hour from the house.