Woodridge House and Stud in Killeen.

Modern manor in historic Dunsany setting

Woodridge House Stud between of two castle estates

The buyers of Woodridge House and Stud in Dunsany will not only be acquiring a magnificent modern country home in a highly sought-after area, but will find that the property is steeped in nuggets of local history.

Its name, Woodridge Stud, is derived from the fact that it is on the edge of a wood – that of the Killeen Castle estate of which the property was once part of.

The equestrian theme arrived in the early 1980s when bloodstiock breeder and veterinary surgeon, Bill McKinley and his wife, Betty, built a residence and stables on the farm, before the Breslin family, noted for its racehorse successes, acquired and redeveloped the home and stables in the mid-2000s, transformimg it to the fine six-bedroom property now on the market, asking €2.75 million.

The lands were previously part of the Killeen Castle estate, until broken up by the Land Commission into a number of smaller holdings on the perimeter of the estate in the 1930s, before being eventually drawn back together again by the late Jack McCormack, and now measuring about 50 acres. One of those little nuggets attached to it is that Hughes Brothers of HB ice cream fame rented the lands off Lord Fingall for their dairy cows. These cows would be driven into the corner of the field for milking and the milk brought to Dublin for ice cream production.

Another curiosity is that the wood on the property – ‘George’s Wood’, once housed a temporary dwelling for a sawmill worker and family. In the summer of 1953 to November 1955, the McGinche Timber Company from Scotland operated a sawmill across the road in Killeen, and the workers, some with their families, lived in temporary accommodation built around the woods of the estate.

A covert once stood behind the site of house, and locals recall an entertaining encounter between Jack McCormack and the well-known Irish golfer, Joe Carr, who had accidentally wandered in from one of Lord Dunsany’s pheasant shoots from the neighbouring Dunsany Castle estate (Woodridge separates the Killeen Castle and Dunsany Castle lands). Ironically, many years later, Joe’s son, Roddy, was among those to bring the Solheim Cup and Ladies Irish Opens to Killeen Castle Golf Club.

The house itself is both elegant and spacious, with six generous bedrooms including two master suites. There are lavish reception and entertaining rooms, as well as spaces to work and relax.

Exceptionally well built and maintained, it boasts the finest materials, including solid wood floors, granite fireplaces, well-appointed bathrooms, wood panelling and high ceilings.

Surrounded by landscaped grounds, including a reflecting pool and fountain, the atmosphere inspires calm and enjoyment. There are two very generous patios for al fresco entertaining, one featuring a built-in solid fuel stove.

Built with easy classic style in mind, Woodridge House is impressive while also being welcoming, covering over 776 square metres (8,352 square feet) as a gracious well-designed space.

Offering ample space to live as well as work, the ground floor bedroom suite may lend itself to use as a staff apartment, or could easily become a semi-separate work from home complex.

A double height reception hall with raised fanlight welcomes you to Woodridge House. This bright space has a solid wood floor, and a feature staircase rising to a balcony landing. A dual aspect study with a bay window and French windows is a wonderful setting to work. Beyond this is a guest suite, and back cloakroom.

A light-filled dining room leads on to a dramatic triple aspect drawing room with a feature fireplace, and French windows to the gardens. Throughout, Woodridge is a house in which inside and out blend smoothly to allow full enjoyments of the grounds, in all moods and weathers.

The spacious French-provincial style kitchen has a stone flagged floor, timber-topped breakfast island unit, Aga and large American-style fridge freezer. Dual aspect, it has lovely light all day long. Patios flank both sides of the house, for al fresco dining to catch the sun, from breakfast to sundown.

Beyond the kitchen is a cosy living room, and a rear hall with a utility/ boot room, comms room and cloakroom. Upstairs, the gallery leads to two well-appointed bedroom suites, featuring walk-in wardrobes, dressing rooms, a walk-in shower, and a jacuzzi bath. One has double doors to a balcony. The three further bedrooms are all generous doubles, one is en-suite, while the other two share a Jack and Jill bathroom.

The equestrian facilities are in two separate yards, accessed by internal roadways. With 19 loose boxes, there are abundant outbuildings, including secure tack and feed rooms, and a hay barn that has recently been built.

A tree lined avenue, flanked by stud-railed paddocks leads to Woodridge House Stud. This widens to take in the landscaping around the house itself, with sheltering mature planting, the water feature, ornamental hedging and generous entertaining patios: an oasis at the heart of the land.

Joint agents are Lynn Lynagh, REA T& J Gavigan on (046) 902 3232 or lynn@reatjgavgian.ie and Philip Guckian, Sherry FitzGerald Country Homes on (01) 237 6308 or philip.guckian@sherryfitz.ie