For the current owners of Brookfield House, it was the prospect of a project – a property to which they could add value – that first attracted them to the house. Brookfield was built in 1997 by a member of a local farming family who had lived in the US for many years before deciding he wanted a base in Ireland.
Unusually for this part of the world, the house is clad in red brick, something the original owner was so determined to get permission for that he went to An Bord Pleanala to challenge the original decision of the Co Meath planners to reject his preferred materials.
Brookfield first came to the market in 2006, when it was bought by the current owners.
“We loved the area, the setting and feel of the house, and the fact that it felt like an American house – so many of the materials used in its construction and pieces of equipment were from the US,” they say. “At the same time, we could see that there was potential to do more with it, and make it even better.”
They set about acquiring more land around the property, which now comes with 13 acres in total, including a good amount of all-important road frontage. There are two large paddocks which are partially stud-railed and grazed by a local farmer who maintains the fencing and hedges in return. New owners with equestrian interests would be able to construct stables (subject to planning permission) and keep horses.
The vendors built a large, detached double garage to house a collection of motorbikes and retained the services of local architect Ultan Blake to design a substantial two-storey extension to the rear. When this was completed in 2016, it almost doubled the size of the original house.
“The back of the house faces south,” say the vendors, “so our brief to Ultan was to bring more light in and enhance the flow of movement from inside to outside.”
A tiled entrance hall is bright and airy and features a hand-made walnut staircase leading to the first floor. To the right is the dual-aspect television room, with double doors leading to the rear garden, while to the left is the study.
The large space on the ground floor of the extension now houses a dual-aspect open-plan living/dining area off the kitchen, which is located in the original part of the house. Doors open to a patio area with views out over the surrounding countryside. It is an arrangement, say the current owners, which works very well for parties.
The kitchen is contemporary, and features an island unit with breakfast bar, integrated fridge/freezer, dishwasher, oven with microwave and electric hob with ceiling extractor fan.
Off the kitchen is a utility area with access to the side of the house and a shower room handy for coming in from sports or outdoor work.
On the first floor of the extension is the master suite with walk-in wardrobe, en suite bathroom and balcony. Of the four further bedrooms, two are en suite, and there is a family bathroom.
“The house is very low-maintenance and comfortable, thanks to underfloor heating and really good doors and windows from Munster Joinery,” say the current owners.
The landscaped gardens are private and secure with electric gates and mature beech hedging along the boundary to the front. There is a fountain and large pond not currently stocked with fish because the heron population has proved too adept at catching unsuspecting targets.
The area around Trim and the lakes of Co Westmeath is great for motorbiking, say the vendors. Other amenities include Tayto Park and several golf courses, including the Jack Nicklaus-designed course at Killeen Castle. The new Avoca at Dunboyne is another great addition, and local pubs and restaurants include Caffrey’s in Batterstown and the Hatchet in Barstown.
Era: 1997, extended 2016
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald Country Homes (01) 237 6309
Viewing: By appointment
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