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Kilcreene Lodge, Kilkenny, County Kilkenny
Property features
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  • 9 bedrooms
  • 9 bathrooms
Property description
Fully restored and maintained 17th Century Italianate Mansion with Jacobean and Victorian
5 exquisite flowing reception rooms, ideal for entertaining
Notable and beautiful period detailing
8 bedrooms
Rich history former residence of Walter Smithwick
Private setting in lush grounds in the heart of Kilkenny city
c. 4ha(10acres) of grounds on own private Lake

Set overlooking a weir on a private lake which runs into the River Breagagh and downtown to meet the Nore, Kilcreene Lodge occupies an extraordinary location. Secluded on its private almost ten-acre estate, it is just a short walk to the Medieval core of Kilkenny City. Lovingly maintained and presented as a signature historic home, it has also been beautifully modernised to add the luxury and comforts of contemporary living.

Find beautiful and graceful formal rooms, across which film stars and aristocracy have danced. Throughout the years, luminaries including Tyrone Power and James Cagney, Lord Iveagh and Miranda Guinness have enjoyed the beautiful hospitality Kilcreene Lodge has to offer. Further back, Daniel O'Connell, known as the Irish Liberator, was a beloved and frequent guest.

A bright and welcoming home, with graceful proportions throughout, you will find space to entertain, places to work and ample family accommodation to relax. History is elegantly layered, as the earliest Jacobean parts of the house, dating from 1690, meet Victorian spaces with wonderful stained glass, as contemporary additions are seamlessly incorporated. These are all held together by an Italianate theme, based on the timeless Classical principals of architecture.

Kilcreene is noted by the Inventory of Architectural Heritage, most particularly for the preservation of its original features, and for the quality of its craftsmanship. Yet this is not a museum piece of a house, rather an extraordinary and stunningly beautiful home, in which you can fully enjoy all the wonderful qualities it has to offer.

Originally built in 1690, the year King William triumphed at the Battle of the Boyne, Kilcreene Lodge was once a peaceful miller's house. There is still a small water wheel on the river, as a memory of this time. A quiet spot, surrounded by mature woodlands and forestry and acres of rolling fields, it would have been a short horse ride to the markets of Kilkenny City.

Almost two hundred years later, John William Smithwick spotted the opportunity of this wonderful location, and employed Charles Geoghegan to almost quadruple the size of the house. Geoghegan also worked on Annagh's Castle in Kilkenny, and was responsible for some of the beautifully Italianate bank buildings at Foster Place and Dame Street in Dublin.
He was also passionate about water supply, and Kilcreene is said to have been the first house in County Kilkenny with running water in the bathroom.

The building followed the fortunes of the famous Smithwick brewing family, growing as they grew in
prosperity, and increasingly hosting the famous and notable of each passing era: from Daniel O'Connell to Tyrone Power, and James Cagney to the Guinnesses. Successive generations have added their own stamp, all the while preserving what was best about the house they inherited.

In 1999 Kilcreene was purchased by Gerry and Christine Byrne who lovingly restored the original house and sympathetically extended by building on the Lake room and a Master suite.

This means that, today, there is still running water in the eight bathrooms, but they are now exceptionally lavish ensuites. The property has a host of reception rooms as well as a fully fitted Kitchen which features original ceramic brick wall tiles, painted units and Aga cooker. The house is complemented by all the modern conveniences you could need for catering the kind of parties this house so richly deserves.

As Kilkenny City has grown to the thriving and cultural spot it is today, Kilcreene retains a beautiful sense of timelessness and tranquillity. It is a rare and quiet gem, at peace with itself and its extraordinary place in the world.

Layers of time blend beautifully at Kilcreene Lodge. Fronting onto the private Lake, the entrance hall, with its warm tiled floor and stunning sweeping staircase is actually a newer addition, created to knit the Period elements of the house together.

From here, 5 exquisite reception rooms, ideal for entertaining. Firstly an exceptionally large and graceful triple aspect Lake room, opens to a sun terrace looking on to the weir and tranquil waters, and is the most wonderful space for entertaining.

This graceful reception room leads to the dining room, while to the right, there is an equally beautiful and spacious drawing room, music room and living room. The Lake room, dining room and drawing room all have commanding fireplaces and interconnect. The second hall is currently a jewel box of a music room, with particularly wonderful plasterwork.

The dining room is notable for its rich and deeply polished parquet floor and timber ceiling, while the other reception rooms display ornate plasterwork. To the rear of the house there is a bright kitchen, large study, from which you can hear the sounds of birdsong, and the trickling waters. The office leads to a charming sunroom, with double doors out onto a decked area for al fresco dining, a peaceful retreat with planted sloping bank with watercourse which gives a fantastic backdrop. There are also storerooms, utility rooms, a boot room and cloakroom.

Upstairs, there is a very elegant gallery landing with arching columns, skylights and ornate plasterwork. The master suite is triple aspect, with a balcony. It has a walk-in wardrobe, and the ensuite is a beautiful open space with a gorgeous free-standing bath that has its own delicious garden and lake views.

There are eight bedrooms which are all ensuite, and a gym. The second main bedroom has its own balcony and its fitted ensuite also has balcony access. These are bedrooms to savour and truly enjoy.

A winding lime tree-lined drive leads to Kilcreene Lodge, where the house is beautifully surrounded by lawns and sheltered by mature trees. There is c.4ha (10 acres) in all, including a gravelled parking area, and stone patios at the front, overlooking the Lake and weir.

The gardens have been designed to enjoy lovely private spots, classic lighting, decks, sheltered lawns, a small water wheel and feature fountain. There are little bridges, places to walk in peace, and a hard tennis court. Also find a separate garage building with an upper floor and plenty of storage for all your gardening needs.

A famous medieval town, Kilkenny city takes its character from both Kilkenny Castle, and St. Canice's
Cathedral and Round Tower. Today it is well known as an exceptionally cultural city, including the Butler Gallery, the National Craft Gallery, and the Kilkenny Arts Festival, which is internationally renowned for its classical music programme. The former Smithwicks Brewery site and St Francis Abbey are currently being developed as Abbey Quarter.

With a mixture of narrow lanes and wider avenues, there are charming shops as well as leading brands, a buzzing weekly farmers' market, and excellent restaurants including the Michelin Starred Campagne. Kilkenny is home to many noted secondary schools. It has easy road connections via the M9 to Dublin, and the train station is on the Dublin to Waterford line with a regular service.

A wide range of sports clubs and activities are available. Kilkenny teams are famously successful at GAA sports, while athletics, rugby and football clubs are also on offer. The golf enthusiast is well catered for with Kilkenny Golf Club and Mount Juliet Golf Course in Thomastown nearby. This latter was designed by Jack Nicklaus and it is considered to be one of Ireland's best. Equestrian activities are also to the fore, with riding schools and clubs, pony clubs and hunting, all within boxing distance.

5-minute walk to Kilkenny City centre
18 km / 20 minutes' drive to Mount Juliet
52 km / 35 minutes to Waterford
126 km / 1 hr 10 minutes to Dublin
138 km / 1hr 25 minutes to Dublin Airport
154km / 1 hr 20 minutes to Cork
All distances and times are approximate
Kilcreene Lodge, Kilkenny, County Kilkenny, Ireland
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