Belfast Telegraph

Video: Take a look inside the converted hot house in the 16th century Finnebrogue Estate

Property of the week: The Slip Garden, 17 Finnebrogue Road, Downpatrick

By Stephanie Bell

Sitting within the original gardens of the 16th century Finnebrogue Estate, this exquisite home was formerly the hot house for the flowers for which the demesne became renowned.

The conversion into a five-bedroom family house has been spectacularly carried out to create a natural Scandi-style home which perfectly suits its idyllic setting.

Known for its relaxed and functional living style that uses wood and quality textiles to add warmth, the Scandinavian feel throughout the living areas gives the property a unique charm.

Called The Slip Garden because of its exclusive setting in a sheltered sunny part of the original grounds bordered on three sides by 200-year-old stone walls, it once served as an ideal spot for growing young plants and soft fruits.

Today the house enjoys a mature one-acre site with its own slow river meandering through it.

To the south the vista includes many mature trees in the Pleasure Gardens and within the site there are ancient yew and palm trees and a mature stand of bamboo.

The present owners added two golden weeping willows and two Ash trees to complement the mature oak, sycamore and young acacia.

The windows were specially designed and built using reclaimed pitch pine and the interior windowsills are made from slate found on the site.

All the reception rooms have reclaimed wooden floors and a dramatic ceiling in the main living area features huge beams reclaimed from a Belfast mill.

It is a spacious and bright home with five bedrooms, two with en suite bathrooms including the master which also has an en suite dressing room, a stylish bathroom, shower room, living room, morning room, kitchen open to a dining/sunroom.

The house truly impresses at every turn. A conservatory style porch built from pitch pine replicating the original glass house opens into a spectacular reception room.

The double-height ceiling panelled in wood with beams, reclaimed wooden floor and part tongue and groove panelled walls create the natural log cabin style interior which is so typical of Nordic nations and popular because of its open, airy and welcoming feel.

A bank of windows along one wall further enhances the look of this room and there is a large Scan wood burning stove set in an open fireplace.

The morning room is another stunning space with a glass sloping natural wood panelled ceiling and walls blending with original brick and exposed stone and finished with a natural Sandstone floor and French doors opening to the glorious gardens.

There is a handy boot room or laundry room with storage and a washing machine.

The kitchen is total quality and also hints at Scandi-style with custom built handpainted solid maple shaker style units and solid beech worktops, set against original exposed stone walls, natural wooden floor and opens into a beautiful conservatory-style dining area which is modelled on the original green house.

Natural exposed stone continues to be a feature in the bedrooms.

A short stairway leads to the master suite which again has a rustic, natural charm with arched wood framed glass wall and ceiling beams. The walk-in dressing room features custom made handpainted armoire style wardrobes and the bathroom is a modern space with glass brick feature shower wall, panelled bath, vanity wash hand basin and designer wall tiles.

The en suite, shower room and family bathroom are all modern with subtle designer touches.

Outside the property is approached by a sweeping driveway and is surrounded by mature gardens with extensive lawns, enclosed by stone walls dating back over 200 years.

An original stone outbuilding formerly used as a craft workshop has central heating and is plumbed for a toilet and sink. It has two rooms.

Belfast Telegraph


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