Belfast Telegraph

Watch: Video tour of chocolate box cottage in Co Down

This chocolate box cottage in rural Co Down offers modern rural living and comes with a rich historic past that stretches back 1,000 years. Stephanie Bell reports...

This quaint chocolate box cottage encapsulates all the charm and comfort of luxury country living.

The elegant, beautifully styled interior wouldn't look out of place in a glossy magazine and there is much more to this property than initially meets the eye.

It sits on an extensive site with a collection of buildings which have more than 1,000 years of history in the beautiful drumlin landscape of Co Down.

At the heart of the site is a medieval cashel or stone-embanked rath from which the house takes its name.

The house sits above an 18th century yard on an elevated site, with breathtaking, unspoilt views in every direction especially towards the west and the setting sun.

It has been extensively and sensitively rebuilt by its present owners in the style of a Victorian cottage, with a bedroom wing added eight years ago.

In the 1760 yard there are twin gate houses connected by an entrance arch, a stone building originally containing three coach houses, and a converted loft with stone loose boxes beneath.

There is also guest accommodation in one of the gate houses, formerly a granary, which has been restored by the present owners, retaining several original features; the other provides spacious office accommodation. The converted loft provides further guest or staff accommodation.

There is also equestrian facilities with a barn containing eight stables, turn out paddocks of around three acres, a manage and horse walker.

Planning approval has also been granted for a new 3,500 sq ft dwelling within the grounds.

Located only half an hour from Belfast, this tranquil setting offers an outstanding lifestyle with the potential to work from home, leisure accommodation for a family and everything you need for the horse lover.

It has been divided into two lots for sale - the first includes the house, a garden yard, the historic ring fort, a Victorian greenhouse, and boat house/garages.

Or with Lot 2 you can buy everything in Lot 1 as well as the Gate Lodge, a Gate House, the three coach houses, the two bedroom apartment and the equestrian facilities. This is priced at £995,000.

The main house has been carefully renovated and includes four bedrooms, master with en suite bathroom and dressing room, a superb, large country kitchen/living/dining room with Aga and wood burning stove, a drawing room with antique chimneypiece, a conservatory, boot room/utility, a study/dining room with wood burning stove and a main bathroom.

When you step into the hallway you get a feel straightaway for the wonderful country charm which pervades this property with its many small, fine finishes such as the redwood floor, tongue and groove ceiling and built in bookshelves.

The drawing room is an elegant but relaxing space, with redwood flooring and tongue and groove ceiling, dual aspect windows and an attractive period fireplace with recessed shelving at either side.

A glass door leads into a hardwood conservatory which has double doors opening onto a south facing terrace in the gardens.

The conservatory also leads to a boot room which is like a practical entrance hall and has its own wood burning stove to welcome you in from the cold. This doubles up as a utility with a Victorian garden sink and there is plenty of space for hanging outdoor clothes and storing muddy boots.

There is also a cloakroom and then the magnificent living/kitchen. This room has a designer rustic feel with quaint features everywhere you look from the vaulted ceiling to the York fireplace and wood burning stove, it oozes country chic. Designed for comfortable lounging and informal dining, it is complemented by an adjoining pantry where there is a large range of units, Belfast sink and an integrated dishwasher.

The study/dining room is also charming with a wood-burning stove, solid wood floor and tongue and groove ceiling. It opens directly onto a terrace at the front of the house with fantastic rural views.

The bedrooms are every bit as charming and the bathrooms too have a designer, country style edge.

The master suite comes with a Victorian open coal fire and a French window opening onto a secluded terrace. The en suite bathroom is quite special and features a Fired Earth suite with ball and claw foot bath and a large fully tiled shower cubicle with rain shower head. There is a lovely vanity unit and a cast iron fireplace, plus a bidet and it is all finished with a limestone floor and tongue and groove ceiling. The dressing room has an excellent range of built in storage by Elfa.

The three remaining bedrooms all enjoy delightful rural views and there is a guest bathroom also with ball and claw foot bath, corner shower, bidet with feature vertical radiator and half panelled walls with solid pine floor.

The property is accessed via a sweeping driveway and the grounds are landscaped with newly planted trees and a small apple and pear orchard.

The Ringfort which dates to the 9th century is entered by steps from the courtyard garden, a perfect half circle with mature trees surrounding it and a large Victorian green house with grapevine and peach tree.

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