1 Mount Pleasant Villas, Bray, Co Wicklow Asking price: €1.1m Agent: Sherry FitzGerald (01) 2866630
During the lockdown, many people made life-changing decisions by moving near the sea or near more rural settings. Some are just making plans to do so. But can a gesture like this really improve our lives?
Absolutely, says Paddy Sheridan, the owner of No1 Mount Pleasant Villas, an end-of-terrace period property in Bray that originally dates to 1861.
He and his partner moved here to be seaside and rural Wicklow in 2007 and Paddy says it has transformed their lives.
The new environment proved particularly beneficial for Paddy’s partner, Ken, who suffered from dementia.
“He was very restless in our old house in Stillorgan,” says Paddy. “But once we moved here, he mellowed and became more relaxed.”
Paddy says buying the house was the best thing they ever did.
The 2,238-square-foot property still conveys Victorian grandeur, though it’s been remodeled for modern living.
“I would say the house has more character than formality,” retired academic Sheridan Paddy says of the home he shared for many years with his now-deceased partner Ken Carrington.
“It was absolutely in pieces when we first bought it,” says Paddy. “No structural changes have been made, but we have done a tremendous job.”
Not only has the property been remodeled, rewired and redone, but the bathrooms and kitchen have been fitted with modern units and the whole house has been redecorated.
The result is a comfortable and elegant home, filled with natural light.
Beyond its pale blue exterior and mulberry-hued front door, there’s a lobby with wood flooring, a Victorian staircase, and a high ceiling, complete with an intricate ceiling rosette.
The Victorian plaster detail continues into the living room ceiling, located to the right of the hallway. This room is visually open to the garden through a bay window. It has sage green walls and an original marble fireplace.
Its dual aspect offers stunning views of Bray Head and the Wicklow Mountains in the distance.
To the left of the hallway there is a cozy sitting room, again with an original fireplace and varnished wooden floors. This opens into a modern kitchen area with cream colored units, looking out to the rear.
There is also a double bedroom on the ground floor, as well as a utility room.
In addition, the house has an independent studio, with a living room/kitchen, a bedroom and a bathroom, at the rear of the property. It would provide additional income if rented out.
The garden, which surrounds the entire building, took an entire year to lay out.
Winding pebble paths now surround raised circular lawn beds. There are a number of Indian sandstone patios and a secret garden below. A high trimmed hedge gives privacy to the property.
The house overlooks Bray and you can see the sea in the distance.
It’s only a short walk to Bray’s seaside, and the house, reached down a secluded lane, is also just a three-minute drive from the highway.
The location was what attracted Paddy and Ken in the first place. “It makes a big difference to be surrounded by beauty,” says Paddy.
“I remember the first morning after we moved in, I was sitting reading the paper over breakfast. I looked outside and realized we might be in the middle of the countryside. Yet we were so close amenities.
“That’s the wonderful thing about this situation,” he adds. “Ken loved living here,” he adds. “Almost every day he used to comment on what a beautiful house it was and how he felt she enveloped him in her arms.”
Together for 33 years, Paddy took early retirement to care for Ken, whose health has deteriorated over the past 15 years.
“There were a lot of changes in him over those years,” Paddy recalled. “But the love we had for each other has remained all this time.
Even on the occasions when he didn’t know who I was, he knew I loved him. Ken passed away four years ago.
Although he realizes how lucky they were to have had such a relationship, Paddy found Ken’s passing extremely difficult. “It took me all this time to get used to the idea of moving,” he says.
“It was the home we always wanted and I have so many wonderful memories of our life together here. It’s going to be hard to sell it, but I know Ken would like someone else to live here and enjoy it,” he says.
“The house has a real soul and everyone who has been there has noticed the beautiful feeling it gives you. I would like to see good people living there now. I hope they enjoy it as much as we do.”
Sherry FitzGerald is asking 1.1 million euros for the No. 1 in the name of Paddy Sheridan.