Down Yonder, Rosses Point, Co Sligo Asking price: €2.4 million Agents: Savills (01) 6181300 and DNG Flanagan Ford (071) 9159222
HILE is almost eight times the size of the average family home, at 8,114 square feet; Down Yonder, a coastal property in Rosses Point, Co. Sligo, is actually made up of three.
This is because the recycled materials used to build Down Yonder and its nine ensuite bedrooms include key components recovered from three very different period houses in Tyrone and Fermanagh, all of which have long since been demolished.
Eavan O’Hara, who owns Down Yonder, and her family suffered a life-changing blow in 1997 when her husband Ronnie suffered a brain injury after a fall.
“At the time, Ronnie was in the masonry business and I was in the IT business at Sligo. Because he was told he would never work again, we decided to look around different businesses and consider accommodation.”
After two years of rehab and Ronnie fully recovered, Evan decided to sell her business and join him in the stone business. Around this time, they discovered a piece of land in the town of Down Yonder, Rosses Point, and bought it in 2000.
In designing the house, Eavan turned to her father, John Leyden, a technical drawing teacher and well-known local draftsman, who suggested that they should “future-proof” the building in case their lives happened again different transformations.
As part of the process, they included nine en-suite bedrooms with the potential for guest accommodation, giving them an additional option to run a business in the future house.
Even before they got planning permission at Rosses Point, Eavan was looking to the future.
“My hobby is antiques, buying and selling furniture for personal use. “I was at a furniture auction with a friend at this lovely old Georgian house in Oma and we found it was about to be demolished for a rebuild.
“This is a beautiful Georgian country house. Although it is in poor condition, you would never get permission to knock on it today.
“We asked what they were going to do with the floors and doors and were told we had three days to get whatever we wanted if we were interested.”
The couple paid £2,000 and the next day Ronnie and his workers were given a flatbed truck and drove to Omagh. “We basically demolished the house.
“We pulled up all the floors and took out all the doors, lintels and shutters that we used as panelling in the house. The inner arched door with its glass was bought from Omar. We took all the All we can.”
O’Hara was not finished, “after the house was knocked down, we went back and got the solid stone window sills and beams from the stable we used in the solarium. We also salvaged enough bricks from the chimney stack to use here. chimney.”
Most wood needs work before it can be incorporated into a new house.
“It had about 150 years of paint on it. To bring it back without damaging the grain, we were told it had to be blasted with crushed walnut or hazelnut shells, which we did.”
Once it was treated and ready to be reused, a local carpenter repurposed the old wood, giving the place a distinctly old world feel. They installed 11.5-foot ceilings in the living area, and a plasterer friend did all the decorative cornice and stucco work.
When it came to Down Yonder’s exterior renovations, O’Haras headed back north to find Fermanagh sandstone, which was salvaged from the demolition of two houses of different periods.
So we can say that the souls of three very old and elegant dwellings now live in Down Yonder.
It was completed in 2003 and O’Haras and their four children lived happily here until the long-term effects of Ronnie’s accident in 2012 meant he had to close his stone business.
So they decided to follow Eavan’s father’s advice and opened a boutique B&B in 2013 using a spare space in the house.
“I’m sorry we didn’t do this sooner,” Eavan said. “It works really well and fits Ronnie’s big personality very well. It also means we can stay at home with the kids.”
Sadly, fate gave them another hand when Ronnie was diagnosed with cancer and passed away after a brief illness in 2015, just as the hotel business was reaching new heights.
“We were voted the best B&B in Ireland in 2015 and 10th in the world by TripAdvisor. We got the call in January and Ronnie passed away in April.”
Eavan has continued to run the bed and breakfast business since then, and now, with all her kids going to college, she’s decided to move on to something new.
“I’m so excited to be here with the kids and Down Yonder allows me to run a business while I can be by Ronnie’s side and take care of him at the same time.”
So she sold Down Yonder as a family home and said while it was partly a business, it was collected as a family home and she hoped it would be bought as such.
“Down Yonder” underwent a complete refurbishment in 2017 to improve its insulating properties and now has an energy rating of B2.
The footprint of the house is a very shallow “V”, designed to take full advantage of the looming views of the sea and Ben Bulburn in the distance.
A walled entry leads through stone piers with cast-iron gates and through a tree-lined avenue to the front of the residence.
The front door leads to the lobby, and Omar arched doors with original glass lead to the hallway.
From the lobby there is access to the cloakroom on one side and the guest toilet on the other side of the lobby. In the spacious hallway, reworked wood stands out in the floors, doors and lintel beams.
The wood and decorative stucco give the place a real Georgian feel.
A door on the left side of the hall leads to the living room, which has a bay window overlooking the garden, and a second door to the living room with views of the sea to Ben Bulben and Rosses Point, one of the most popular beaches in the North West one.
Both rooms are connected to a semi-circular solarium and breakfast room with great views.
The kitchen extends from the house itself in an inverted ‘U’ shape with corner windows and French doors for the best views in the house.
A large size, as you’d expect to find in a prestigious hotel, it includes an Aga cooker as well as a solid wood island, worktop and hand painted unit.
On the right side of the hallway, a corridor running the length of the house leads to the dining room, study and four bedrooms.
The formal dining room has a marble fireplace and a bay window looking out onto the garden ahead.
All four bedrooms on the ground floor have en suite facilities, while the largest bedroom has a bay window with sea views. The en-suite bathroom in the other bedroom is entirely wood paneled, with wood floors and a freestanding bathtub.
A stairwell at the end of the corridor leads to the basement, which contains a utility, two storage rooms, a workshop and a games room.
The upstairs master bedroom features a spacious ensuite bathroom, dressing room and large skylight with ocean views. There are also four bedrooms with en suite bathrooms on this level.
Set on 19 acres, the house is within walking distance of the beach at Rosses Point and 8km from the lively town of Sligo with its colourful and trendy shops and bars.
Down Yonder is now for sale for €2.4 million through Savills Country Agency and co-agent DNG Flanagan Ford.