Claire Roche has traveled the world during her career as a harpist, but every time she returned home, Woodford in Booterstown Park was her refuge, a retreat from the rigors of touring. She has opened for acts like the Chieftains and the Fureys, has performed in the US, Australia, New Zealand and the UK and has set the poetry of WB Yeats to music on the Irish harp. She is also credited with popularizing the harp at Irish weddings since the late 1980s.
Roche’s harps have a place of honor in Woodford – one is in the hall, two others dominate the music room next to the piano. One can almost imagine an intimate recital being performed here before an exclusive gathering. Roche has broadcast a number of performances from Woodford, and the house has also been used for yoga and meditation retreats, as well as wellness weekends for people with dementia. “It’s a place for the soul,” she says.
This charming, spacious historic home is at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac on Booterstown Avenue, nestled in half an acre of lush gardens. No wonder Roche feels at home here – the former stable and carriage house once belonged to the Chesterfield House estate, where Roche grew up. Her father – who owned the Chesterfield House – turned the stable into a lovely, whimsical residence, adding curvy curves to the original rectangular shape and adding accents like a round sunroom with a vaulted ceiling that goes to a pointy tip and an ornate one , cantilevered spiral staircase to the rear of the house. “My father loved curves,” Roche recalls.
When you enter the house through a spacious veranda, you enter a wide hallway with an inviting marble fireplace and open fireplace. New owners may want to take out the carpets here and replace them with wood or tile floors. An impressive main staircase leads upstairs while to the left is an en-suite bedroom that would make a perfect guest room. On the right side is the winter garden with walnut floors and panoramic windows with a view of the area.
An interior hall leads into a bright, spacious dining room with a vaulted ceiling, a living room with a sandstone fireplace and slate edging and double doors to the rear garden, and a living room with a stone fireplace, wood paneling, built-in shelves and picture windows overlooking the garden. The kitchen has a large central cooking island with granite countertops and an aga as well as a Neff stainless steel oven and leads to a large conservatory with double doors that lead into the rear garden.
There is also a technical room and utility room, cloakroom and guest toilet on the ground floor.
Upstairs there are four spacious bedrooms, one with a vaulted ceiling and triple windows and the other with a vaulted ceiling and floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows. There are also two bathrooms en suite, a dressing room and a shower room.
Woodford is beautifully wrapped in lush, green gardens that give the whole house a peaceful aspect. There is a large deck for al fresco dining, a pond, and a leafy path that leads to the front. The garden is littered with mischievous elves – brass figures that Roche bought on a building site. A wooded area separates Woodford from the main house in Chesterfield, which, according to Roche, is not built on. In 2019, the building permit Cairn Homes received to demolish Chesterfield House and build 200 houses was revoked by the High Court.
Woodford is certainly a quirky home and may not suit everyone. But if it finds its ideal owner, this house will undoubtedly reveal many joys.
Woodford, which expands to 455 m² (4,898 sq ft) with a Ber of B3, is being sold through Lisney for € 3,450,000.
Did you miss our previous article...