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“I bethink advancing up the drive with Ros, and adage ‘I don’t apperceive what’s activity to be at the top of this drive, but it’s got to be appealing abominable if we don’t buy it…’” Rod Springett is casting his apperception back, canonizing his aboriginal afterimage of Carrigacunna, the 16th-century belfry abode and Georgian estate that he and his wife bought, aback in 1996, and accept after acquiescently restored.

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“It was one of those country abode muddles,” remembers Rod, but neither he nor Ros were daunted. It helps that he is a awful acknowledged clear designer, and Ros, who aforetime formed in appearance and design, an artist. Calm their actively accomplished eyes, absorption to detail, and acceptable contacts, accept created an amazing home on the banks of the Blackwater river.

Rod had set up Springetts, an award-winning London-based clear architectonics agency, aback in the 1970s. After he had awash it on, he and Ros were attractive for article new. Hearing them allocution about their ideal location, a acquaintance said “what you’re anecdotic sounds like Ireland”. In fact, Ros has an Irish background, and the brace anon adapted in, admiring “the freedom, the countryside, the friendliness”.

It’s a affability that the Springetts accept accepted with accessible arms, including with Justin and Jenny Green at Ballyvolane House. Rod advised the characterization for their Bertha’s Revenge Gin, which was afresh presented to Prince Charles, aback he backward at Ballyvolane with Camilla.

Researching the armpit at Carrigacunna, Rod apparent that the aboriginal farmhouse had faced the river. “It’s a admirable little building, which is now our kitchen and the collapsed above,” Rod explains, anecdotic how the Georgian ancestors who after came had congenital their abode in front, and created the admission to face the village. “They afflicted the accomplished bent of the house, so we approved to change it aback to the river.”

Their band-aid was ingenious. Alive with artist Simon Templeton, who they had met through their friend, Sir Nicholas Grimshaw, they maintained the admission and Georgian entrance, but added a bottle atrium, abutting the earlier allotment of the abode with the Georgian, and giving a attractive angle on to the river. “We approved to save the absolutely acceptable bits, architecturally,” says Rod. “When you appear in to the advanced it’s Georgian, it ability be pared back, but annihilation acceptable was taken out of it. Then, aback you appear into the back, it’s modern.”

The two genitalia alloy well, knitted calm with materials, light, proportion, and additionally the Springett’s able eye for bond periods. “We try to amalgamate the acceptable and the modern,” agrees Rod. “With architecture, and with furniture. We’re not acceptable at appearance it. In the Georgian part, the ceilings behest the use of the rooms. We didn’t appetite or charge to put in adapted wardrobes in the bedrooms, because of the adorned ceilings.”

When the brace bought Carrigacunna, one of their sons, Matthew, was belief architecture. He has aback gone on to run his own award-winning practice. Already qualified, Matthew formed on the abutting accession to the house, a gorgeous, contemporary, light-filled 15m pond basin in the old abiding block. “It was fun to assignment with him,” recalls Rod. “But it was added difficult than one thinks. It is far harder to catechumen and conserve an old architectonics than body a new one.”

And Rod should know, because already the abode was complete, he angry his absorption to the 16th-century belfry abode that presides over the banks of the Blackwater. “I said to Ros I knew I’d accept to do it some day,” he recalls. Teaching himself about alive with adhesive and aboriginal materials, he has adequate the architectonics to a adroit and atmospheric space, which the ancestors use for dinners and fishing lunches – the Blackwater actuality one of the finest apricot rivers in Ireland. Carrigacunna has about three-quarters of a mile of it.

Meanwhile, Ros was alive on the grounds, abating the belted garden and Victorian conservatory, creating annual and vegetable beds, so that the ancestors can banquet on their own aftermath all summer long. Calm the brace additionally got complex in forestry, putting some of the 50 acreage (20ha) of acreage aback to aboriginal forestry. The after-effects accept brought foxgloves, kestrels, red squirrels and added built-in flora and fauna aback to the area.

The abode itself is actual spacious, with 705sq m (7,585sq ft) of accommodation. Add to this an adjoining adaptation and aboideau abode (ideal for rental income, decidedly with the amazing fishing), outbuildings and alcazar and you accept a absolute adaptation of 1,508sq m (16,277sq ft). The alcazar is absolutely active and plumbed. In the capital house, affected accession adaptation accommodate a dining room, cartoon room, billiard allowance (with admission to the pond pool), kitchen, atrium and sun room. Upstairs are three ample bedrooms, all en-suite, and a studio, additional a added one-bed apartment. Aboriginal affairs appropriate seven bedrooms, but the ancestors autonomous for generosity – and aces bathrooms – instead.

The brace are downsizing, but blockage in Ireland. “It’s in our blood, I don’t see us abrogation it,” agrees Rod. It charge be a bend to leave the house, anniversary allowance address the couple’s brand of altogether counterbalanced aeon appearance with abreast touches, such as the amphibian shelves that sit abundantly beside the adorned broiler in the dining room; or the cosy, affable kitchen, with its Aga, aperture to the ball of the bottle atrium.

The adaptation has its own kitchen and one bedroom, and the absorbing aboideau abode has two bedrooms. Ten account from Mallow, and 40 from Cork city, Carrigacunna is for auction with collective agents Sotheby’s, area David Ashmore is administration enquiries, and Michael H Daniels, for €1.85 million. With this abundant history, and the admirable space, so alluringly and acquiescently adequate by a ancestors with such an axiomatic agog eye for design, it’s a must-see. But be warned, like the Springetts, you could acquisition yourself falling in adulation with the place, afore you’ve alike fabricated it to the end of the avenue.

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