Georgian country house in serene Wicklow setting with equestrian facilities for €5.95m

Spruce Lodge sits at the heart of a 108-acre estate and comes complete with its own state-of-the-art equestrian centre

This article is 10 months old
Address: Spruce Lodge, Ballyrogan Upper, Redcross, Co Wicklow
Price: €5,950,000
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald Country Homes
View this property on

You don’t have to be the horsey type to buy Spruce Lodge, a Georgian country house on 108 acres in Redcross, Co Wicklow, but it would certainly help if you were in the equestrian business.

Because not only do you get a fine big country house in the Garden of Ireland for your near €6 million investment, you also get a state-of-the-art equestrian centre complete with stabling areas, indoor training arena, outdoor training area for showjumping, dressage and cross-country, conferencing facilities, paddocks and riding trails.

You also get a separate manager’s house, a two-bedroomed garden cottage and three apartments adjoining the main house. All of these have been fully refurbished and are ready to rent out or be used as guest accommodation.

There’s also a chalet by a small, peaceful lake with its own sundeck where you can while away summer afternoons.


Spruce Lodge Training Facility was built by Joan Keogh about 15 years ago with the intention of creating a world-renowned training ground for show horses; she was considered Ireland’s most influential person in the sport of dressage, and founded the Irish Dressage Society (now Dressage Ireland) in 1989.

The training centre at Spruce Lodge was, says her son Aidan Keogh, part of her vision to nurture the sport in Ireland and give the next generation a leg-up in their horse-riding ambitions. She also developed a therapeutic training facility especially for children with physical, cognitive, emotional and developmental challenges, with its own stables and play area.

“She never cared about making money from it,” says Keogh, who has himself competed at international level in dressage, show jumping and eventing, and now runs Tredstep Ireland, a company which specialises in equestrian wear and accessories, including Keogh’s own-design half chaps.

Following Joan’s death last year, the Keogh family, who have been steeped in equestrian activity for more than 50 years, are selling Spruce Lodge in its entirety with an asking price of €5.95 million.

Though the training facilities look enormous to my untrained eye, Keogh insists it’s actually too small to be run as a full commercial venture, but would suit someone of high net worth in the equestrian business looking for a new home with their own private training facilities.

The facilities are well delineated from the main house, so another option for a new owner would be to sell on the equestrian side of the property as a separate package without losing the benefit of the lush gardens and forestry on the banks of the Redcross river.

The main house is in fine condition, well maintained and with its original period features. While generously proportioned at 501.6sq m (5,399sq ft), it’s not too big and imposing, coming across as a warm and cosy country retreat, with lots of light coming in from all sides.

The interiors have been sensitively upgraded to allow for modern comfort and convenience, while an additional sunroom, kitchen, pantry, boot room and rear hall have all been nicely integrated into the house. The rear hall allows entry from a courtyard and buildings, complete with clock tower.

“We’ve often brought tables out here for big outdoor parties,” says Keogh. “The whole house is perfect for entertaining.”

The house is of a classic, symmetrical design, with a bright porch and entrance hall flanked by two generously-proportioned reception rooms. The drawingroom to the left opens on to a south-facing sunroom and on through French doors to a lovely patio.

The diningroom to the right has an open fire and tall windows; a large arched opening allows easy back-and-forth from the kitchen, so you can serve up home-cooked meals made from local produce with little fuss.

To the rear is a large study, a livingroom, utility room and shower-room, and adjoining the kitchen is a converted feed store which now serves as a pantry and boot room, with a loft area for storage.

The stairs divide into two galleries leading to the five bedrooms, all good-sized doubles with en suites. Up here you really feel the cosy country living vibe, especially when you look out the window at the gorgeous grounds. The main bedroom suite has a triple aspect, with a seated area to catch the morning sun, and a dressingroom.

Outside are formal gardens and grounds with lots of areas for relaxing and enjoying the quietude. The sand dunes and beaches of Brittas Bay are just a 10-minute drive away, and it’s just an hour’s drive from Dublin city centre – but also a world away. And you’re not restricted to equestrian sports – you can access golfing, fishing and sailing in the wider Redcross area.

But if you are a keen equestrian, Spruce Lodge could be the perfect place to hone your and your horse’s skills for the next international competition, and add to your medal haul.

Spruce Lodge, on 108 acres, is Ber-exempt and is for sale through Sherry FitzGerald Country Homes seeking €5.95 million.

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney is an Irish Times journalist