- Breaking News
- Today's Paper
- Text Only
- Family Notices
Saturday, August 18, 2012
This family home, on a great acre scanning the valley folds along the Lee and the over the reservoir, is pure Cork — but its last two owners came here from overseas.
Now, as the extended and upgraded Drom Siobha comes up for sale as neighbouring fields of barley are practically harvest-ready, it’s an open book as to where its next fortunate occupants will spring from, upriver, downriver, EMC, or the US.
The current owners — a lawyer and an IT software programmer — and their appreciative young family — moved here after six years in sunniest and humid Florida.
They had spotted it from afar, and pounced on it in 2005, agreeing its purchase within a few days of visiting it: at the time, its vendor was a Dutch architect who did work for Roy Disney at Coolmaine Castle, and there’s a touch of children’s fantasy and play space about much of Drom Siobha.
Adults, as much as children, will appreciate the freedom to roam country lanes and woods, and the much-extended original farmhouse is on a private acre which includes a safe feature stream at its wooded boundary, mature trees like ash, willow, lime, pines and sycamores, many trees to climb and sit in — there’s even a treehouse. And, there’s also a climbing/adventure frame, a six-sided summer house with witches’s hat-like copper roof, a hot-tub fired up by timber-burning stove, and a large, stone-built barbecue structure with in-built Weber charcoal cooking drums, covered when not in use by stone discs.
The outdoor BBQ/eating/summerhouse and hot-tub space is sheltered by tall trees, old stone walls, by the house itself, and. finally, by a detached circa 500 sq ft building, currently used as guest suite. This standalone has a high-quality interior with vaulted-ceiling (13’ high) bedroom, day-room section, plush en suite with walk-in rounded shower enclosure, and home office section behind the sleeping area.
It’s ideal for in-laws, outlaws, guests and teens, or as a home office. And, it’s just a few feet away from the main house’s utility wing, joining it all together if needs be will be a pretty simple task.
The 2,100 sq ft house has grown to the point that its century-old origins have been obscured, and now is essentially two-storey at its heart, with front porch and rear kitchen/utility extensions and upgrades, while there’s planning in place for a 1,000 sq ft two-storey back extension to capture the best of the Lee Valley views to the south.
A first floor balcony off a new master bedroom in this approved add-on would be the icing on top.
"After the dull landscape of Florida, the stunning countryside, 60’ tall trees and unspoiled farmland, it seemed like we’d stepped into a painting," notes the woman of the house, as the family faces the prospect of uprooting again after almost seven years.
Highlights to recall are gentle afternoons in the summer-house "the kids even camped out here, and the self-contained cottage has been a godsend when the in-laws visit," she notes of the genuine rural river valley idyll and adds "yet, proximity to town is a bonus, I can be parked up in town and walking up the steps of the Courthouse in under 12 minutes."
Selling agent for Drom Siobhra is Sheila O’Flynn of Sherry FitzGerald, who says it is a completely different one to the house they sold two sales ago: not only is it larger, and packed with added amenity value, but the site has grown too, as the couple here now bought extra land from the obliging neighbouring farmer to add a westerly lawn.
Many of the rooms have a double aspect, such as the main sitting room with cast iron open fireplace and one of its two windows is a gentle bow shape. There’s a family room/den, with electric fireplace, an old cottage-style dining room with solid fuel stove, and next to this is the over-size kitchen/family dining/extension, with raised ceilings home to four white-coloured Velux windows. It has the air of a serious cook’s space and it’s a super-bright, well-planned spot with large utility and guest bathroom off a rear hall.
There’s already plenty of space here for most families, though some prospective buyers might want to do a few more easy upgrades, such as flooring, and tweaking bedrooms. There’s double-glazing throughout, insulation has been increased, cavity walls have been pumped or older walls dry-lined, and there’s a new oil burner which earns the home a good ‘C’ BER rating, enviable for its age.
Overhead, this family home has four bedrooms, with master bedroom en suite (the access to the shower room, cleverly, is via glazed doors to match the bank of Sliderobes), and a gable window beckons with views down to the dam by the Inniscarra reservoir. This level’s main bathroom is quite high-end, with Jacuzzi bath with jetted shower at one end.
VERDICT: Dam fine
© Irish Examiner Ltd, City Quarter, Lapps Quay, Cork. Registered in Ireland: 523712.