House of the Week: Crosshaven, Cork Harbour, €500,000

Things change ever so subtly, on every rising and falling tide, over the seasons, and the years. Push the span of years out further to decades and centuries, and the changes get even more marked.

  • Size: 3,300 sq ft on 1.2 acres
  • Bedrooms: 6 + 2
  • Bathrooms: 2
  • BER: Exempt

Crosshaven’s Point House has seen many, many evolving moments and shifts, and why would it not? Since being built by the Puxley family of Dunboy in the 1700s when they controlled 9,000 acres and several houses spanning the County of Cork, it has been facing the waters of Cork harbour at Crosshaven, for nigh on 300 years.

That’s an incredible 200,000 ebbs and flows of the tides, seen from just about everyone of its eight sash windows, over three storeys, in its key (and, almost quaylike) setting on Crosshaven’s Point Road.

It has also seen the growth of Crosshaven, from fishing hamlet to 21st century seaside and commuter community.

Heck, at a likely construction date of 1720, it even predates the supremely elegant, ashlar-stone Palladian Crosshaven House itself (1769), once more now a gleaming centrepiece of the village, as an upmarket guest and event facility.

As Point House comes up for sale in spring 2017, as a very distinctive property package indeed, might it also turn towards guest and hospitality uses, on its 1.2 acre site?

It’s got such huge potential, as centrepiece of a package that includes a 3,300 sq ft three-storey house with scope for up to six bedrooms; there’s a separate small, detached characterful two-storey house too, just to the eastern corner where the long approach avenue leads to the courtyard.

Then, there’s a disused but standing lofted stone outbuilding, plus an even more stunning, L-shaped lofted coach-house with wide carriage archway, disused, but kept together awaiting new uses thanks to a sound capping of galvanised roof put back on its crown a decade or so ago.

Some records date Point House to 1740, but current members of the Sisk family who’ve been associated with its lease and ownership for the past 150 years or so say they believe it to be even older, and suggest it was built in 1720.

If that’s so, it shares the date with the founding of what’s now the Royal Cork Yacht Club, originally set up as the Water Club of the Harbour of Cork in Haulbowline in 1720, before moving to Cobh in the 1800s and Crosshaven in 1966.

The RCYC will be en fete for its 300th anniversary in 2020, and Point House will be headed too into another new chapter by then: an intriguing prospect.

Set right next door to the Piper family’s ‘The Merries’ funfair, Point House has carousels and all the fun of the fair on its village side, and Crosshaven Boatyard on the other on all ‘the funds of the fair-weather sailors’ on the other, the road leading out towards the Point and the path up to Camden Fort.

Despite its great age, and the quite limited domestic use made of Point House in its more recent years, it all seems comparatively well-tended.

There’s a long, straight path from a pedestrian gate on the road by ‘The Merries,’ leading the 50 paces or so to the house’s front door and roughcast or dashed stonewalls, past old lawns strewn with primroses, while matures sycamores straddle the boundary walls.

Despite being a place and size that demands a maintenance regime, it hasn’t been let get overgrown, and the galvanised roofs on the two lofted outbuildings have done sterling services: one is prettier than the other, and the coach-house has some fabulous old brick arches and external, gable end steps to a loft.

Estate agent Michael McKenna guides Point House Crosshaven and its buildings and small, detached dwelling (currently rented out) at €500,000, and it all will need investment and re-purposing.

The house, with double hipped roof and valley and lots of gable walls windows, is ram-rod straight, but needs attention and ‘added comforts’, inside from the top down.

And, as equally attractive (and demanding of cash) will be the courtyard, which is almost unseen from the Point Road and is quite the private, beguiling enclave.

Verdict

If a buyer can’t see the potential in these old stone buildings and courtyard cluster, well, they’re possibly not the right buyer?

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