A thoroughbred house in Carrigtwohill

This imposing home and its extensive grounds offer a complete lifestyle package, writes Tommy Barker

Carrigtwohill, Cork - €825,000+

  • Size: 3,000 sq ft main house, on 1.25 acres.
  • Bedrooms: 4+2+1.
  • Bathrooms: 3+1+1.
  • BER: Exempt

ET out in famed National Hunt horse territory, just east of Cork city, this quite complete lifestyle property package called Blake House offers horses for courses.

It’s got a main house, two guest cottages, an equestrian event trail, stables, barn, vegetable garden, a nuttery. And, it includes the first quarter century down of arboretum-like tree planting — much of it made up of rare species grown from seed, and sourced from travels around the world, brought back to this point, a mile from Carrigtwohill, near Fota. There’s also planning for two new houses and a new access drive on a portion of the land, adding an extra market edge to the mix.

At its centre is a restored period house, a ‘gentleman’s farmhouse,’ distinctive with 12 arched windows across its facade, which last changed hands 23 years ago when bought as a family home for a young brood.

Back then, it had been neglected for 17 years, and boarded up for some of them. Not so now. It has had a full overhaul, overseen by a highly-competent carpenter, Jimmy Linehan, whose father had been a cartwright with the Midleton distillery for years.

This next generation woodworker’s skills helped turn back the wheel of time at Blake House (including 12 slightly different templates for the 12 feature arched windows), which is currently on the market with estate agent Dominic Daly.

It’s just had a price tweak, and he now guides the restored four-bed, 3,000 sq ft home on an acre of gardens, plus a two-bed guest cottage in a converted, lofted stone outbuilding, at €825,000.

The balance of the property (likely to add considerably to the asking price) spans the rest of the 25 acres of good land/pasture, with large steel barn, a second guest cottage in the top portion of a split-level 19th century stone barn, 14 stables with water supply in the main barn, vet examination facilities, tack room, outdoor arena, and an equestrian eventing track around the property’s perimeter.

Many hundreds of trees have been planted in the top and bottom fields, intended for future coppicing for energy harvests, as well as an eclectic mix of exotics gathered from the four corners, and included are many hardwoods and deciduous varieties — douglas fir, red oaks, holm oaks, redwoods, wedding cake trees — as well as a fruit orchard, chicken runs for geese, ducks and hens, and a nuttery, with matured hazelnut and cob nut trees in ranks.

That’s all been done during the current owner’s tenure, as he — clearly — embraces the heart of the proverb, “the true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.”

VERDICT: Extensive

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