Tommy Barker discovers a house that is now bare and basic, is primed to be filled once more with family life.
Tivoli, Cork, €650,000
Size: 224 sq m (2,500 sq ft)
Best Feature: ‘Panorama’ is almost too small a word for its views
Get a good architect on board at Springfield House, and you could have something really special on your hands for decades to come.
Dating to the mid-1900s, this already well-sized home on an acre just east of Cork City has been through a small number of family hands to date, and is for sale in a cleared out state, bare and basic and with freshly sanded floors showing just a hint of the potential ready to flow back into it, once reinvested in.
Heck, it even has a rudimentary outdoor swimming pool, set amid mature trees by the cut limestone entrance pillars and approach drive as a hint of balmy days promise, though it’s unlikely to be fed by any of this Tivoli/Lotabeg hillside’s natural springs.
Located off the Tivoli dual carriageway, and reached via the winding and woody boreen Burke’s Hill past the Clayton Silver Springs Hotel, Springhill House is on an elevated acre, looking south out over surrounding farmland to the River Lee’s estuary, inner and outer reaches of the harbour and, if you stare enough, directly down to the boatclub in Blackrock village across the water.
It’s little wonder that the vendors, now departing after several decades, have left binoculars on window sills to encourage views and shiping and horizon scanning.
All the basics are in place in this asymmetric five-bed detached, with a feature porthole window typical of its 1950s era design.
But, it’s basic enough in its current state, and will at the very outset, require an energy efficiency upgrade: it’s got a low G BER, due in some measure perhaps to the original steel windows, still in place after all these years, in large picture-window frames and French doors, all of which are single glazed.
Move up perhaps to triple glazing, and wrap the exterior in cladding (or, to retain the exterior character, pump the walls in insulating aero-beads, or dry-line inside) and Springhill House could become quite the heat soak, thanks to its full-on southerly aspect.
An executor sale, it’s now listed with Woodward auctioneers, at a €650,000 guide, and its solid build, city proximity, and elevated acre with commanding sweep of views are the strong attractions says Tom Woodward.
Internally it’s got a large, dual aspect and naturally bright living room as its best space, some 25’ by 19’ with old stone fireplace as a feature, and there’s a sunny, raised patio or terrace just past its steel French doors.
This outdoor area’s finished in the same cut limestone as the entrance pillars, and may well have come from an earlier dwelling.
Entrance is towards the western end, with a big hall and off-set staircase by a feature porthole window, and other rooms include a dining room and kitchen to the rear, plus guest WC, and overhead are five bedrooms, several with wash basins, plus family bathroom.
The house is fringed by a linking wall to a detached garage and workshops, with boiler room for the oil central heating: this is the section holding immediate promise for extension .
VERDICT: Taken back to an empty, sturdy state, Springhill House (and its blue-painted swimming pool excavation) is primed to be filled once more with busy family life.
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