Lots to rave about Snave with this 18th century church conversion

It dates from the 1700s but this former church in Bantry bay is bang up to date, reports Tommy Barker

Snave, Bantry, West Cork - €345,000

  • Size: 1,400 sq ft on 2.7 acres
  • Bedrooms: 2/3
  • Bathrooms: 2
  • BER: N/A

A price drop of €50,000 on a meticulous ‘chapel of ease’ building conversion on a scenic stretch of the Wild Atlantic Way, should see a refreshed level of interest in this one-off West Cork home.

Launched last October, as winter started to close in, this postcard-pretty c 1,400 sq ft converted church on a very large site with further scope had been priced back then at €395,000.

That’s been readjusted to €345,000. Now it’s summer, the water’s warm, the days are still long and its gardens are lush, it should have a broader appeal and pick-up, expects its joint selling agents, Denis Harrington in Bantry, and Sherry FitzGerald Daly over the hills in Kenmare, who say it’s an eminent property, in an exceptional setting.

With a part exposed stone exterior, rambling roses and naturalistic-planted grounds, it’s as attractive on the approach and in its interiors as is its setting at a beauty spot called Snave, out the N71 towards Glengarriff from Bantry.

It’s directly across the road from a convenient safe slipway at Dromkeal Pier which “provides a beautiful launchpad for all manner of seafaring activity,”says Denis Harrington, adding “whether as an exclusive residence or shrewd investment the converted church is a very special part of Ballylickey.”

Given the rich flora and natural beauty it’s a spot popular with tourists and photographers, as is this robust building itself which dates to the late 1700s: Airbnb, anyone?

It was sold out of Church of Ireland ownership in 1999, converted to a private home by an art gallery owner, and has changed hands just a few times since.

While it has retained ecclesiastical features like stained glass windows, some latticed and gothic-style windows, and a lofted mezzanine with carved quatrefoils and pitch-pine beams, it’s not in any way overly ‘church-y’, it doesn’t have a spire, and has been sensitively upgraded, inside and out, with oil fired central heating and heaps of charm.

The largest room is the 27’ by 16’ main high ceilinged living/dining space with kitchen under a mezzanine third bedroom, with separate front living room that’s 23’ by 10,’ made all the more cosy with a stove in a brick insert fireplace.

There’s also a ground floor bathroom, large utility, and overhead two separate bedrooms, plus bathroom.

The property stretches well back from the N71 outside, running to 2.7 acres, has a second entrance and a lapsed planning for a second/guest cottage.

VERDICT: a rare build on a gentle stretch of West Cork’s Wild Atlantic Way.

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