Superb rural living with an urban reach

An Eighties-developed house on 3.5 acres near Bandon in west Cork was designed with plenty of space for family in mind, writes Catherine Shanahan

Mishells, Bandon - €675,000

  • Size: 475m²/ 5110 sq ft on 3.5 acres
  • Bedrooms: 6
  • Bathrooms: 2 + 2 ensuites
  • BER: n/a

IF you’ve a yen for rural living within easy reach of urban life, Mishells House in Bandon is a tantalising prospect.

Private without being isolated, it comes to market at €675,000, a nice price for more than 5,000sq ft of living space.

Its equivalent in the city would run to well over €1 million, with six bedrooms and enough bathrooms and ensuites to leave no excuse for not getting out in time in the morning.

Mishells, named after its townland, is an elevated site, with sweeping pastoral panoramics from every angle.

It was built in the mid-’80s to accommodate a growing family and there’s no doubt kids would love it.

It has oodles of space and the perfect layout for all sorts of childhood delights — two separate staircases and interlinked rooms make it perfect for hide-and-seek, chasing, staging dramas on a first floor internal balcony, with plenty of scope for musical accompaniment if you fancy installing a grand piano in the hallway, as the previous owners did.

There’s also a small piano room leading onto a cosy family room should you wish to hear the youngsters tinkling while you toast your toes by a stone fireplace with fitted stove.

The kitchen is a nice nod to well-to-do country living with a giant cream four-oven AGA, double Belfast sinks and an island unit with gleaming timber top, big enough for a family the size of the von Trapp’s.

It’s best feature however is that it opens out onto a lovely tiled conservatory which in turn opens out onto a south-facing patio — and those gloriously bucolic views — a prime site for a leisurely Sunday morning coffee armed with a good read.

Exit stage left from the kitchen and you enter the formal dining room which has a large south-facing window — and yes, you’ve guessed — undulating green fields as far as the eye can see.

The dining room has large sliding double doors that lead into a rather formal, but comfortable drawing room with large marble fireplace, an extra-high vaulted ceiling and another south-facing window.

You can imagine it as the scene of many an entertaining evening, with ample space to accommodate a substantial number of guests.

The entrance hall, a combination of tiled and carpet floor covering, is another ample space (that grand piano!) from which to access a solid wooden staircase that leads to the aforementioned open balcony.

The landing area to the right of the staircase has multiple storage opportunities, as indeed do the hallways, the utility room (bigger than my kitchen), the tack room — I could go on.

Basically, no matter how much you’ve accumulated over the years — you’ll probably find a home for it in Mishells.

The bedrooms could cause a stampede if a family with kids old enough to appreciate views/ensuites/wardrobe space end up as new owners.

The master bedroom, with, another, yes, south-facing window, is, well, masterful, leading into a large en suite with double sinks, corner bath, electric shower, etc.

A double bedroom to the rear of the house also has an en suite. Both en suites are carpeted, which may not suit modern tastes, but the main bathroom on the landing is tiled. There is also a downstairs shower room.

All of the bedrooms, bar one, can accommodate doubles or two singles.

One room would probably come under the heading of “box room” but not in the modern sense.

A second staircase on the other side of the landing leads down into the back hallway.

This area opens into the utility room, with tiled floor, lots of storage and plumbed for washing machine and dryer. Downstairs also houses a study and a tack room.

Why the need for a tack room? Well, this is a property that sits on 3.5 acres and includes a paddock, just the tonic for trading in the playstation in favour of ponies and the great outdoors.

Indeed horse-riding was a particular passion of the previous occupants if the photos on show are anything to go by.

While the paddock area is untamed as you’d expect, much of the grounds are expertly landscaped, with bountiful mature shrubberies .

If gardening is your thing, there’s plenty here to keep you occupied.

The patio area is extensive and another feature of the garden is a series of stone steps leading to more elevated views. There is plenty of parking, including the provision of a car port.

There’s no doubt Mishells is a well maintained property although there is scope for updating some of the internal fixtures, depending on your taste and your wallet. If you’re content with a mid-’80s vibe, not much is required.

Central heating is oil-fired and there’s a boiler house outside together with more storage areas.

The house is 4km north of Bandon town and 8km west of Crossbarry, the scene of that famous War of Independence ambush in March 1921 when about 100 IRA volunteers outwitted 10 times the number of British military.

VERDICT: Mishells is a half-hour drive from Cork city and even less in the opposite direction, towards Clonakilty, west Cork and all those fabulous beaches. There are also plenty of schools nearby to chose from, for whatever family opts to make this their home.

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