Fire crews are desperately trying to tackle a blaze at the historic Vernon Mount, writes Stephen Rogers.
The house, which was built in around 1790 and has panoramic views over the lower Lee Valley and estuary has been engulfed with flames which have spread through the property.
Emergency services got the call to the blaze in what is now a derelict building shortly before 10pm.
When the initial crews arrived on scene it quickly became obvious that a number of units would be needed.
According to Cork Past and Present, an online service of Cork City Libraries, since the mid-20th century, the condition of the house has deteriorated, mainly due to wood rot, roof damage, rain ingress, and vandalism.
Occasional efforts have been undertaken by Cork County Council to arrest the decline.
“The unique curvilinear façade of Vernon Mount marks this house out among other great houses,” it says.
“The interior included another unusual feature on the first floor: an oval atrium with eight Corinthian columns, leading to doors painted with trompe-l’oeil imagery. The interiors were also very distinctive and included ceilings decorated with paintings on canvas by Nathaniel Grogan, the Cork landscape painter.”
A piece by the Grange Frankfield Partnership on vernonmountpark.ie referring the condition of the house in 2014, said that "until very recently the house was in a perilous state with slates missing from the roof and evidence of other incipient deterioration".
"Through the intervention of Cork County Council, assisted by the State’s Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, a major renewal of the roofing was undertaken by the public bodies in November 2012. "
However, it expressed concern about the condition of the interior which, it said, had not been seen since 2008.