You can be sitting pretty in this elevated St Luke’s Cross area period home, writes Tommy Barker.
ONE by one, the solidly Edwardian houses in the terrace of seven comprising Knocklaun Terrace are being upgraded, and ‘regentrified’: they really do have a sense of being aloof, aloft, above Cork’s reinvigorated St Luke’s Cross and the city end of the Ballyhooley Road.
Right now, two on this winsome terrace are actively on the city’s property market, the side-by-side Nos 2 & 3.
In terms of interior condition and presentation, they’re quite ‘chalk and cheese’, and some €95,000 in price separates the immaculate No 2, at €395,000 and the more original state No 2, priced at €300,000, and which has been on the market since early this year.
The selling agent of the do-er up at 3, Knocklaun Terrace, Christy Ryan, observes that the some of this elegant row was used as one of the many composite sets for the filming of Alan Parker’s take on writer Frank McCourt’s Limerick misery memoir, Angela’s Ashes, which also filmed around the lanes of Cork’s Barrack Street, in Dublin, in Ardmore Studios and in Limerick itself.
However, it looked back in 1999, fast-forward to 2019 and there’s no way the interiors of No 2 Knocklaun would get to feature in such a grim depiction, though.
It’s bright and breezy, upbeat, upgraded, extended, has a new and enlarged kitchen, top-notch wash rooms and a master bedroom en suite, is all hushed up by triple glazed sash windows up front, and is all ready for its next owners to rock on up to, and into.
Listed this month with auctioneers Andrew Moore & Co, No 2 Knocklaun Terrace is an early 1900s beauty, primed for easy city living, with 1,840 sq ft over its three levels, has added comfort factors since it last changed hands back in 2016, and is already impressing on its earliest viewings.
Back in 2016, it sold for a reported €270,000, according to the Price Register which lists its address as ‘Knocklawn,’ and No 5 in the same terrace sold in the market’s doldrums, in 2013, for €295,000. No 5 featured extensively here at the time, and has been further heavily invested in by its current owners, who’ve put black decking outside their front bay window for evening time sun-soaking and sitting out.
Making use of their front gardens is a relatively private affair for residents on Knocklaun’s terrace in any case, as it’s set well off up above the Ballyhooley Road, reached by a flight of about 20 broad, stone steps, past a guardian gate.
The pedestrian access-only is a positive in this privacy regard, but does of course mean it’s a bit more effort getting up buggies, shopping and other stuff up to the front door (also brand new) by hand: your Fitbit, fitness tracker or overall physical good health will acknowledge the modest extra effort, however.
And, St Luke’s Cross itself is a minute further away from Knocklaun’s gate, while the city centre’s a ten minute downhill ramble, or a 15 minutes back up again trek. Local resident, auctioneer Andy Moore notes: “St Luke’s is a great place to live, it’s communal, mature and only a brisk stroll into town, the village has a good vibe, with butcher, shop, bar, cafe, chemist, schools etc. all to hand, and there’s a regular bus route, if you don’t want to walk back up from town.”
When Mr Moore last sold No 2, it was for a large family who’d adapted it for an older family member, and this time around, it’s back more or less reinstated to how its original layout would have been, albeit with a much larger and brighter rear kitchen, fresh and nearly professional in its delivery.
It’s complete with modern painted units, and lots of them, solid oak worktop on the island, has a deep ceramic sink and a range cooker, with overhead Velux windows.
There’s access via a pantry to private courtyard, whose back wall is the original, hewn out sandstone bluff, with the houses of The Crescent, off Gardiners Hill even higher up behind.
Internally, the best of the original features have been kept: the hall, with its internal arch, still has its original encaustic tiled floor, the reception rooms for and aft have sanded old pine floors (as do most of the four bedrooms), and original fireplaces plus picture rails, and pretty much all of No 2’s internal doors are the originals, in old pine, stripped back and waxed and buffed.
Other time and effort went into new bathrooms (three loos, in all, including a guest WC under the stairs); the original half landing/return layout of bathroom and separate WC has now been joined into one, larger and more luxurious main bathroom, with freestanding bath and separate corner shower, while an en suite (also with shower and Oro enclosure) and adjacent wardrobe were inserted into the first floor’s front-facing master bedroom: a section of the room’s original picture rail was put back in then, to lessen the visual impact on the room, which also has a fireplace and two triple-glazed sash windows.
The current owners, now moving on with young family just started and a house restoration fully completed, also added to the insulation, put in a new gas boiler, re-skimmed walls where needed, installed new rads and a whole lot more, but their diligent efforts won’t be recorded in an improved BER, as it’s an exempted property and thus doesn’t get ‘official’ vindication of its energy efficiency upgrades.
Interestingly, this Edwardian period era terrace overlooks three A-rated contemporary c 1,800 sq ft three-bed new builds across the Ballyhooley Road, designed by Kiosk Architects, which sold in short order at the start of 2019 for prices in the mid-€500ks, to buyers keen of the up and coming ‘settled’ suburban St Luke’s Cross location.
Expecting a similar level of appeal to viewers keen on the area’s charm, convenience and period home integrity, estate agent Andy Moore observes that No 2 “has recently undergone both a complete remedial and decorative transformation.
2The original and ornate decorative features of the period of its construction have been retained, as the house was transformed to facilitate all of the expected and up-market required standards of 2019. It is in turn-key condition,” he adds.
VERDICT: No 2 Knocklaun may not be long on the market.
St Luke’s Cross, Cork City €395,000
Size: 171 sq m (1,840 sq ft) Bedrooms: 4