This renovated residence in a historic part of Cobh is a real captain’s choice, reports Kya deLongchamps.
Agents champion the properties on their books but it is clear that Number 1 Prospect Villas in Rusbhrooke, Cobhe, is a house that Johanna Murphy admires. This is her second time representing the residence and she says: “It’s not just gorgeous — now, it’s future-proofed!”
It’s a deftly renovated, semi-detached home with mesmerising views over to Monkstown. Built in the 19th century and set over three floors, No.1 formed half of an elegant pair in Lord Rushbrook’s Estate — a gentrified folio of prestigious accommodation for the exacting society round of the Royal Admiralty.
Now, with the fabric, utilities and energy efficiencies Bristol fashion, it’s ready for anything a 21st-century family has to weather. The house faces proudly south west. In a historic district with limestone stair approaches to precipitously terraces and manors, No 1 offers two pedestrian accesses. Best of all, there also a true (and rare) driveway.
One wicket gate leads directly off Bunker Hill and another gate is set at the bottom of the garden (an aromatic micro-climate). There are four outbuildings, an intimate courtyard, and potential for growth in a suite of billowing planting, brick paths and lawn.
Throughout the grounds are further electrical feeds for further lighting design. Beyond the original front door with its delicate lunette/fan light, the choice of encaustic tiles presents an exquisite attention to detail and finish noticed in every circulation space and room.
The thermally upgraded one-over-one timber sash windows are now warm and draught sealed — still flanked by their defensive, period shutters. The elegant cornicing and ceiling roses have been preserved, and together with the correct fireplaces, these centuries old elements sit lightly within beautifully handled contemporary decisions in décor and flow.
There are two stately reception rooms, one with two generous sash windows, the other with a bay window ingesting light and views. Recessed doors divide the rooms and are in perfect working order.
The kitchen on the garden side of the house leads to a hall and back-door and has been opened to the dining-room with a set of appropriate double-doors. The fresh china blue and white scheme channels the sky and sea of a maritime place.
Fitted, painted Shaker units with cup handles are a perfect country kitchen classic for the time we live, cook and entertain in. The large format, rectified tiles are a well considered modern nudge that nestles comfortably in a high Victorian look-book.
Upstairs (the monumental arched window with coloured glass margins are an event) are three double bedrooms, one ensuite, and a family bathroom. The second floor delivers two more state-rooms with a fourth bathroom at the second fix stage, ready to take the new owner’s choice in sanitary ware.
Soul stirring atmosphere aside, the comfort performance is perceptible and impressive. The owners have drilled down on the vital energy and service challenges they bought into with No 1.
The house has been totally re-plumbed and rewired and features a pressurised, sealed central heating system (oil-fired) with four zoned loops to traditional cast iron radiators, finessed by digital controls. Addressing the demands of coastal life, a moisture proof coating-system with a 15-year warranty was installed to the external walls in 2017.
The top dormer rooms are snug in internal, insulated plasterboard. The living-room fireplace stages a wood stove, and two working fireplaces were upgraded with an internally lined chimney.
Rushbrook train station is a two minute descent from your raised garden beds with Cobh town hosting shopping, dining, a library, good schools, a tennis club, and even a sailing club within a downhill, salty 10-minute stroll.VERDICT: A handsome, warm, rest-of-your-lifetime buy, cloaked in coastal heritage charm.