Tommy Barker on the many plusses of a detached family home in a wooded setting overlooking Drake’s Pool.
It took a while, but Cork’s two principal local authorities have belatedly embraced the greater Cork area’s geographical and topographical blessings, such as the wonderful Lee Valley, the river Lee’s progress through the city, and its many and beautiful harbour fringes.
Always a maritime city with global links over the seas, Cork now also for amenity and lifestyle reasons is acting on its old quays, river bank walks like the Lee Fields, and adapting and repurposing old railway lines.
An early and enthusiastic adapter to this healthy lifestyle drive was the harbour walk from Carrigaline to Crosshaven, along the Owenabue estuary, following the original train line’s level and accessible outline to its cul de sac terminus by the sea at ‘Crosser.’
And, without doubt, its absolute most scenic setting is the deeply wooded stretch, on both sides of the Owenabue, at tranquil Drakes Pool. It’s so called as, centuries’ ago, Francis Drake is reputed to have hidden from a pursuing Spanish Armada in this bend and tidal tuck of the river, which is now a safe and secure home to moored craft and some old timber classic yachts, all year around, swinging in the ebbing and flowing tides between mud flats.
Overlooking Drakes Pool, with limited visibility down to it enhanced in winter when massed trees thin their screening, is this spacious family home, 9 Brookwood, a detached timber-frame buid on a woodland site of 1.4 acres, and south-facing at the back.
It’s one of just 11 one-off, gloriously sited homes built since the early 1990s on land which once formed part of the sprawling 800 acre Aghamarta Estate, which rounded southwards from this estuary-fringing entry way to Crosshaven, back to Fountainstown and the sea.
A planning condition at the time when this ‘ocean’s eleven’ were granted planning was that a contribution be made to the now-hugely popular amenity walk which, it’s recalled, had been started entirely by enthusiastic voluntary effort, before its possibilities were embraced and delivered upon by Cork County Council.
Since first developed, there’s only been a handful of resales among the 11, which range in size from decent, to extravagant.
Two recent-enough resales show up on the Price Register with a Brookwood address at €500,000, and €600,000, and before that the 4,000 sq ft high-end No 6, Croí na Coille was a top seller, making €805,000 within weeks of going to market in 2015 with Lisney.
Now, No 9 Brookwood is a 2019 downsizing ‘test the waters’ market launch, and it’s a good, 2,840 sq ft five bed (including a granny flat) detached, guided at €595,000 by Carrigaline estate agent Michael Pigott, with its accommodation ranged over two/three internal and half levels.
Mr Pigott says it’s ideal for a new family of occupants, for those looking to care for older relatives, or for independent younger ones, and also offer possibilities and scope to work from home, with some minor divide and ‘commute’ between domestic and vocational duties.
It’s got a good spec, especially for its time, with three en suite bedrooms (five bathrooms in all), and has timber-framed double glazed windows, oil central heating, and a C1 BER.
It’s set in by the very end of the Brookwood cul de sac, on the right, with access to Brookwood only through electric access gates set back above the main Crosshaven road.
This setting means that it gains from a southerly rear aspect with expanse of decking, overlooking or at least with glimpses of farmland as well as woodland for diversity and light, and neighbours down the years report many sightings of wildlife that include squirrels, deer and even a majestic stag.