House of the week: Crosshaven, Cork Harbour

Pictures: Ted Murphy

NAMED after the fictional Elven location Rivendell, in several of the creative works of JRR Tolkien, including The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, is this entirely down to earth, well-built and solidly anchored family home, in Cork harbour’s Crosshaven.

Set above the boatyard site and just off the Camden Road, looking west along the Owenabue estuary over massed masts and many millions of euros worth of berthed boats, this Rivendelle dates not to the second age of Middle Earth, but to 1996, when its current owners bought a double site, next to the Ardcross Crosshaven development of bungalows.

That double site, handily, meant a double access too, both from within Ardcross itself, and also from the narrow road and hill, leading out to Graball Bay, within an easy uphill and down dale walk.

And, most recently, as trading down time beckoned for the owners of Rivendelle, who built here over 20 years ago, full planning was granted two years ago for a second, detached 1,750 sq ft two-storey which could be accessed from the Grabball Bay road end.

Now, though, rather than build and move in right alongside, the decision is made to sell Rivendelle and the site with FPP, all in one offer, and to let any new owners and occupants decide whether or or not to build, to keep untouched, or to consider all options for themselves at some future date.

So, the entire is up for the taking, on a lovely landscaped half acre, in one of Crosshaven’s best viewing settings.

Rivendelle is priced at €585,000 by estate agent Michael O’Donovan of Savills, in Cork city, and he says he expects trading up interest locally, and from Carrigaline, as well as inquiries from further afield given the lifestyle and maritime amenities on offer in and around well-served Crosshaven.

It’s essentially a wide, and deep, dormer build, with a very effective floor plan: not only does it have bedrooms and bathrooms on each of its two levels, but it also has living quarters top and bottom, as well as a first floor viewing balcony, latterly added to one of its upstairs bedrooms.

Officially, Rivendelle measures up at just shy of 2,700 sq ft, so isn’t massively big, but it’s certainly not small. However it manages it, it feels larger and more accommodating than its measurement suggests, and it also manages to get in, mid-ships, an excellent hall and part-galleried landing, with light oak staircase with three feature swan-neck turns in the hand rail as well as ‘monkey’s tail’ baluster end, with some top quality solid oak joinery to match elsewhere, including its front door.

Right now, it has two first floor bedrooms, both double aspect east-west, but the one on the left (with single, glazed door access to the railed balcony) was refashioned from two smaller ones, and their divide is easily re-instated, should any new owner so wish.

The master bedroom’s at the far end, with en suite bathroom and a walk-thru’ wardrobe/dressing area, and this level also has a main, family bathroom. Plus, there’s a deep, bow-windowed living room/studio, a bit like the bridge of a small ship, with garden, Crosshaven, river and marina views, along with the domed mount of Currabinny woods towards the north.

Downstairs the flow of rooms impresses: to the right of the hall is a lounge, with the same generous window bow as the room overhead, this room has an excellent and unusual quality wood fire surround, and links to a dining room.

The run of rooms continues back into the far end of the hall, next to a set of splayed doors, one leading to a cosy, double-aspect family room with antique fireplace, and another leading to a double aspect kitchen/dining room, with original, bullet-proof ORM kitchen in solid pine.

Tucked away off the kitchen is a large utility/pantry, and off the hall at this kitchen end too, overlooking the back patio and a very old farmhouse up over a far back boundary, are a study, and a WC.

Across the hall to the other end, meanwhile, back past the central staircase and inset electric fire surround, are two ground floor bedrooms, fore and aft (the nautical bearings are appropriate, as the family are into their boats and the sea), as well as a shower room. Rivendelle’s overall condition as it comes towards its 25th year is excellent, and its external finishes such as brick and wall-hung tiles on the bow window will help keep maintenance at an easy level.

For many who come to view, even some changes of paint colour may suffice to make it feel theirs, and the half acre gardens are extremely well planted and landscaped, getting year-round colour and interest, with a dolmen-sized hefty feature arch for clematis and other climbers made from rail sleepers. The package, which includes a corner site with three years left on its planning for a second, 1, 730 sq ft dwelling, includes at its far side a detached 290 sq ft garage/dinghy store, and the water’s edge in Crosshaven is just a couple of hundred metres away.

VERDICT: Well-designed and delivered, Rivendelle’s likely to be a bit of a Tolkien point

Crosshaven, Cork Harbour


Size: 250 sq m (2,676 sq ft)

Bedrooms: 4/5

Bathrooms: 4

BER: Pending

Best Feature: Size and site

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