This endearing upside-down house with split-level garden radiates a fairytale appeal, says Catherine Shanahan
Appearing older than our years is not a look any of us cultivates, but the reverse is often true of houses where would-be owners yearn for an old-world charm with modern comforts.
Cultra Lodge is one such home whose outward appearance belies its tender years.
Just 13 years old, it harks back to earlier centuries, built to sit sympathetically with the 19th century Cultra House, the main residence on the same site at Lower Road, Cobh.
New to market, selling agent Johanna Murphy of Johanna Murphy and Sons Estate Agents, describes the property as both “charismatic” and “magical” and it certainly radiates a sort of fairytale appeal.
Adding to the general attractiveness is a delightful split-level garden and glorious views out over Cork Harbour, taking in Haulbowline naval base.
Johanna says the original Cultra House, in whose grounds the Lodge sits, was built in 1850 for the Royal Admiralty and even contained a ballroom.
That went by the wayside in the mid-noughties when the house was converted into a series of one-bed and two-bed apartments that set themselves apart from modern-day offerings by retaining many original features such as high ceilings and large sash windows.
The look of the Lodge is in no way at odds with the main residence and it has the benefit of coming in under the same management company as the apartments, which, as Johanna points out, means bins and garden and insurance are all taken care of.
This service comes at a cost of c.€750-€800 a year.
Inside the Lodge’s striking red front door, is a spacious entrance hall with doors leading off to two double bedrooms (one ensuite) and a bathroom. It’s what we call an “upside-down” house, where the main living space is on the first floor to capitalise on the wonderful views.
A living room, fitted kitchen and dining/sitting room occupy this space, with a back door leading from the dining room to a private rear terrace. The dining room has a wood-burning stove.
“There are so many nooks and crannies, this house is really endearing,” Johanna says.
She is keen to point out that it has planning for an internal platform lift in the hall “that can bring you to the landing” to cater for any would-be buyer with reduced mobility. That same landing has a spacious airing cupboard, Johanna says.
Outside, there are steps at the side of the property leading to a utility room complete with washing machine/dryer and “plenty storage space for a bicycle”.
There is also a driveway with plenty parking inside this gated complex, as well as a front terrace.
Johanna says it’s ideally suited to anyone keen on downsizing or looking for a bolthome or holiday home. It may also attract retirees.
“It’s a really safe environment and it’s in a great location, just a five minute walk from the train station. And the views are terrific. Plus it’s a house of great calibre for anyone looking to downsize,” Johanna says.
Houses on this stretch of road in Cobh are highly sought after, she adds, with the town all the time improving its cachet, currently through the construction of a new marina.
Johanna says Cultra Lodge is alarmed, has oil central heating, wooden double-glazed windows and plantation shutters.
“It’s a really nice buy and well worth viewing”.
VERDICT: A storybook charm that could end with your name in the title.