A city centre treasure trove

IT mightn’t be “the only Aga on the northside,” as its owner once humorously quipped, but the old range cooker midships here certainly helps anchor 35 Popes Quay to its past.

Likely to date to the late 1700s, this Cork city centre No 35 on the northside quays by St Mary’s Church and under Shandon Steeple is a bit of a surprise. In fact, it’s currently a treasure trove, home to urban and urbane magpie collector with a keen eye.

It was bought about 15 years ago, when urban gentrification and renewal started to gain a bit of traction.

Back then, the Shandon area was reckoned to be the next Montmartre, but the southern city’s cautious burghers are only slowly appreciating the conveniences of having every city amenity on your doorstep.

The last few years have seen a smart new Shandon Walk pedestrian bridge crossing over the River Lee’s north channel from the Coal Quay, now with its expensive paving almost complete and visually a huge improvement.

That new bridge leads directly to a red-brick-paved lane up to Shandon Steeple, Cork’s skyline icon.

No 35 Pope’s Quay is all about location, and views. Views outside to the river, quays, churches, steeples and bridges, and inside (despite the clutter) there’s quite long view to be taken as well. Duck around to the left of the entrance door and you can see the house going on, and on, and on, in almost four sections, stretching back perhaps 50’ from the front wall at ground level.

This extra depth has meant that No 35 has packed in up to 90 guests for house drinks parties (visitors say the ‘First Fridays’ can be legendary) and the dining section off the fairly swish kitchen can seat 12.

Estate agent Conor Smith of Kevin O’Sullivan Estates is seeking new owners for the eccentric No 35, and seeking offers around €265,000, for its three floors of accommodation, three bedrooms and three bathrooms, and a happy, higgledy-piggledy layout which – the owner insists – is a big improvement on the earlier layout of small rooms and corridors.

So, the ground floor of this c 1,300 sq ft city home is, open plan (even if the evidence of the photos might suggest otherwise,) with reception rooms to the very front, and back. In the middle, the true hearth of the home, is a chef-friendly kitchen, with Aga (which also heats water), electric hob, granite worktops, and solid hardwood units. Those units, in a mix of oak and tanninised oak, were purpose made by Handmade Kitchens to match the quantity of dark, mostly mahogany, antique furniture on display here, such as the set of French dining tables.

The first floor is now a bedroom/study combined, with a dressing room, and en suite bathroom, with a rear lobby opening to a greened-in roof garden which catches random and evening sun. That roof garden, over the rear 17’ by 8’ family room, has steps down to a small compact courtyard garden, with water feature, overlooked by the family room itself, which has a feature Godin oil stove in a brick surround.

Though there’s oil central heating, there are fireplaces scattered about showing traces of earlier room layouts, and the main run of stairs has been reversed to make the spaces flow a bit more. This place is fairly choc-a-bloc – minimalism hasn’t managed to get a look in yet, though it might in its next ownership.


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