Trish Dromey visits a Cork farmhouse with an attached apartment and some extra pooled resources.
THE scenic views may be what you would expect from a renovated farmhouse in a forest near Ballingeary — but the indoor swimming pool and the eight-foot-long snake will possibly come as a bit of a surprise to viewers.
Alongside the farmhouse, in a timber cabin, the UK owners have installed a compact 12’ by 15’ heated pool which has a machine which creates a current and allows the user to swim on the spot.
“It’s great for exercise and for relaxation — we made lots of friends the year we got the pool”, says the owner, adding that it has also been great for swimming parties for her grandchildren.
Smitten by the scenic setting, the owners purchased the old farmhouse 13 years ago.
“Our daughter found the property for us when she came here on a holiday. We loved the views and when we moved in first we could see the lakes as well as the forest, but trees have grown higher since then.”
Probably built over a hundred years ago, the property had been renovated by previous owners and, as a major attraction for its current owners, had three acres of land, mostly pasture but with some woodland, a few streams, a pond and a collection of outhouses.
They converted an attached hay barn into a one-bed apartment which they called it Bothán na Sicíní (chicken shed). They have regularly rented this out to holidaymakers from the UK. The couple also built a twin aviary for the owls which belonged to their grandson, who is also the owner of the snake and a few other animals which are not traditionally found on a farm, although they did at one point also keep chickens.
They now need to downsize to something smaller and more manageable than a four-bed property, so the couple have put both The Farmhouse and the attached Bothán na Sicíní on the market with a guide of €220,000.
Selling agents Sherry FitzGerald Hinchion says the property is charming, and that the location is idyllic for a buyer looking to get away from hustle and bustle of urban living.
The converted farmhouse and apartment have in the region of 1,700 sq ft of space. This includes a tiled conservatory with a timber-panelled ceiling at the front, as well as a large open plan kitchen/dining/sitting room with pine rafters, a cast-iron stove and timber kitchen units. An open-tread timber staircase leads to the first floor which has a bathroom and four timber- floored bedrooms including one en suite.
Bothán na Sicíní, the guest apartment, has an en-suite bedroom as well as a kitchen with fitted units and a traditional half door.
Close to the house there’s an old stone outhouse used for storage, and two or three timber sheds, a barn and the aviary. The raised swimming pool is housed in a log cabin. Set on a concrete base, the cabin and pool were fitted in just two days by a company from Donegal.
“We use night-rate electricity to heat the water, which stays warm all day — it’s 30 degrees, just like a bath,” says the owner.
Mr Hinchion believes that the farmhouse and its scenic sylvan setting may well attract another buyer from the UK.
Located at Rath an Ghaiscig, the property is 5km from Ballingeary, and is accessed by taking a turn off the Ballingeary Road and travelling along a roadway through the forest for a kilometre and a half.
VERDICT: Scenic farmhouse with an unexpected pool.
Ballingeary, Co Cork
Sq m 158 (1,700)
Bedrooms: 4 & 1
Bathrooms: 2 & 1
Best Feature: a few surprises along the way
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