Delightful haven that’s as pretty as a postcard

Rose Martin is impressed with Glenn Árd, in delightful Castletownshend.

EVEN on the dreariest of days, you won’t find a more delightful setting than that of the Glenn Árd development, at Castletownshend, Co Cork.

It has the kind of pastoral position beloved of Sunday painters, postcard printers and advertising executives — soft rolling fields with the spire of St Barrahane’s church in the distance and the glimmer of the sea beyond.

This spot is a tranquil haven — an 18th century landscape where mobile phone coverage is dodgy and where west Cork time truly prevails.

Yes, Glenn ÁArd is a new development and the citizens of Castletownshend fought tooth and nail to prevent the march of the Tiger. To say they failed would be to stir the mud at the base of this particular pond — the developments came but with a restraint that matches the low-key nature of this historic part of Carbery.

The scheme, developed by Skibbereen businessman, Noel O’Driscoll, slots into a rocky outcrop on the rim of the village.

Further up the access road, (Glenn Árd is near the end of a cul-de-sac), Fleming Construction’s The Lawn, is set for a 40-plus house extension oin a site that’s tucked behind stone walls, but with pedestrian access to Castletownshend. Development won’t happen at this end. Cattle may safely graze the grassy mounds of The Lawn, because this green belt is preserved in the county development plan.

Glenn Árd has eight, stone houses with teak windows, all variations on a theme in an every-which-way layout.

There are just three houses left; no 1 at €750,000, no 2 at €700,000 and no 8 at €1.2 million.

No 8 has a full acre site with an elaborate raised patio, looking south over the sea, accessed by an engineered bridge from the first floor. There’s nothing predictable here. R: rooms connect into one another in farmhouse style and there’s one central hallway from the main entrance.

Windows are hand-made locally, in teak and the south/west facing conservatory is also custom-made.

The main living room rises to cathedral ceilings, finished in sheeted pine, with big pine beams used to support the roof — again, all hand cut.

There’s a mixture of woods — the kitchen’s in oak, as are the floors; windows are teak and the interior joinery is a mix of deal and salvaged pitch pine.

The living room is a big space,: around 20’ by 15’ and it’s dominated by a huge inglenook fireplace, framed in massive beams. It has double doors to the sunroom which has a perfect south/west aspect and good space at 15’ by 12’.

The kitchen diner is as big as the living room. They are divided only by the chimney breast. A minstrel’s gallery, which could function as a handy office/ music room, is overhead.

There are five bedrooms spread over two floors, with three ensuite rooms and three bathrooms, all offering good space. The master also comes with a wooden balcony with superb views.

Outside there is an acre of landscaped grounds, two feature fibreglass donkeys and a cart and that long, arched bridge leading to a viewing platform/deck which looks out over The League and Castletowshend harbour.

Liam Hodnett of SWS Property Services and Maeve McCarthy of Charles McCarthy Auctioneers are joint agents for Glenn Árd.


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