TRUE Georgian era houses of stature on the Ring of Kerry are a bit of a rarity, and so Scart House near Castlecove is in rather an exclusive league in one of the country’s most scenic areas.
Distinctive in style, yet modest enough in stature despite having 5,000 sq ft of living space, it has been a restoration and labour of love by its German/Irish owners Karlheinz Bohm and Claire Blake-Bohm for the past decade and a half.
Scart dates back to the 1820s, and was built by a member of the Jermyn family, whose boat-building skills are said to be still evident in the quality of timber roofing. Only two of the roof timbers had to be replaced when the 7,000 natural roof slates were replaced in 1995.
The on-going conservation work at Scart earned the occupants/vendors a variety of merit recognition awards in the late 1990s. Karlheinz is a stone carver, and the couple put their own strong imprint into the house, comparing its restoration process to the steady application of effort and vision needed to build cathedrals.
They are moving to France with their family, and reluctantly putting Scart House up for sale as it is too big for them to keep on merely as an occasional Irish base.
Estate agent Michael H Daniels, who specialises in country homes, is selling the unique Kerry home on its one and a half acre site at €985,000, and stresses its essential quality, setting and views, with well-proportioned rooms with ornate plasterwork detailing.
“Some further works will be required to complete the restoration,” he advises. The aspect is southerly, the setting sublime, between Sneem and Derrynane, 100 yards or so from Castlecove village, while there are boat moorings at Westcove.
The local estate was the birthplace of James Franklin Fuller, a Victorian architect associated with buildings as Great Southern Hotels at Parknasilla and Kenmare, as well as Ashford Castle and Kylemore Abbey in Connaught.
Services to Scart House (such as phone and ESB lines) have been put underground to keep the house’s approach avenue uncluttered, and the stone piers and cast iron gates all set the right tone of age and appropriateness, while the two-storey-plus attic house is capped with Valentia slate. The more imposing entry point is up exterior steps to a first floor fan-lit doorway, in a recessed bay between side gabled projections.
Heavy work done includes new concrete floors at the lower level, a ring of exterior drainage. New sash windows need to be fitted.
The vendors are steeped in the house’s past, both distant and recent, and say they are prepared to do a lot of the required finishing work to a buyer’s requirements.
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