When, at the end of the trail leading to this property, you find a Winchester rifle on the gate and a sign saying Longmire Ranch, you know you’re in the Wild West.
Location: Drimoleague, West Cork
Size: 150 sq m (1,614 sq ft)
It’s not the wilds of West Cork as we are accustomed to seeing them, but a rural homestead near Drimoleague with modifications made by a UK owner who collects antique weapons and Native American artifacts and gives training courses on bushcraft and wilderness survival.
When the survivalist and his wife purchased the 18th century stone farmhouse four years ago, it had already been sympathetically renovated and extended.
With timber ceiling rafters, shutters and flooring, and a huge old stone fireplace with a stove, it had all the traditional charm and character they had been looking for, in addition to four acres of land for growing crops, keeping horses, and conducting survival training.
“Our only problem was the name — it was called Fuschia Cottage which wasn’t at all suitable,” says the owner, pointing out that it is very definitely a farmhouse, not a cottage.
He borrowed the name Longmire from a favourite TV western series, and, because he wanted to keep Appaloosa horses, called it a ranch.
The main change the owners, who appropriately enough has the surname Hunt, made to the old farmhouse was to add a modern kitchen.
Another was to painstakingly rebuild a long stone wall out front which had previously been demolished.
An ex-arms dealer turned bushcraft instructor, who can also weld and built yachts, Mr Hunt, made the Longmire Ranch name sign for the gate — crafting it to look like a Winchester rifle.
“The gun has got a lot of attention — everyone who calls comments,” he says. It’s likely that the ‘Beware of the Wolf’ sign underneath also raises a few eyebrows.
Inside the house and over the old stone fireplace in the living room, Mr Hunt hung two (deactivated) Winchester rifles and a 250-year-old tomahawk which is part of his collection of Native American artifacts.
In other rooms there are antique saddles dating back to the 1870s, Native American baskets, as well as survivalist tools including fishing rods and bows and arrows.
The main room is a 25ft-long timber-floored sitting room with exposed ceiling rafters, and a huge old stone fireplace with a stove, a log pile, and some guns. Antique radiators and shuttered windows add to the period feel.
The kitchen situated in an extension at the side, has cream units, a centre island as well as ceiling rafters and antique radiators.
Up on the first floor there’s a bathroom and three timber-floored bedrooms. The largest one is a vaulted ceiling with exposed beams while the other two have timber-panelled ceilings.
The smallest one is a den filled with books, old photos, and sundry Wild West artifacts.
Outside there’s a garage/studio, and a polytunnel which the owners have used to grow a variety of vegetables and some Native American crops. There’s also a large natural pond which attracts ducks and other wildlife.
Set against a scenic background of forested hills, Longmire Ranch looks out on to rolling green hills at the front.
Located 5km north of Drimoleague, the property is alongside a walking trail which leads to Sheep’s Head.
Seeking offers of €235,000, auctioneer Pat Maguire says this is a unique getaway from the world property.
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