Back to front, and sideways on, the family home called Trinity Manse, on a genteel section of Cork city’s Glasheen Road, is an intriguing home, of character, charm, and history.
Size: 263 sq m (2,835 sq ft)
It dates to 1909, its most attractive ‘front’ elevation is around to the back, overlooking a sun-trap private back garden.
Its main entrance is to the side, through a lovely porch with opulent-coloured stained glass windows, and it has a utility room entrance to the, eh, well, it must be back at the ‘other’ front, there when you come in to park, off the city end of the Glasheen Road.
Confused? Not once you’ve visited. It all makes sense when trying to get the best of southerly light, and overall privacy, with high-hedged landscaped back garden, complete with pond structure, thought to occupy a spot which once housed a WWll bomb shelter.
Set near the junction with Hartlands Avenue which runs towards the Lough’s wildfowl sanctuary, Trinity Manse was owned in its earliest days by UCC, when it carried the house Slemish.
Occupant then was the geography department’s Prof Isaac Swain, in residence from 1909 to 1944. He had no more than a five minute stroll to his workplace.
Next to own it was the Presbyterian Church, attached to the Holy Trinity Church on Summerhill North (now with its limestone structure magnificently cleaned up, though its spire is still a bit crooked!), and that link gave it its new, and current name, Trinity Manse.
Owner then was a Reverend Graham Cooke, who had been a missionary in Asia during World War 11, becoming a prisoner of war in Japan for a spell. Subsequently, from 1954, a Rev Tom Blakely resided here, and after he died in 1973 it was rented for a period, sometimes to UCC staff.
It was bought as a family home 30 years ago by its current owners, in their child bearing and rearing years, and with that job of work done, they are looking to downsize to a smaller city home, as they have the back-up of a West Cork peninsula summer home and a boat for fishing when they want ‘big skies’.
(Their lovely, sun-basking back garden backs onto Lapps Court, a hidden-away retirement community, but they feel too young yet for that ‘over the hedge’ jump, they want another house adventure, once sold up here on so-convenient Glasheen Road.)
They bought Trinity Manse 30 years ago from Hugh McPhillips of Marshs Auctioneers, and they have him back again to reprise his estate agency task, and he guides this lovingly-kept, and gently enhanced, three-storey, 2,800 sq ft home at €650,000.
It has interconnecting reception rooms, front to back and spanning over 30’, by 14’ wide with formal fireplace, with south aspected patio access, and next to this long room is a cosier family room, again with patio access with a bay window for extra garden views.
There’s also a utility, with guest WC, main family bathrooms up on floor one, where there are four reasonably-sized bedrooms with one en suite and the top floor has two more bedrooms, or bed five plus study/studio.
Set between equally large homes, some of which have had expensive upgrades, the detached Trinity Manse is a bit of a polished charmer, with much-waxed old quarry tiled floors in the hall and the kitchen, with granite-topped units, overhead vaulted ceilings and Veluxes for extra light, while a compact Morso wood-burning stove makes it super-homely.
Also with buffed waxed tiles is the porch, lit by the many hues of filtered light coming in from the side entrance porch and stair return.
The colours are sumptuous, and look original to the house’s period, but in fact the panels were commissioned by the owners here, from the Leadlines Studio at the Shandon Craft Centre. They can hold their heads up with windows anywhere.
It’s the sort of touch appreciated by one of this home’s departing occupants, as she has her own art studio up at second floor/attic room level.
VERDICT: Location, space, character, stories and memorabilia galore - what’s not to like?
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