‘Tideways’ on the Owenabue estuary has had upgrades since its ’60s build and makes for an impressive home, writes Tommy Barker.
Owenabue Estuary, Carrigaline, Cork €895,000
Size: 523 sq m (5,600 sq ft)
Best Feature: Bit of class
IT’S well-named: Tideways does exactly what you’d hope it would do, it relates to the ebb and flow of the tides, a constant reminder of the constants in life, rises and falls, and the variations within it too, from spring tides to glistening moonlit waters.
And, this Tideways relates to all of that, all within a a few minutes’ walk of cafes, supermarkets, shops and schools.
Gazing out from the back of this house, to the water and slipway past tall Scots Pines, you could be forgiven for thinking you were in some Californian peninsula: Monterey? or Lake Tahoe? or even by a water hazard on a golf course.
But, you’re not: you’re on the edge of Carrigaline, on the Owenabue estuary, a couple of miles on a high tide by boat from the more open expanses of Cork harbour once past Crosshaven and its marinas.
Beyond that, the rest of the world and its oceans all beckon.
A voyage to God knows where could start here, from this garden boundary, and private mooring.
Selling agent for Tideways is Steven ‘Unique’ Browne of Sherry FitzGerald O’Donovan, and yes, indeed, he does drag out the description of Tideways as being unique.
He said the same of the spectacularly sited Atlantic House, by the mouth of Cork harbor near Poulgorm in Myrtleville on its launch in these pages in early July.
It has sold already for its US-based vendors, changing hands to a local buyer after competitive bidding for above its €650,000 asking price.
Then, also ‘unique’ was a converted coastguard station with its own slipway Mr Brown got for sale in Roberts Cove later on in July, and that too has already gone ‘sale agreed,’ for above its €400,000 asking price.
Clearly, water aspect and views carries a premium, especially when the property’s a bit ‘unique’ also.
So it is with Tideways, which is now being sold by its private owners who bought around 2002, from the family of the late and legendary yachtsman and stevedoring businessman Denis Doyle.
Doyen of the Cork sailing world for decades (he did 20 consecutive Fastnet races), and owner of several classic racing yachts called Moonduster, Denis Doyle bought Tideways in 1982, relishing its on-the-water setting and proximity to Crosshaven, and the fact he could tie a boat up at the end of his garden (though, to be honest, given the mud flats around at low tide, a hovercraft would be more independent of the flux of tides.)
Tideways itself dates to the 1960s/1970s, and was faced in an unusual finish, cast stone, a type of textured concrete block that gives the impression of hewn and dressed stone, and the house’s earlier owner was Roy Horgan, a cattle breeder, exporter and racehorse owner.
After Denis Doyle bought Tideways, he extended it, adding on to the side of the then-c 3,500 sq ft two storey build with a link section, sun room and an indoor swimming pool wing, plus games room.
That extension was done in a matching cast stone finish, so it all sort of blends, and the roof’s thick slate which, the current owners say, came off the roof of the English Market in the heart of Cork city centre.
Now, there’s some 5,500 sq ft overall at Tideways, on a site of more than 0.6 of an acre with extensive water frontage and, for the em, ‘unique’ package, Sherry FitzGerald O’Donovan quote an asking price of €895,000.
Noting the strong level of inquiries and interest from overseas on his other coastal listings on the Cork coast, Mr Brown says “we’d expect the same from the marketing of Tideways which, I feel, is a classic Cork property and one that is stepped in heritage.”
It’s a lovely and hospitable property, there’s no doubt, and it’s best suited to a young and lively family, into the outdoors and the water: the fact it’s on the edge of Carrigaline is a huge bonus as so much is on the doorstep, and parents won’t have to be on the road day and night doing ferrying and taxi duties.
While the convenience of a Dunnes, Lidl, and dozens of specialist shops, butchers, and eateries, etc are within a walk on one side, there’s an even more attractive leisure option on the other side; the start of the inspired Carrigaline-Crosshhaven walk is just a few hundred yards out the road, following the scenic (and short-lived) former rail line route along the shoreline to Crosser, past the early 2000s-built €180 million Pepsi plant.
Then, there’s boating of all sorts and sizes at Crosshaven, and beaches and coves over the hills and headlands, while Cork city and airport are a 15-20 minute spin away by car.
There are some lovely spaces, inside and outside to savour at Tideways, and internally the best rooms are the double aspect 26’ by 19’ drawing room, there’s a second large 20’ by 20’ reception room, two conservatories, compact-enough kitchen, pantry, dining room, study with beamed ceiling, and dining room.
Then there’s the wide open space of the heated swimming pool wing (the pool’s 35’ long and deep enough for diving), service and changing rooms, and a snooker/games room, separate enough from the main house for raucous entertaining, without impinging on the tranquillity of the main residence.
At least two thirds, if not three-quarters, of the living space is at ground level, so the upper floor of Tideways is home to ‘just’ four bedrooms, with master en suite, there’s a second en suite bedroom and main family bathroom with Jacuzzi bath.
There’s quite the feel of an American home to generous-sized Tideways, and in fact any US citizens ducking a Donald Trump presidency will quite quickly feel at home here, but it does (as the Yanks say) need some remodelling and energy-efficiency upgrades now.
Many of the windows are in original steel frames, with small panes and are single glazed, so options may include secondary double glazing, or going for newer versions in a matching style via product like those from the UK’s Crittall suppliers of heritage 20th century windows.
The house is south-facing to the front, with a decent distance between it and the road, and the house and pool extension now pretty much covers the entire width of the centre part of its grounds.
The gardens are very mature, with rear sun rooms and patios for water views, and the sentinel stand of Scots Pine trees is quite sublime, setting out Tideways as even more different (unique?) than its less than half a dozen neighbours who also have water frontage.
A long-disused bungalow just on the Carrigaline side of this offer sold recently to a builder for his own private home and his site is likely to take a special new, replacement build.
Tideways last changed hands as an executor sale in 2002, guiding €1m in pre-Price Register days, and was offered by its current owner in 2008 for €1.8m in an ebbing property market.
Now, with a once-more rising tide of values, it’s floated out there at just sub-€900,000 and, yes, it’s quite unique.
VERDICT: Sail of the year?
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