A CERTAIN, stone-faced look crept into rural sited homes across Ireland in the 1990s — and many would credit a west Cork builder Vincent Coughlan with popularising — if not even kick-starting — the trend in the 1980s.
Part-inspired by a couple of German architects in the region at the time, Coughlan fuelled the movement to finishing houses in locally sourced stone, and the Ballydehob/Schull area is sort of its spiritual home, where a lot of houses have this imprint, or are influenced by what he built (and often for Continental buyers.)
A west Cork house which bears all the hallmarks of the style is Carrig Beg, at Gortnarough, four miles inland from Ballydehob.
Built just around or after 2000 by the highly regarded builders Tim and Frank Collins, it is finished in stone, as is the detached garage, the roof and dormers are in natural slate, and timber windows are painted a cheery red, as are the fascias and finials, and internally lots of wood is in evidence as well.
The four-bed home is a new market arrival with Skibbereen estate agent Pat Maguire, who seeks offers around €375,000 — and who notes it represent real value for its very evident build quality. Move it closer to the sea and you could notch another €100k or more to the price guide.
Carrig Beg is relatively remote, yet is just off the Bantry road, on its own acre in rolling countryside and with the coast five miles away, and Schull a 15 minute spin away.
Solid in appearance, with stone sills externally and some slate sills inside, it has extra touches like broadband, and a central vacuum system, while heating is via oil and insulation standards are high, resulting in a likely C-rating for BER certification.
Floors are either tiled or in solid wood, there’s a west-facing sun room with wood-sheeted ceiling beams, while exposed timber beams feature in other rooms such as the maple-floored sitting room and in the kitchen/dining room.
The kitchen has green painted units, in farmhouse style, and the room — like most, in fact — has attractive countryside views.
Two of the four bedrooms are upstairs, with views variously towards Ballydehob village and to Mount Gabriel, and the gardens, notes Maguire, are typically west Cork, with some stone mounds poking up through lawns and beds.
Lending an extra airiness and lift are the distinguishing high ceilings in the porch, hall/landing, and in the sun room.
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