Hottest arrival of the summer

Coming to market as the temperatures picked up, No 57 Manor Grove, is a hot prospect, says Tommy Barker

Thornbury, Rochestown, Cork
Price: €390,000
Size: 150 sq m (1,615 sq ft)
Bedrooms: 3-4
Bathrooms: 3
BER: D1

THE timing of bringing No 57 Manor Grove, up in Cork’s Thornbury development in Rochestown, to market was fortuitous. Just as it got a soft launch last weekend, the sun came out, it stayed out, and it was barbecue weather for days after. That’s the sort of dining at which No 57 excels, by the way.

Completely deceptive, this circa-late-1980s McInerney Homes-built dormer has been a family home that appears to have grown and matured with its occupants, who are now seeking to trade up.

Since they arrived here at Manor Grove, they’ve taken very much a hands-on approach to home improvements to suit their lifestyle and love of outdoor dining, and about ten years they ago worked with an architect to add on to the rear, in a very individual and effective way, knitting the inside with the outside and delivering a place for all weathers into the bargain.

Hottest arrival of the summer

They’ve tee-ed a family room that’s about 14’ deep and almost 11’ wide to the back of their once-standard build home, off the similarly sized dining room which, in turn, links to the revamped kitchen for an impressive L-shaped family friendly space, complete with sun-room-type bay window with upholstered window seat, all overlooking the gravelled, landscaped back garden.

A projecting breakfast bar helps divide the functional uses of this now enlarged area, and the add-on wing has apex roof lights to bring light into this rear section, while the end wall and side wall are all glass, with a sliding timber door to the gardens also drawing in light.

Out back, there’s further design-led innovation, in the way the extension’s roof line and profile continue out past the end gable glass wall to provide an all-weather cover and for a-decked barbecue and seating section, with limestone strip-clad low walls.

Hottest arrival of the summer

Showing adaptation to the vagaries of the Irish climate, this part-covered area has a wood-burning stove with a flue ducking out and just up over the roof ridge, which has a further apex-glazed section for good measure.

It all combines to provide that oft-sought after ‘outdoor room’, useable in the rain, the cold, and the heat... and we can get all three on any typical Irish day.

Hottest arrival of the summer

It’s taken up quite a bit of the back garden’s original area, though (and a number of neighbours along the row have added on also, mostly with wider and less-deep extensions) so rather than keep a small lawn, they gravelled and landscaped extensively out back with a mix of flowering plants, shrubs, and trees, including acers.

Back inside, flooring in the main living rooms is in solid timber, with a mix of tile and timber insert in the kitchen floor, where units are restrained plain and unobtrusive wood, yet contemporary.

Hottest arrival of the summer

What also stands out Also quite stand-out is the level of joinery in the glazed double doors, with glazed side panels, between the house’s dining area and the original 14’ by 12’ front reception room, which has a bespoke low-level shelf and storage for TV and various satellite boxes.

Across the hall from the living room is a playroom in what was probably a section originally set aside for an attached garage. This side of the home, towards the back, also allows for a utility and guest WC off the smart kitchen.

Hottest arrival of the summer

Overhead, this home was reconfigured to make one extra-sized bedroom out of two smaller ones (room sizes in a lot of the Thornbury builds day one was on the compact side) so now there’s a master bedroom that’s 20’ wide by almost 10’ deep, with built-in robes and access to an en suite shower room.

There are two further bedrooms, the main bathroom has a spa-style bath with overhead shower, and there’s also attic access for storage.

According to Florence Gabriel of Sherry FitzGerald, No 57 “is a bright, generous home which has been family owned and has been well maintained from day one, and it shows”.

Hottest arrival of the summer

She guides at €390,000, saying that if new owners want to put it back to a four-bed configuration instead of the current three it would be easily done.

The Thornbury development has two sections, one accessed directly off the Rochestown Rd, the other off Coach Hill, which is the approach for Manor Grove.

The Price Register shows several dozen sales across Thornbury’s many niches and nooks and house designs since 2010, so comparisons are difficult: The highest price showing to date is €386,000, with five resales in the €300,000-plus category since 2015.

Imaginatively reworked, No 57 is seeking to go a bit stronger still.

Hottest arrival of the summer

VERDICT: Those who don’t need a fourth bedroom will do best out of No 57’s current layout as the master bedroom’s a really good size, and the ground floor layout is highly effective. Fire up the barbie.


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