A rare beauty in a spectacular setting

Tommy Barker is impressed by a five-bedroomed bungalow in one of the country's most scenic areas.

RARITY. You won't get a site as good as this again, and even if you got the land, you would hardy get planning permission for it in an area as scenic and special.

That's according to estate agent Cathal O'Grady of Remax Lakeside in Killarney, selling this recently completed Shroneboy five-bedroomed home in the hills above Lough Guitane.

Lough Guitane, up a valley to the edge of Killarney, offers a stunningly attractive back-route from the Cork road near Glenflesk to the Muckross Road, and is one of the region's premier addresses with homes scarcer than impoverished jarvey drivers in Muckross.

The area has had its colonising period by German and Dutch, who built in some of the most prime sites, but Irishman Dan Joe Nagle has trumped many with the site he got permission to build upon.

He's decided to move back closer to Killarney town (seven miles from here) and is selling the 3,000 sq ft house on an acre site. The views are not only of glittering and glowering Lough Guitane - depending on the weather's moods but also to the spires of Killarney town, its lakes, and on a particularly clear day, all the way to the Dingle peninsula.

This Shroneboy house is a big bungalow, with two bedrooms discretely placed at attic roof level. Brightened by roof lights, rather than dormers, the biggish building attempts to snuggle down into its site a bit more modestly thanks to a limited materials' palette.

Kenmare stone is used on its exterior and around its detached garage, glazing is wood-effect PVC and is double glazed, while dark Thrutone slate covers the roofs and its valleys.

The acre site had been landscaped, also using lots of stone, and there's even a standing stone in a section of lawn as a reminder of the rock that lies just below the surface here for miles around.

"Properties like these rarely come to the market, and this offers any prospective purchaser the chance to acquire a truly original property at a time when quality sites like this are close to impossible to find," notes Mr O'Grady.

Rooms at this roomy house include a hall with fireplace, and a sun room, which tracks the sun's daily progress and the shadows of passing clouds over water and moorlands.

There's a large lounge, with double doors to a relatively sheltered patio area between two wings to the back of the H-shaped house, and this room has an open fireplace, plus double doors to the accessible, central dining room.

The kitchen is fitted with units in cherry and vanilla shades, with the requisite built-in appliances and granite worktops, there's a utility room off it, as well as the dining room which is just alongside, and this bright eating spot opens next to the sun room.

The master bedroom, like the living room, has a solid ash floor, and this is the only ensuite bedroom and is at ground level, joined here by one other bedroom and an optional study/fifth bedroom.

The upper floor has been converted to house two more bedrooms, comfortably carpeted, plus another bathroom.

Other current upmarket residential requisites include electric gates and intercom (gone, apparently, are the days of the rattle of a cattle grid to announce the impending arrival of a visitor's car) and the house, which has an east-west aspect, has a geothermal-sourced heating system.

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