A place apart in a boom town

Tommy Barker says this residence is an authentic arts and crafts home.

One of the most authentic arts and crafts houses in the south, it also is a candidate for the most cherished: every square foot and inch of its 5,000-plus sq ft has been thoughtfully appraised and appreciated. Lived in, lavished and improved on, too.

Dating back to 1898, built without fear of expense and renovated in two recent tranches of considerable investment, Cloonmullin will draw its viewing interest from afar - not just from its Midleton/East Cork catchment.

A hugely ‘liveable’, seven-bed home of a relatively recent vintage and period, has it has a river at its side, a tennis court, wheel-shaped rose garden, mature Cedar, Scots Pine and patio paving on two sides to blur the inside/outside divide.

It has distinctive ornamental red terracotta tiles on its walls, and hardwood windows, with roof slates that decrease in size as they approach the roof-line’s many apexes.

It wouldn’t look out of place in leafy Surrey, in Dublin’s Foxrock or Shrewbury Road (where a house on a valuable plot made €45 million this summer) or on Cork’s Douglas or Well Road, the latter two addresses also have a sprinkling of Arts and Crafts/Edwardian houses.

Cloonmullin is a large family home worth making compromises for - even re-locating job, family and dogs to. It is on Midleton’s Mill Road, with a rail line and new housing coming all the way out to meet it, and even leap-frogging past it: Flemings are the latest to start building here.

But, Cloonmullin is a fortress in its own private sphere, on an acre and a half of private secure grounds, with the Owenacurra river on one side, and lofty beech hedging on two other sides.

It is just on the market guiding over €1.3 million with agents Hamilton Osborne King and to the right buyer that will appear a snip.

Despite its genteel English appearance, its local Irish roots are recalled in the carved Irish harps serving as stairs balustrades, and shamrock shapes appear in other wood panelling.

The stairwell is lit by a large stained glass window, done by Watsons of Youghal (still in business) with panel sizes decreasing in scale, and everywhere is attention to detail and celebration of materials: in ceiling coving, in parquet flooring, mahogany doors, in limestone cills, in re-use of older period marble fireplaces.

The vendors, trading down, and who bought here after years living abroad, kept up the ethos of the original builders, spoiling nothing original, adding their own touches in a confident, non-slavish fashion.

The smart, under-stated kitchen is by HomeGrown Kitchens with a dining room off it with units and table made by Imago Alternatives.

They reduced the first floor bedrooms count from six to three bedrooms, with two spectacularly original children’s rooms down by Imago Alternatives (a ladder leads from one via a trap door to an attic level playroom) and the master suite really is that: it has a large bedroom, a smartly tailored dressing room, study or morning room, and a bathroom with Jacuzzi bath and shed-sized steam shower (a massive, oil-fuelled pressurised heating system is in place.) The uppermost level has charming bedrooms/playrooms and bathroom, and the ground floor has more rooms than you’d comfortably recall or name.

There’s a welcoming hall with fireplace and parquet floor, a music room, a library with quality new mahogany shelving packed with books, a drawing room with maple floor, cloak room and guest WC, butler’s pantry, laundry room, and a rere hall with service rooms and wine cellar with brick arches, contemporary kitchen with granite tops and splashbacks, and a bright dining room, with newly-installed French doors to a deck with spotlighting.

The house, built for the wealthy Dwyer family, has had just a handful of owners and the grounds are as good as the house itself, with just enough space, not too much: Cloonmullin is a trophy home for another lucky owner.

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