Height of luxury

THE ripples of city-based house demand are spreading up and down the banks and boundaries of the river Lee — as they have done for centuries.

Previous centuries have seen the merchant princes and privileged classes site their mansions and villas to maximise harbour vistas and river views, and the same logic applied when Lavender Heights was built.

Dug into the stone face of a hillside site above Cork's Rochestown road (its original builder had an earth-moving company) it looks over the inner harbour, Mahon Point, and Lough Mahon. It is directly above the 12-acre, peninsular Hop Island where the equestrian centre run by the O'Driscoll family went to auction this week with a guide price of €3m, withdrawn unsold at €2.4 million..

Built in the early 1990s, Lavender Heights measures 4,000 square feet on a sloping site of 4.8 acres, with woodland on three sides.

Estate agent Brian Olden, of Lisney, guides Lavender Heights at €1.5m, and while it has woodland walks and pasture for ponies, there may be development potential in future.

Most of the rooms in this dormer have a view of Lough Mahon, and, at night, the harbour's meandering shoreline brings a twinkle of lights from Douglas down through Little Island and east towards Marino Point.

There are five bedrooms, two of which are on the ground level and share a bathroom. These are the only rooms without a view. The three first-floor bedrooms have their en-suite bathrooms, and the master suite also has a spacious, room-sized closet.

The kitchen/breakfast room, the 22' by 19' drawing room, and a formal dining room are all positioned to the front of the house, which has been maintained in immaculate condition. A cosy family room has been extended into the gable-end, to create a water view.

The detached double garage measures 1,200 square feet with overhead offices.

These provide scope for a 'granny flat'. An eye-catcher is an octagonal barbecue house, built of treated Scandinavian pine and large enough to seat a party inside.

A step incline leads to a two-acre sloping paddock, home to two sturdy ponies. The flattest portion of the paddock is at the lower western end, where there may be scope for a future house site or two, if planning permission was granted.

Additionally, there is an acre of private woodland, with paths carved through the self-seeded alder, birch and assorted native species, with fox-gloves holding on into mid-summer in shady patches through this past week's broiling heat.

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