Carrying its age with great grace and style

ORIGINAL elegance comes with 5, Grosvenor Place — a wonderful, large and bright Georgian home in Cork city with an instant appeal to the senses.

The almost 200-year-old urban home carries a strong flavour of just what it was like to live in simple finery back down the centuries, thanks to the fact it has not been altered in any significant way.

It carries its age with grace, with no cosmetic interior interference no mucky equivalents of domestic botox injections, face lifts or hair colouring have been entertained here at this rare terraced example of its period.

When built originally back in 1820, this regimented terrace and its neighbours trailing military pedigree and with names commemorating battles and generals, would have almost been early examples of out-of-town or edge-of-town development, built on a hilly greenfield site with fields between its and the city centre.

It was built for light, fresh air and views, and while the views have filled in the interim as Cork grew and prospered, it still has an air of removal from the urban mass.

No 5 Grosvenor Place, new on the market with Andrew Moore and Co, is a fine upstanding four-storey home, with 3,000 sq ft of space, wholly liveable in, with hidden charms.

Those unexpected attractions for those thinking of moving in so close to the city in a cul-de-sac setting include a front garden separated from the house by a roadway, a stepped and terraced rear garden full of light, a sheltered patio off the high ceilinged kitchen annexe, and an enclosed, sheltered internal courtyard garden.

And, there's even parking to hand outside the front door for those who can't bear the thought of giving up the car, even with the proximity of the city to St Luke's Cross and Wellington Road.

Those lifestyle attractions are almost peripheral to the house itself, though, which has been lived in for the last 15 years or so by artist Orla Clarke and antiques dealer Dave Coon, who clearly have valued the authenticity of this property.

"This house hasn't been got at, it is part of the diminishing stock of genuine period houses left in the city," says Andy Moore, who seeks close to €600,000 for the property.

It has already had a few private viewings before publicly hitting the market, and "there are a number of people who appreciated the elegance of the Georgian era and the fact the house hasn't been messed around with," says Mr Moore.

The original period details are here in abundance, old wood floors, corniced ceiling (with only the odd gap: Orla Clarke has made a mould and has replaced several missing plaster sections in a low-intervention way).

There are stunning fireplaces, several with solid fuel stoves positioned in front of them to maximise the heat potential, and in any case the house's aspect is directly south facing, so it is warm and bright with even a hint of sunshine in the sky.

The floor plan is regular, with 600 sq ft on each level, and the rear kitchen, with access on either side of the house via stone-flagged sculleries, makes up for lack of direct sunlight by having high airy ceilings and exposed beams, with a solid fuel Stanley cooker for radiant heat.

There are linked reception rooms at ground level, a classic first floor drawing room with two tall original-framed windows, the main bedroom is behind with an en suite bathroom beyond, the next floor has two attractive bedrooms, and the top floor has two or thee more bedrooms, with old dormer windows giving access to the roof-top parapet.

No 5 Grosvenor Place might need further spending, and won't appeal to those in search of PVC finishes, spit and polish en suites, shiny flat walls and rampaging central heating. It is likely any new owners will appreciate its authenticity, and make haste and changes slowly.

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