Grand home, great price

WELCOME to period home lite, and history heavy. Reduced in size, this North Cork house up for sale has historical resonances as far away as Down Under.

The ancestral Ballyclough home of the Bury/Barry family, near Kilworth off the main Cork to Dublin road, has links to local High Sherriffs and local big wigs. But most famous of all was a son, Redmond Barry, who went on to a position of power, influence and infamy in Australia he was the judge who sentenced the legendary Ned Kelly to hang.

The story of bushranger Ned Kelly, a national hero in Australia, was vividly brought to life in the moving The True History of the Kelly Gang which won its author, Peter Carey, a Booker prize.

History itself records that when Sir Redmond Barry pronounced sentence on Kelly and intoned: "May the Lord have Mercy on your Soul," Kelly replied "I'll see you there" ominous words of foreboding, borne out when Barry died 12 days later after a neck infection caused his lungs to collapse.

During his time in Australia, the colourful Redmond Barry had been knighted, been made Solicitor General for Victoria, was made a Supreme Court judge and had helped set up the University of Melbourne, a public gallery and a public library.

His ancestral home (the lands were in the family since the 1600s) was Ballyclough. But most of what he would have known is now removed: the original house was damaged by fire in the 1920s, and the bulk was demolished in the 1930s by the Land Commission.

What is left primarily is the 1904 extension to the main house, almost a diminutive home with a quite impressive Tudor revival staircase, and stepped gables, out-of-scale battlements, a maple floor from the old ballroom and some mullioned windows.

It offers a hint or the promise of period home living, but on a small and affordable sale.

Carrying a price guide of €350,000 with Dick Barry and Son in Fermoy, the house has a modest rooms tally of accommodation that takes in a hall, kitchen, living room, TV room, guest bathroom, and three first floor bedrooms (one with bay window) and a bathroom.

About two miles off the main N8 Cork to Dublin road, it is near Glanworth and Kilworth and the Glocca Maura Inn, it is on an acre and a half, with a stream at one boundary.

There is a lofted coachhouse and stables and garage workshop, giving scope for conversion to other uses.

The house was bought about 10 years ago by a couple from Bray in Co Wicklow who undertook some renovations. Further work is needed, but the compact size means finishing it out to a high level won't necessitate doing a bank robbery job a la Ned Kelly.

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