A home with pedigree

A Georgian gem in Cork will please a discerning buyer, says Tommy Barker.

LYNDHURST, a Georgian home in Montenotte, Cork, will appeal to architectural purists: it is a bit of a gem, is well-set and gently polished.

The detached home has been made over with good taste and careful conservation prevalent throughout right down to decoration and furnishings. As the vendor has an equally fine country home in east Cork (which recently featured in the prestigious World of Interiors magazine) there’s even a chance a buyer for the city home could negotiate for any furniture or extras which catch the eye.

It is one of the strongest market arrivals of the year, in the old cachet address of Montenotte, and carries a guide of 2.3 million with Hugh McPhillips of Marshs.

Last week, the agent sold Victorian timepiece Parkhurst, on Cork’s Victoria Road — after an auction withdrawal — to a private buyer, for a sum likely to be around 2.5m He has a clutch of likely buyers for good period homes at this sum, few of whom will sniff at this northside address. The vendor dates Lyndhurst to about 1840. He bought it in the late 1990s in a very raw state but as it ticked all the requisite boxes, it was worth lavishing time, money and expertise on.

For modern buyers, there’s the comfort of knowing it is supremely private, secure behind a high stone wall, with equally secure off-street parking. It has a full southerly aspect and, when the sun shines, the garden atmosphere is positively Mediterranean. It has engrossing harbour, river and city views and vistas, and over 3,200 sq ft of living space There’s up to five bedrooms, three on the top floor with two bathrooms up here, and two at the lower ground level, one of which is effectively a guest suite, separate to the main residence under the car-deck, with a smart wet-room behind and its own garden access.

It has all the signs of a party home layout, with a kitchen/diningroom with big walnut table stretching across the entire width of the house, and two sets of French doors to the terraces and garden. Wisteria, virginia creeper and jasmine are starting to creep back up the south-facing facade, bearding the windows, which have all been restored with working sash frames and internal shutters.

Entry is through an intercom-controlled gate, to a sheltered courtyard showing the first glimpses of Lyndhurst’s qualities — indicative of the shelter is the fact it houses a very mature fig tree, which is now bearing fruit The entrance hall is original in feel, as is the fan-lit door with an old salvaged ship’s (the Universal) bell to herald visitors. The hall floors are original, as are the stair joinery, cornice work and more.

There’s an evening sitting room, dining room or drawing room (, perfect as a study, too) with open fireplace, and a larger living room to the front. This great room has a dual aspect, with two tall sash windows a central chandelier and a restrained grey marble fireplace rescued from an older 1700s house in Dublin’s North Great Georges Street.

Off this room is a study, book-lined with sturdy floor-to-ceiling units in a suitable period hue, contrasting with low-voltage lighting. Any modern interventions are subtle, such as the recessed spots, and the kitchen is a simple, contemporary take, with painted units and island topped with stainless steel.

As the main kitchen is at the lower level, there’s a second serving kitchen on the mid-level for more formal entertaining — and there’s a guest loo on the lower stair return. The house has zoned heating, a good alarm and security features, and a fully enclosed garden with mature screening (a bit of topping might open up views even more, but when winter comes and leaves fall, the vista opens up anyway With money in the Cork housing market so obviously at the ready for a rare buy, and sales strong in the 2m-4m category, this Lower Montenotte hideaway can hold its head up with the best.

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