Rossbrin hits the right spot

Tommy Barker says a holiday haven near Schull is a real gem

WITH a house nearby on 25 acres recently sold for €2 million, West Cork estate agent Martin Swanton knows that hidden Rossbrin is a property hot spot.

Rossbrin has always been quietly appreciated, and will be even more so as the future planning permission door is firmly shut here unless you meet the strictest of criteria.

Coming up for sale in this holiday haven, near Schull in West Cork, but off that rather beaten track, is Rossbrin House, a five-bedroomed stone-built house on 3.5 acres of glorious land, with even more glorious views.

Rossbrin is on the lesser-travelled coastal path between Ballydehob and Schull, one of those sheltered inlets beloved by sailors, so much so that there’s a profitable little boatyard business in the locality.

Since the early 1990s a relatively new West Cork vernacular architectural style has emerged, utilising stone finishes and other natural materials, such as slate and timber. Rossbrin House is one of the best examples of this planner-friendly genre. It is the kind of appropriate design that should allow a few more similarly well-conceived homes sneak into sensitive areas like Rossbrin if they tuck into contours like this home has done. The owner is German, but the likelihood is that an Irish buyer will snatch back this bit of prime West Cork real estate.

Despite a guide price of €l.65 million, its sales agent makes the point that “it is probably even a bit ‘light’ at that, there’s a lot on offer.”

He instances a few decimal-point ‘pointers,’ such as a location, 2.5 miles from Schull, 2.5 miles from Ballydehob, then there’s the 3.5 acres, next there’s the quality of stone-pointed accommodation, over 2.5 levels. Get the point?

Set just west of pretty Rossbrin, this house has an elevated site opening up views of the ruins of RossbrinCastle, the Fastnet lighthouse, Cape Clear and Sherkin, Long Island, Horse Island, Carthy’s Island, the Calves, and a whole lot of sea in between, a sailor’s paradise.

Rossbrin House has privacy for its open areas, with a great sweep of sheltered terrace to the front, with stone flagged patio, low stone walls with fuschia screening, and blue-hued glazing in the windows and sun room, in both the main house and in the separate detached building.

That detached structure houses a sauna in one half, and a garden store in the other, and along with this there’s a 20’ by 14’ stone-built detached garage. The main dwelling has lots of space and scope, with up to five bedrooms spread out across the levels, giving a good layout privacy option.

The master bedroom at entray level has a tall ‘A’ roof shape, plus en suite, the lower level has two bedrooms as does the upper levels, with dormers, and living rooms include an 18’ by 16’ room with double aspect and high ceilings, open plan 26’ by 13’ kitchen/dining room with stone fireplace and French door access to a south-facing patio area.

There’s also a sun room, funkily blue-framed, with terracotta tiled floor, there’s a store room, guest loo and up to five bedrooms, though some viewer may seek to use one or two as further reception/studies.

At an hour-plus/90 minute drive from Cork city and airport, it is a manageable stretch and is pure wind-down material when you get here. Even the resident heron in the garden pond is slow to leave.

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