‘Rhodesia’ is awash with salvaged items from The Celtic shipwreck

A SHIP’S salvage, from the 1928 stricken White Star liner, The Celtic, is an unusual find in an equally unusual Cork house and property sale.

Just going to market is the semi-detached ‘Rhodesia’, a double-fronted house with immense character, along with an old-fashioned former factory building of 3,500 sq ft with outline planning for two more/replacement houses.

Motorists on the last leg of the city’s link road will be more than familiar with this Old Blackrock Road/Boreenmanna Road property mix, totalling a quarter acre with development potential.

The fine, solid, family home was built back in the late 1920s/1930s by a Freddie Mullins, along with an adjoining matching or mirror image house, St Finbarr’s.

Like many others building in Cork at the time, he integrated salvaged items from the wreck of the liner into the houses’ interiors, such as pressed metal ceilings, doors with portholes and oak stair spindles.

The Celtic went aground in December 1928 when en route from Liverpool to New York, with more than 500 crew and passengers on board.

Stories of the bounty washed up on the shoreline are legion (there was a rich fruit harvest in the cargo), and the 20,000 ton vessel was slowly stripped down by 1933.

Its doors and internal features made their way into many unusual spots: the Long Valley bar, for example, has a fine set of ornate swing doors and a table from the unfortunate Celtic (the largest liner in the world in its day when built in 1901).

It was mined and torpedoed during naval service as a WW1 troops ship, and had several at-sea collisions before its 1928 grounding on the Cow and Calf rocks by Roches Point.

The property and residence was bought in 1971 by Paul Elwood, who had run a business, PC Elwoods, in weatherproof and protective clothing, on the premises for a few years prior to that.

Now, having raised a family and run a business employing 18 people at peak, Paul and his wife, Esther, are selling up — house, locks, and a sprawl of old buildings — with estate agent Kevin O’Sullivan of Property Team O’Sullivan.

With an all-in price guide of €1.2 million for the residence plus sites potential, he pitches it as a development opportunity, as well as a private house, not five minutes from the city centre and a minute from the South Infirmary Hospital complex.

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