Natural beauty you can buy

Tommy Barker looks at an exceptional property in a rare location.

AN amazing location, and houses snuggled into special settings around it – you’d nearly suspect, going on simplistic national stereotypes, that it wasn’t an Irish person that did it.

And, unfortunately, like many stereotypes (because it’s always nice to be pleasantly surprised,) this is proven to be the case: the man behind the lowest-key possible development at Dromgarriff Estate is German, and it is one of two clusters of special west Cork holiday rentals he has put together (the other’s near Durrus.)

Robert Putz is an advertising executive with land and livestock interests in Ireland, and maybe it is his advertising background that gave him such a sensitive eye. Whatever, this most special of settings has been enhanced, not harmed, by the five houses he’s built here.

As selling agent for the entire Dromgarriff Estate, Ron Kruger of Engel & Volkers notes, you’ll hardly ever again get the chance to build a 10,000 sq ft house right at the water’s edge in any Irish setting quite so special again.

That big, true beauty and clearly architect-designed is Silver Birch House, and the other four homes are also named after trees, such as the 6,500 sq ft Linden House, and the others, Holly House, Maple House and Aspen House are most standard sizes, c 2,500 and 1,650 sq ft – giving 30 bedrooms in all.

A verbal description would fill pages (we did here, ourselves, back in 2006), and does on the agents website, but the picture here are enough of a tease, surely.

Location is the Cork side of Glengarriff, and the utterly sympathetically-designed stone houses are in the depths of Dromgarriff’s woodland, with two right at the water’s edge, on around 60 acres. Plus, then there’s the nine-hole par 66 Glengarriff Golf Club, let on a sporting lease (it adds a further 36 acres to the mix) and which produces a steady income. The golf club was opened in 1989 by its patron, the actress Maureen O’Hara.

Asking price all-in (96 acres, kilometres of shoreline by the Gulf Stream, five top-notch houses, golf course, etc) is €9.3 million, and it has just recently changed selling agents to Kinsale-based Engel & Volkers, whose strong international links may well see a buyer fly in for the lot, while Irish interest may well be more inclined to buy in individual bits, and to argue the vendor around to such approaches.

And, to revert to Irish mentality of the past decade or so, some may look at the amount of land, and hope to see other development potential there, even in the face of the strictest planning protections. Truth be told, though, it is pretty close to perfect as a hefty price.

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