New access bridge paves the way to stunning period homes

THE most expensive driveway ever?

The Coach House, a new market entrant, and its neighbouring terrace, Bellevue Villas, are about to benefit from a new access road — one that could cost up to €15 million.

The new Tivoli rail bridge, spanning a 10-metre length over what is shortly to become the Cork/Midleton commuter line, is now nearing completion and will open up access to the locked-in properties.

The bridge opens up a whole new vista for the occupiers of the terraces along the red sandstone cliff face.

Facing south over the marina, the Coach House, as the name suggests, was the mews buildings for Bellevue Villas a niche terrace of three, Georgian properties built before the advent of the rail line. The terrace was restored by engineer Peter Haughton and his wife Gaye, who have also renovated and restored the Coach House.

The same painstaking approach to restoration which sets Bellevue Villas apart has seen the former mews transformed into a classic, period three-bed, with original sandstone walls, fine window beading and reclaimed stairs, window panels and doors. And while the property is now leased, with much of its original furniture in storage from the Haughtons occupation, it has that touch of aged charm that will make it very attractive to city buyers looking for something fine and unusual.

And it comes with plenty of parking in a location that’s within a brisk walk of the city.

The house has space in abundance and includes a large dining/ living room, a fitted, country cream kitchen with solid wood worktops and a south-facing window overlooking a gravelled courtyard.

The formal sitting room is a good rectangular space with two windows facing east and a fine, cast iron fireplace that came out of a large, period house. The staircase rises from the far side of this room and splits in two at the landing. A couple of steps south lead to two bedrooms, a double and a single, while the other landing has access to a master bedroom and full bathroom. The bathroom includes original Victorian fittings, with slipper bath and painted panelling that looks and feels right for the age of the house. The property is on the market with Dermot Lynch of James G Coughlan and Co and he’s seeking offers in the region of €450,000 for the Coach House.

Meanwhile, agent Billy Casey has dropped the guide for nearby, no 2 Bellevue Villas to just under the million mark at €995,000.

This splendidly restored, 4,000 square foot house is a rare, Georgian buy in the city. With new vehicular access, (and designated parking on communal grounds), the property should now attract a broader range of buyers. The grace, proportion and detail of this house has to viewed to be appreciated and as an indication, there aren’t many houses in Cork city where a grand piano is dwarfed by the dimensions of a room. Selling agents for this masterpiece are Casey and Kingston.

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