Just go with the flow

CASTLETOWSHEND in west Cork is a one street village – but what a street.

Steep as a ski-slope, it slides precipitously right down to sea level in a bit of a rush. But, worry not – two trees have been planted in the middle of the street to slow your trajectory.

That tree feature dates to the 1800s, although the originals have had to be replaced with two younger sycamores in recent years. Not much else changes too quickly in this slow-growing, time-warp village.

An architectural gem and long linked with a gentrified lifestyle (it was the home place of writing duo and cousins Somerville and Ross), Castletownshend is one of west Cork’s property pearls, with its sloping main street lined with Georgian and period townhouses.

Ownership turnover of the original houses in the village is, understandably, rare while a recent Fleming Developments scheme, safely compartmentalised at the top of the village, has catered for the newer arrivals keen on its coastal charms.

New to the market is this Main Street offering, bought by re-locators Annemarie and Michael Morrin back in 2004. They drafted in the expert services of Fourem Conservation architect John Hegarty to come up with appropriate conservation and extension plans, which work a treat.

With the 2,200 sq ft project skilfully delivered by local builders Tim and Frank Collins – but with two young children unexpectedly delivered in the same busy period of time – the Morrins have decided to move to a place with more room to roam for a growing family.

Estate agent Maeve McCarthy of Charles P McCarthy’s offices in nearby Skibbereen, is selling what she says is “an exquisite and very special home,” guiding it at €800,000.

The property has a lime render street exterior, new re-fashioned timber sash windows, re-slated roof and rear terraced “room outside” garden. “All aspects of design were well thought out to give a sense of space and a modern, minimalist look while not losing sight of its period charm,” says Ms McCarthy.

It has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, bright new and period living spaces, sleek interiors, solar panels, broadband and quality, inside and out.

Gentle gentrification.

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