IVERAGH is big – it’s a semi-d, on steroids.
This Edwardian home at Cork’s Shrewsbury Villas is a whopper, but it manages to be both large and quite graceful too. Try 3,300 sq ft of original proportioned space, with original period trimmings, on a great one-third of an acre city garden – with city and harbour views.
If there’s a problem, it will be how best to fill this elevated home, as it comes up for sale after a long period in the same family’s ownership. With its six bedrooms, it is large enough for almost any big family. Its selling agent, Hugh McPhillips, also sees scope for other buyers, such as a small retirement home, perhaps for a religious community.
This muscular Edwardian home, built in the early 1900s, is one of four distinguished and distinguishable houses, each crowned with sharp roof finials. No 4, aka Iveragh, is on the largest site of the two pairs of similar semi-detached homes in Cork’s Bellevue Park, above St Luke’s Cross.
This is pure Military Hill territory, and indeed residences in Collins Barracks can be glimpsed from this house’s upper floors. Shrewsbury Villas were built for officers in the British army and “this feels like a Hill house,” says auctioneer McPhillips, reckoning its builders/designers were the Hill family, who dominated Cork architecture in the 1800s.
Main front rooms are about 18’ by 18’, and it will be a toss-up as to whether the first floor main room is used as a bedroom, or a further drawing room: in any case, there’s no shortage of bedrooms, six at present, so some can become en suites or dressing rooms.
Guide price is €700,000, and spending will now be needed to increase the comfort factor and redecorate. There’s no central heating, for example, other than a few electric storage heaters. And, the old kitchen has been taken out as part of clearing out process.
There’s no shortage of rooms to adapt though, and there’s a rear sun room/corridor by the back yard, as well as several pantries. There are bathrooms on each level and the ground floor has a shower/wet-room.
The higher you climb in Iveragh, the better the city views become, east to Marino Point and beyond to the outer harbour even, west over the city centre, an easy downhill stroll away. Gardens here are great too, there’s space galore, to the front and side, plus a garage.
This is a house that feels well-minded down the decades, but never modernised or, thankfully, interfered with, and it appears rock solid. There’s not a worrying crack visible inside, and the generous ceiling cornice work is pristine.
All original touches are here, just awaiting a cloth and a tin of Brasso, staring with the well-worn house number, 4 on the front door.
Fireplaces are mint, and plentiful. The best one is Sienna marble, another is white marble and there are several art nouveau flourishes in the bedroom fireplaces too, although recent removal of a gable end chimney breast and pots has rendered several redundant, while still decorative. The main family bathroom has a tapered ceramic bath that seems hewn from stone – and would be as heavy to move. T’would need the army back to move it.