Georgian sale on the line

A NEW access lane puts 1, Wood Hill Villas on a more manageable footing – and that’s to its benefit, because builders will surely need to get to it.

A new market arrival is this large old Georgian period home, dating to 1846 and – in many respects – showing its age. Location is by the Tivoli Skew Bridge just east of Cork city, with the Cork-Midleton/Cobh rail line running in front of it, and it has direct southerly views of the River Lee and the Marina.

It needs work, and lots of it to be blunt, but its bones are good, most original features are here to be saved, and it is most definitely priced accordingly.

Auctioneer Michael O’Donovan of Sherry FitzGerald seeks offers about €335,000 for this 4,000 sq ft end-of-terrace, five storey, do-able challenge.

It takes its name from the far earlier Woodhill (or Wood Hill) House higher up in Tivoli, the 18th century original home of the Cooper Penrose family, and refuge at one time of Sarah Curran, lover of Robert Emmet, as well as of Elizabeth Pike, notoriously abducted by a Henry Hayes. Woodhill was abandoned in the 1930 and later demolished.

Woodhill Villas, a terrace of six houses, had to depend on a pedestrian bridge over the rail line for access, but in last year a new vehicle access has been made by the end of Lover’s Hill.

The side garden is a bit of a hidden, but overgrown, oasis and taming the overgrowth will reap horticultural dividends: No 1 has the most outside land of any of its near neighbours.

In size and proportion, these houses are akin to the pristine examples at Bellvue Villas 300 yards away, and who also have recently improved access, via a costly new bridge. A recent sale there was in the €800,000-plus price bracket.

No 1 Wood Hill has a self-contained basement level, with independent front and rear access, fine interconnecting ground floor reception room with graceful linking arch and double doors, first floor formal drawing room, and then scope for up to seven bedrooms.

Inside and out, it needs restoration, but the features promise a return to grandeur – and the price will leave room for a budget for work-hungry builders and conservation specialists.

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