Hollywood calling from Carrig Lodge

With an elevated setting, this property ticks all the right boxes, Tommy Barker reports

Hollywood calling from Carrig Lodge

At night, the distant twinkling lights reminds the current owner of LA, and she reckons that, lovely and all as it is on a fine summer’s day, it’s even nicer in winter

FROM different points and perspectives, and at different times of the day and night, the views from Carrig Cottage are inclined to alter perceptions. One minute it’s pure Cork and the Lee Valley above the Angler’s Rest, the next moment it’s some more exotic location, perhaps Malibu, the Hollywood hills, or some tropical mountain range when the mists roll in.

The colonial-styled Carrig Cottage is outstanding it its field, or on its lush and elevated 2.25 acres at the very least. Built in the 1990s by the late Patrick Peters whose family built the Wilton Inn in Cork, this one-off mini-mansion set tongues wagging in and around Cork; first for its prominence on Temple Hill above Carrigrohane (although that’s now diminished as gardens have matured) and also for the interest shown in it at one stage by a certain famous Cork footballer.

It last changed hands back in the early 2000s, when bought by a private couple, reported to have made close to €2m at the time. For sale once more, it’s as solid as the day it was built, only with even more hard-landscaping and planting work done in the intervening years in the tiered gardens.

A very special package, on the edge of the city, it’s new to market with agent Sheila O’Flynn of Sherry FitzGerald who guides it at €895,000 and who expects keen interest from the city’s upper echelons of buyers.

It’s big and bountiful, yet the right side of tasteful and was extremely well designed and settled on its sloping site. From its greening-in perch, it overlooks a wooded hillside across the valley at elevated Coolymurraghue, and down to the lower plains and River Lee at Leemount — not bad, boy, for a design which was said to have been based on a Miami villa.

There’s about 5,000 sq ft and five bedrooms here, and that doesn’t include the full-length attic room used for storage and a snooker room. That size makes it adaptable for any type of family use, and apart from medics et al, there’s also going to be an appeal to corporate execs looking for a home of international feel and flair. With EMC expanding to Mahon as well as having its Ovens presence, and with Apple building a major extension at Hollyhill, that segment of buyer could be to the fore in viewings.

All of the very best spaces are on the main, entry level, where the views are supreme, looking out toward the city and suburbs. At night, the distant twinkling lights reminds the current owner of LA, and she reckons that, lovely and all as it is on a fine summer’s day, it’s even nicer in winter, or of an evening, with the great living room fireplace devouring logs or turf.

The entry hall has a large (gas) fireplace, and gas fires are placed in two of the ground floor’s end en suite bedrooms, with the middle two bedrooms sharing a Jack and Jill en suite. Either of the two end bedrooms could be main bedrooms, but for the fact the master bedroom is up on the reception floor level, with presidential suite ambitions — and views.

The house is extremely well finished, with coved ceilings, beveled glass in doors, above-standard joinery and sanitary ware, central vac, etc, while the country-style kitchen, with high ceilings, has an Aga, Belfast sink and pantry, leading to a fuel store opposite the double garage by the statement-making front portico.

‘Cottage’ is a bit of a modest misnomer for this Carrigrohane home, which has great linked living spaces all to the front, with high ceilings and a feature arched window by the dining end; there’s the best of vertiginous views from the living room in the middle, while the kitchen/breakfast/casual dining end opens to a sheltered and colonnaded terrace. This terrace, with chunky terracotta tiles, invites outside dining too, where a section of the steel railing can swing back to further reveal the view beyond and below, falling away from this house on a hillside that thinks it’s in Eze in the south of France, or along the Med.

One could replace the railing with clear glass balusters for a touch of modernity and more practical weather screening, and, painting the ‘yellow house on the hill’ a muted, smokey green might effect its final blending in.

Carrig Cottage has privacy galore once stepped back from the balcony, and its 2.25 acres includes several lawns, pathways and bridges over a small stream feeding giant Gunneras. Some recent stonework includes low walls done in local sandstone which features in walls up and down Temple Hill, and the same masons also created a barbecue terrace with alcoves with a tasty outdoor fireplace and flue. The boundary stops at super-mature hardwood forestry with century old woods on the doorstep.

LOCATION: Carrigrohane, Cork

PRICE: €895,000

SIZE: Sq m 465 (5,000 sq ft)

BEDROOMS: 5

BER RATING: C2

BEST ASSET: Majestic setting

VERDICT: It’s Cork, but not as we know it.

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