A home with real Hartt

Location: Castletownshend, Cork

A home with real Hartt

It might be right up at the top of the steep seaside village of Castletownshend, but Hartt House still has its eye out to the ocean. The period home, Georgian in origin, has a long history of hospitality as it was, for years, a bar known as O’Mahony’s public house.

Apart from pulling and dispensing pints of porter, the O’Mahony clan were noted boat-builders, so their former property is rooted in this exceptionally pretty village’s essence — they’d wet your whistle, and float your boat.

The house has ‘gone private,’ but, from the front facade, has still managed to keep a curious asymmetry, with the entrance door central, flanked by the old shop/bar display windows to the right, and then a more random scattering of window shapes, under the low eaves, with ground-level windows having their top stone arches revealed.

The effect’s engaging. Once past the threshold, there’s more surprises inside Hartt House — notably, the quality of the simple, unfussy interior and finishes, plus the glimpses of garden and harbour beyond, at the back of the house, via some of the French doors.

That first-glimpsed, then expansive view includes Reen, Horse Island and Castletownshend bay, with a full-width (perhaps 60ft-wide) sun terrace to soak it in. There’s no fewer than five sets of French doors to the back, at ground-level, three in the sitting room, two in the dining room, with even more glass between them, and why not, when there’s so much harbour, sea and land vista to be had in the mid-distance.

Overhead, the master bedroom has two more sets of French doors, shallow balconies for the same aspect, with a dressing room to the far end, also with a slender window overlooking the walled garden.

Hartt House has four first-floor bedrooms (two fore, two aft) and all, bar one, are en-suite and they’re all suited and booted with top quality, sanitary fittings and Carrera marble in abundance.

There’s a strong hint of an American owner in recent years, what with the loos, and the hardwood joinery and the floors, swish kitchen with swisher grey units, all soft-closing with a large, black Aga range and the massive kitchen island — stone-topped island, and so large it’s virtually a stranded land mass.

In all, there’s about 3,100 sq ft here, in a relatively small number of large rooms, all to a high standard.

Joint selling agents are Charles P McCarthy, in Skibbereen, and Dominic Daly, in Cork City, and they price it at €1.2m — a tall order in the current market, but they reckon the quality’s enough to lift it above the norm, even in this ‘golden mile’ chic area, where standards are high (the price register shows a handful of sales in the past several years only up to the €500k mark).

The agents stress the sympathetic manner in which the work was done, the view, the sun terrace and village setting, with Castletownshend home to a restaurant, two bars, post office, slip and pier, for boating. Drishane gardens and Lissard House are nearby attractions and Skibbereen’s just five miles away, with Cork City and its airport an 80-minute drive away.

VERDICT: A beautiful setting and vista, and a cracking, fine house.

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