House of the Week: Douglas, Cork €450,000

Douglas Road, Cork

House of the Week: Douglas, Cork €450,000

Built on market gardens associated with a large Endsleigh house along Cork’s (now) suburban main Douglas road, No 1 Endsleigh Gardens is a bit of a treasure — once you find it.

Built just as the Second World War was starting in 1939, it’s a semi-detached cottage hidden from the main road near Douglas village, by Regina Mundi girls’ secondary school, in a mini-oasis of greenery, sharing its discreet and leafy access avenue with just one other adjoining house, which also has been upgraded and even more extended.

No 1, at some mid-1900s stage, belonged to one-time Cork Lord Mayor Stephen Barrett (in 1960, sandwiched between Lords Mayor Jennie Dowdall, in 1959 and Anthony Barry, 1961), and its current owners bought it exactly 20 years ago from another family of owners. Now, with their own family largely reared and scattered, they are set to retire from jobs in UCC and are heading to the country and coast, having made maximum use of this most-handy location.

They’ve considerably upgraded this cottage, stoutly-built by Daniel Hegarty in ’39, and have extended/opened up slightly in order to get spiral stairs access to the first floor, where they now have fitted in three dormer bedrooms and a bathroom.

Opening up this upstairs space meant making maximum daytime use of the existing ground floor, home now to a study/family room with wood-burning stove to the back, as well as a front living room next to a 22’ by 11’ kitchen/diningroom, with scullery/pantry off.

And, there’s a long central hall, with breakout behind for the winding stairs, a ground-floor bedroom, and a bathroom with teak panel along the side of a bath. Woodwork is the stand-out feature of this home’s upgrade, as one of the sons raised here earned his passage as a craft joiner (with O’Sheas) and so there’s lots of old pine and pitch-pine integrated into its makeover, with rooms opened up and beams installed.

Salvage items surface too, like some stained glass and double doors (pitch pine again) with leaded and coloured glass panels, most likely from some ecclesiastical building. It all combines to give real visual warmth and charm, without being overworked.

Despite the fact the house is only 80 years of age, it has almost been given a Victorian character, carried through in things like polychromatic floor tiles and costly repro ornate cast iron rads for the gas-fired central heating.

Real warmth is granted by things like triple-glazed windows all around, from Careys of Nenagh, and dry-lining of external walls; heating sources include a new condenser boiler, an open fire, a gas-insert fire, and a stove.

Despite the work done, this home still hits a poor-ish E1 BER — but doesn’t seem to deserve it. A few quick fixes (super-insulating the hot water tank?) would jump it up a few grades.

On very attractive grounds, complete with double garage/potting shed, the east-facing No 1 Endsleigh Gardens is new to market within the past fortnight via Woodward Auctioneers, who confidently guide at €475,000 given recent strong Douglas sales, pent-up demand, and the fact this is such an unusual offer.

Agent Tom Woodward reckons a buyer could be a trader down, a trader up, or a trader in, as it’s of a type that can accommodate all these home-hunting segments.

It’s got a lovely raised sitting-out deck area in front, off the dining room, but the evening sun wheels around to the very sheltered back garden.

For new owners looking to make an improving mark, even the simplest of extensions (lots of glass?) across the back linking/replacing the scullery over to the family room would be the absolute business....even though there’s plenty of space already. It’s just to catch those afternoon and evening rays.

VERDICT: Individual, yet it’s got huge, warm appeal even from first glimpses.

Best Feature: Lovely hideaway home

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