Cherished retreat with estuary view is attracting lots of interest

Much appreciated by its well-travelled owner, this West Cork haven with developed garden is up for grabs, says Tommy Barker.

Cherished by a woman who worked for UNESCO and who travelled the world, living in places as diverse as Mexico, Japan and Paris, this West Cork retreat now needs new, appreciative owners. Just up for sale at Downeen, a 10-15 minute walk from the square in Rosscarbery village in West Cork, this compact two-bed cottage is packed with character, on 1.5 acres of very special wooded grounds, with a stream running down to the estuary by the Warren Strand and pier.

“I planted the ground with lots of native trees for shelter, and in the beginning cattle would break through, but not any more,” says owner Caroline Mitchell, who bought here 16 years ago from a French man. He had started an extension on one side, untypically with steel windows, sloped ceilings and a Velux. Ms Mitchell re-roofed what was probably an original thatched dwelling with corrugated steel, painted a rustic barn green, and she also insulated parts.

It’s full of original charm, and the appreciative owner put her energies into a vegetable and fruit garden, planting and harvesting rarities like medlars and enjoying the stream and solitude, noting “it’s now a haven for wild birds and other creatures.” Estate agent Andy Donoghue of Hodnett Forde guides at €147,000, and says he’s immediately busy with viewings, adding: “This is a very special property, with studio and attic room, hidden away, yet so close to Rosscarbery and beach. In its current organic state, it’s ideal for nature lovers, and offers huge potential for expansion.”

Despite its simplicity, it has mains water supply and broadband, with a small wood-burning stove by a large, gable end hearth.

VERDICT: A quiet joy.

Rosscarbery, Cork, €147,000

Sq m 73 (800 sq ft)

Bedrooms: 2

Bathrooms: 2

BER Rating: G

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