Tommy Barker.


Style, substance and lots of space in Glanmire’s Crawford Manor

With plenty of space on three levels, and plenty of bedrooms, No 5, Crawford Manor, is a well-laid-out family home almost with rooms to spare, says Tommy Barker.

Style, substance and lots of space in Glanmire’s Crawford Manor

Glanmire, Cork €585,000

Sq m 252 (2,700 sq ft)

Bedrooms: 6

Bathrooms: 5


Best Feature: Good design

THERE is a great layout and a great floor plan for easy family living, at the detached homes in Glanmire’s Crawford Manor.

Part of the larger Crawford Woods development, up on Church Hill, and built in the mid- to late 2000s by West Cork builders, Murnane and O’Shea, these were pitched at upmarket and trading-up buyers: those are also the categories whence No 5’s next owners will come, most likely.

Here, Murnane and O’Shea drafted in Cork architects, Deady Gahan, who seem to have brought their own stamp and freshness to the look of the houses in Crawford Woods and Manor.

First impressions? They’re wider than much of the rest of Cork’s housing stock of the past decade. And, where many other house designs of the era went up to attic level for extra space, the pay-off was often in narrower builds, with houses more tightly grouped on sites to maximise value — for the developers.

Not so here, though: this house plan has decent ground-floor rooms — all of them — and four first-floor bedrooms. Two of those bedrooms have their own en-suite bathrooms, and the front one also has a walk-in wardrobe.

Plus, there’s a family bathroom, along with a proper, planning-compliant second stairs to an attic level, which is home to two more bedrooms, one of which is en-suite, with a walk-in closet.

These rooms have double Veluxes, stacked one on top of the other, for an unusual but effective change of view — and this set-up allows extra access to attic/eaves storage either side: this is a house that will swallow lots of stuff.

One of the first resales of this house type, No 5, Crawford Manor, is on the market with Ann O’Mahony and Gillian McDonnell, of Sherry FitzGerald, who price it at €585,000.

They are selling it for vendors returning to Dublin. The family bought here having come back to Ireland, from work in Bristol, about six years ago, when the builders were headed into Nama, but took a leap of faith and continued with the purchase.

Landscaping was thorough in the overall development, which includes a creche, and, on the Irish Examiner’s late afternoon visit, a green area towards the back, and ringed by well-spaced semis, was in hot demand as a soccer pitch.

Now, loud in their praises of the builders, No 5’s occupants have called full-time and are off to their native Dublin, again for work reasons.

Despite being home to their four children, this six-bedroomed place looks immaculate (it must be all that storage). Sherry FitzGerald describe it as “flawless,” and point to extra spec items, too, like power showers throughout, solar panels, alarm and four heating zones, with the ground-floor split into two zones, front and back.

There really doesn’t seem to have been any compromise in layout or rooms sizes, so the two attic rooms are a bonus, on top of what would in any case be a quality and spacious family home.

When launched in Easter, 2007, a handful of very large houses (3,300 sq ft) with all-limestone facades were pitched at €1.3m, and the ‘smaller’ detacheds, of 2,085 sq ft, were priced at €790,000, with the option of an extra 700 sq ft in the attics, such as seen at No 5.

This style has a part limestone facade, double height on the bay, with a contrasting, horizontal band of render colour demarcating the ground/first-floor divide, while, behind, a single-storey addition is useful as a family dining section, off the spacious kitchen with island, and Bosch appliances (plus warming oven.)

Handily, there’s access from separate sets of sliding doors in the dining area, and from the formal rear family room, to the cobble-locked patio, which gets afternoon and evening sun, and up a few steps is a raised and fully walled-in back garden.

Separately, back inside, there’s a more formal front room, with open fireplace and bay window, and a study/den across the porcelain-tiled hall, which has a guest WC and understairs storage.

Decor and maintenance levels are high, with coved ceilings, soft colours and floors that include muted carpets, porcelain tiles and quality, hard-wearing, laminate wood floors.

No 5 does earn that oft-cliched description of “walk-in” home, but, in truth, this is one many families would walk into a lot faster than most — if they had the cash and wherewithal.

VERDICT: Size — and how you use it — does matter.

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