Brade makes the grade in Union Hall, West Cork

Juggling day-to-day professional jobs back in Cork city, and now with young children, means the owners of this Union Hall home have had to move closer to the big smoke, so they’ve decided to re-offer up this upgraded farmhouse to a much-improved market.

Brade makes the grade in Union Hall, West Cork


Sq 184 (2,000 sq ft

Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 3


Best Feature: Delicious

The couple put this hideaway at Brade, near Union Hall, up for sale in March 2011, when it was then guided at €450,000.

Since then, two children have arrived into the equation, the property market has recovered, and the price has been reduced to €380,000 as they’re keen to sell.

Visit on a sunny early summer day, with a stream by a boundary on its 2.5 acres, and you could well be smitten.

A renovated Victorian farmhouse, extended into outbuildings, it’s back for sale with Maeve McCarthy of Charles P McCarthy in Skibbereen: she says the quality of the renovation makes it quite exceptional, without ever losing sight of its original spirit.

There’s a choice of approach avenues to this specific rural residence, in part of the former grounds of what’s now the Myross Retreat Centre by Leap and Glandore harbour (run by the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart) and the restoration work saw a lot of respect for appropriate materials, including some salvage items such as radiators, taken from an old convent building.

The main heart of the house is, clearly, the kitchen, it’s a great airy space with apex roof light (see pic p1), a high quality job in argon-filled double glazing, bathing the long room in copious amounts of light which bounces off the exposed stone walls, timbers and beams and slate floor.

A hefty slab of undulating Valentia slate forms a worktop and draining surface around a Belfast sink, and units were made Skibbereen joiner Ian Camfield.

Roof joists are open, handily so for hanging pots and pans, and the roof has been insulated, as part- compensation for the decision to keep the stone walls in a natural state. Chuck an Aga or Stanley range in here in this cooks’ kitchen, and the job’s Oxo.

Elsewhere in the house, walls have extra coats of insulation, the painted hardwood windows are double glazed, and solar panels stand outside, so all combined, this venerable Victorian scores an impressive C3 BER.

Slate surfaces again in the hall floor and in a sitting room, one of three reception rooms here, the other two have wood floors, and one of those has a wood-burning stove in a hearth.

Effectively a long, one-room wide house (the lower sections predate the main two-storey part), there’s also a utility/boiler room, store and wash room, and overhead one of the three pitch-pine floored bedrooms is en suite, with power shower, while the main bathroom has a roll top/claw foot antique bath.

Externally, the house has a sunny side with outdoor terrace, and the 2.5 acres include pasture, lawns and two orchards. Skibbereen is five miles away, and local communities and services are nearby at Leap and Union Hall.

VERDICT: A gentler lifestyle buy, by a stream and near the sea. What chances a UK buyer?

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