Shanakiel home has double appeal with site alongside

There’s an appeal to home hunters either end of a long spectrum, at the end of a short terrace, at Cork city’s Shanakiel suburb by the 1870’s Gothic revival church St Mary’s.

Shanakiel home has double appeal with site alongside

Shanakiel, Cork City Price: €490,000, plus €225,000 for site

Size: 1,760 sq ft plus 4,000sq ft in new-build

Bedrooms: 6/4

Bathrooms: 2/5

Best Feature: Hideaway 

That church started its days in one faith, Church of Ireland, and later became a place of Roman Catholic worship, renamed as Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima: for traditionalists, it still - mirabile dictu - hosts regular Latin masses.

Now, for traditionalist fans of Victorian architecture, the nearby No 3 Shanakiel Lawn is a contender, a three-storey 1,760 sq ft five/six bed home, with due regard kept for its period era roots.

But, it also has something extra for today’s secularists: full planning permission for a contemporary two-storey private home, of a whopping 4,000sq ft.

It’s all facilitated by the size of the site No 3 stands upon: at the end of a terrace of three houses, it’s got a half acre all to itself, and this would be bisected if new owner(s) go the route of building the architect-designed modern house on the site’s city end.

In any or both cases, the setting is quite special, tucked away via a narrow entrance off Shanakiel Hill, above Sunday’s Well, with the old early 1800s City Gaol towering above it, behind high boundary walls and an access road, while to the east, just past another high stone wall, is the private 1840s period residence Springmount House, one of Cork’s better hidden Georgian homes given its acreage and area.

Hugh McPhillips of Marshs Auctioneers guides the Victorian 3, Shanakiel Lawn at €490,000, and pins a further €225,000 guide on the walled site with full planning permission next door, which would be accessed by a narrow lane to the back of the Lawn’s terrace.

Design of the two-storey build is by Brazilian architect Haraldo Oliveira of Jack Coughlan Associates, who has done a mews home nearby on Strawberry Hill for himself, and who also designed the staggered Altus apartments at the other end of Sunday’s Well, on Wise’s Hill.

Oliveira had designed two semi-detached houses for this site, but planners reduced it to one, yet apparently allowed it to be the size of the two initially proposed.

While it’s most likely that the property will sell in two lots, site plus original end-terrace home, this is not a foregone conclusion, and in fact those going to view may well fall for the site/grounds as they rise and fall, having been densely planted up by over several decades to an almost jungle level of canopy.

At present, there’s a huge tranquillity to this bosky reserve, with natural and created seating spots. The lawn in front of No 3 has a vista to the church spire, while the house has views over the city’s western reaches, improving as one climbs its three levels.

The existing dwelling has a graceful front reception room, with bay window with wood- panelled ceiling in the bay, which is is big enough to hold a buttoned-down Chesterfield sofa.

There are interconnecting front and back reception rooms, with slate fireplaces and period trim, and behind past the Junkers-floored hall is an annex with 23ft by 10ft kitchen with side garden/yard access.

The next two levels, plus return, have main family bathroom and five to six bedrooms, with fireplaces in several.

VERDICT: Beguiling appeal to No 3’s setting, but despite access restrictions it’s likely a different type of buyer to the existing house will relish the chance to build ‘modern’ in such a rare city spot.

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