House of the week: Gardiners Hill, Cork City €295,000

THE pleasures of 1 Glencrea far outweigh any perceived small drawbacks — on charm grounds alone, this Gardiner’s Hill house is off to a good start.

House of the week: Gardiners Hill, Cork City €295,000

Sq m 100 (1,075 sq ft) plus attic

Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 1


Best Feature: Lovely restoration

Immediately beguiling, and attractively upgraded with due deference for its age, it’s a 125-year-old semi-detached house set back nicely from the brow of the hill which rises up from St Luke’s Cross towards/parallel to Dillon’s Cross, making it a 15 minute walk or so to Cork’s city centre.

Its setting towards the back of its site means its back garden is on the tight side, most of the pleasing outdoors space is to the front, and is west-facing, while car owners will have to park out here on the road.

And, that’s about the only niggling drawbacks for ‘conventional’ types who want the conventional front/back garden/off-street parking package on the home-front.

Upsides, so? Many. First is the location so close to the city centre, in a settled setting with a national school almost directly across the road, and a neighbourhood with lots of attractive and period house types, from tiny terraced cottages to the muscular Edwardian homes of Herbert Park, as well as some high-end dramatic and hidden architectural one-offs and cool extensions.

St Luke’s Cross with its splayed gathering of five roads is a sort of cool neighbourhood hub too, with a mix of cafe/bars, delis and services, and now the former 1870s church (the third on this site) is finding its mojo all over again as a concert venue.

High above all of this on Gardiner’s Hill is No 1 Glencrea, a left-hand, set-back semi-d dating to the 1890s, and now for sale, guided at €295,000 by Gillian McDonnell and Ann O’Mahony of Sherry FitGerald.

Properly speaking, it has 1,075 sq ft and three bedrooms, but there’s also a bit extra up-top, where a spiral stairs leads to an 18’ by 7’ attic study/storage room, with exposed timber beams.

Its middle level has two bedrooms to the front, with good sash windows back in pride of place, while the rest at the rear of the house has windows in pvc, with tilt and turn mechanism.

The house’s sole bathroom is on the rear stair return, over the utility room, and has a bath with shower overhead.

The ground floor is even more accommodating, with 15’ by 11’ front sitting room with original fireplace, pale parquet flooring and it has two sash windows.

Behind is a slightly larger kitchen/dining room, all smart and fresh and modern, with two Velux windows in a sloping roof section facing east.

Units are in oak, with breakfast bar, topped with granite (and the sale includes integrated appliances).

And, more good stone surfaces on the vertical in a unusual and distinctive mottled Cork marble simple fire surround, looking far older than the house’s own vintage, and it even gets pressed into use for indoor barbecues, say the selling agents. For day-to-day house heating, there’s gas fired central heating.

Next to this room is a utility, with access to the slender rear yard with terracotta tiled surface and tucked-away tool shed, not much bigger than an old-fashioned phone box.

The yard has its back, old stone boundary wall painted a cheery white for maximum light dispersal.

Meanwhile, the long and lawned landscaped front garden has its own screened area for bikes, bins and sundry garden bits and bobs, plus small decking area.

VERDICT: Everything — including the garden — seems very upfront at 1 Glencrea, a charming city pad par excellence. Expect it to be heavily viewed and competitively bid upon.

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