Classic style at Conna House along the River Bride

A rural home near the Cork-Waterford border is an ideal choice for commuters, says Tommy Barker.
Classic style at Conna House along the River Bride

A WIDE cross-section of viewing and buying interest is forecast for Conna House, a lovely, minded and manageable country home, near the Cork-Waterford border along the River Bride.

Inquiries are expected from the Cork market (the city and airport’s a 30-40 minute spin,) from elsewhere in Munster, from lifestyle relocators around Dublin, and from further afield also.

And, from the Brits, too: they haven’t gone away, you know, despite Brexit uncertainties.

A family home to Irish owners for about the last 20 years, Conna House is a graceful autumn season arrival with agent David Reynolds of Sherry FitzGerald Reynolds, who predicts good UK interest in this quite-perfect sized package, on over six rustic and rural acres, with woodland, stream, stables, grass tennis court, and guest cottage plus coachhouse conversion.

While a firm asking price isn’t quoted in the sales details, Conna House is likely to be gently floated at about €720,000, and that equates in today’s currency rates to a handy £620,000 or so for Sterling-funded buyers. It’s hardly so high as to scare the horses.

Dating to about 1880, and thus solidly of a Victorian era, Conna House most likely would have been equipped with far more land back in its early days, but for most of today’s home hunters, six or seven acres is more than enough to mind, and still leave space and grazing over for a few ponies or horses.

It’s a good size for a family to spread across too, with five en suite bedrooms at first floor level, as well as two guest cottages, each with two more bedrooms and which, back in the day, would have been used to accommodate staff.

The main, two storey and quite square block of home has over 3,200 sq ft of space, with all period trim and has been well colonised and furnished by its current occupants, now retired and downsizing.

Warm heart of the home is the breakfast room in the rear kitchen wing, practically a second kitchen, as it has an old pine dresser, pale, baby-blue Aga range and a clatter of copper pots and pans hanging in pride of place, ready to do culinary battle.

Next to it is more practical kitchen, and the rest of the ground floor has three elegant reception rooms, plus study.

Floors are polished old pine, for the most part, there’s some pitch pine wall panelling, most rooms have original period fireplaces, windows are in sliding sash frames, and the two front rooms have a double aspect.

Decor and furnishing is age-appropriate, on the grander side of homely and there’s a clear air of a home that has been cherished and enjoyed and appreciated, and kept ship-shape through several ownerships.

It’s clearly been invested in in terms of creature comforts to, with its five en suite bathrooms and the one attached to the master suite is described by Sherry FitzGerald Reynolds as “quite grand”.

Given the good amount of floor area, there’s enough space at first floor landing area for a library, with bookshelving in situ and a seat handily placed by a window for over-the-shoulder, plus for those who can work from home a few days a week, there’s a ground floor study and high speed broadband.

For new owners, there’s little apparent to have to tackle, and there could even be a holiday home let income to be had from the two-bed guest cottage and the connected two-bed, stone-faced coachhouse by the gravelled courtyard.

If not, there’ll be no shortage of family, friends and guests just happening to be in the area, of a weekend....

The grounds are mature, with woodland and large paddock, there are four good stables, and for tennis lovers there’s a grass playing court, fenced in.

There’s also a large greenhouse, fruit trees and orchard, so a bit of self-sufficiency might be on the cards, as there’s space for veg growing and keeping some livestock.

Home-smoked salmon or trout could be an option too, as Conna’s Bride Valley setting’s a bonus, and the nearby Blackwater still has a strong lure for salmon anglers from far and wide, while for convenience sake, Conna village and its amenities are almost on the doorstep: the village is quite close to Fermoy, and to Lismore, and has a population of c 300, some pubs, a shop, post office, and a feature landmark, five-story tower house rising up out of a rocky outcrop within the village itself.

VERDICT: Straddling the East Cork/West Waterford hinterland, Conna’s an easy commuting choice for a range of rural home hunters in search of the good life.

Conna, Co Cork


Size: 305 sq m (3,260 sq ft)

Bedrooms: 5 +4

Bathrooms: 6 + 2

BER: Exempt

Best Feature: Real country deal

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