An oasis of tranquility at Stone Lodge

This renovated and extended old farmhouse offers privacy and stunning views, writes Trish Dromey.

An oasis of tranquility at Stone Lodge

FROM its hillside setting above Inniscarra Dam in the Lee valley, the Stone Lodge is now a perfect place to observe the local woods showing off their autumnal finery.

With scenic views for any season, this renovated farmhouse also offers privacy, tranquility and attractive gardens in addition to stone-walled charm and well-cared-for accommodation.

The Stone Lodge comes with history too, having been one of the many properties bought by compulsory purchase order in the 1950s when Inniscarra Dam was being built.

Derelict and abandoned for almost 40 years, it was rescued by an owner who bought it from the council in the early 1990s, restored it, and added on a large extension matching the original sandstone building.

Current owners who took it on later in the ’90s made their mark by adding a front conservatory and doing a little reconfiguration.

They found it difficult to find an architect willing to consider making changes to the original building because of its three-foot-thick walls but they put in a utility room and changed the entrance.

While they didn’t make huge alternations to the house, the owners did transform the gardens.

Taming the once wild site, they planted oak and beech trees along the boundaries and put in landscaped gardens with plants, shrubs and ornamental trees at the front and sides.

To the rear they built a polytunnel and put in raised beds and began growing potatoes and vegetables.

The sale of the four bed property and its 1.6 acre site has now been taken on by O’Mahony Walsh. Guiding it at €525,000, auctioneer Frank Walsh describes it as “an oasis of tranquility within minutes from Ballincollig”.

With a large site and almost 2,000 sq ft of living space including four bedrooms, he says the Stone Lodge has much to offer trade up buyers: “It has character and charm as well as space and privacy and is just five kilometres from Ballincollig and around 13 from the city centre.”

On the newer wing of the L shaped property there’s a choice of entrances — a set of double doors open out into a front conservatory while a blue timber door leads in through a porch into the hallway.

The conservatory has exposed stone walls and provides a comfortable space for the owners to sit and admire both the gardens and the valley. Behind it is a kitchen with hand-painted cream units with granite worktops and a centre island which went in around seven years ago.

The original wing on the other side has a timber-floored living room with windows on three sides and a cast iron fireplace with a stove. Alongside it is a dining room which has almost enough bookcases to allow it to quality as a library. Other accommodation includes a utility room and a guest WC.

Upstairs in the new wing there are two timber-floored bedrooms including one with an en suite. In the original wing there’s a bathroom and two more bedrooms.

The house is approached by a long gravelled driveway planted on the sides with mature shrubs and trees. Autumnal colour can be seen in the Japanese acers which are now a striking shade of red and a Wedding Cake tree which has turned seasonally yellow.

There are extensive lawns at the front and sides and there’s also a separate half acre field at the rear. To the side there’s a parking area and a detached garage while there are also two white washed stone outhouses at the rear.

One of just five houses located in a private cul-de-sac off the Coachford Road, The Stone Lodge is very private. Occupants can sit and enjoy the views from the front patio without having to worry about being overlooked by anyone.

Although the property has quite a number of selling points, Mr Walsh says the size of the site might well be the strongest, especially since there’s a separate half acre which a new owner might consider selling off.

Verdict: Stone walled, scenic, and secluded.

Inniscarra, Co Cork

€525,000

Sq m 185 (1,991 sq ft)

Bedrooms: 4

Bathrooms: 3

BER: C3

Best Feature: gardens

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