House of the week: Fountainstown, Cork €200,000

THERE’S almost a moveable feast on the doorstep of The Cottage, an original style former fisherman’s cottage by the end of the Ferry Road, in coastal Cork’s Fountainstown: here, the tides have been steadily pushing back a sand spit or sandbar, inching it further up the scenic creek just west of the popular south Cork beach.

House of the week: Fountainstown, Cork €200,000

The diminutive, yet charming, semi-detached cottage, now faces directly south over a grass-topped sand bar which juts into the sandy/muddy estuary separating Fountainstown from Ringabella.

Over recent decades, the sandbar has itself been jostled up and along the creek, moving the shifting sands by up to 100 metres, reckons estate agent Roy Dennehy, who this month brings the quite original cottage to the open market.

The Cottage has passed through family hands to the current owner, who still fishes locally occasionally like his forebears did, and is one of only a few unaltered cottages of similar history and local heritage now left along the Ferry Road where there’s quite few swanky seaside and permanent, year-round homes.

It’s set just a few hundred metres from Fountainstown beach, right by the end of this roadway parallelling the shore, and is close to where a simple ferry service crossed this narrow section of water, with the final row-boat service petering out by the early 1960s.

The estuarine creek itself links Fountainstown and the sea to Minane Bridge, about five kilometres inland up the Minane River, and is now quite silted up.

A small dam, with a dozen sluices, was installed less than a kilometre upstream of the sandbar in the mid 1900s to protect Minane Bridge from the confluence of high tide and rushing river.

Back in the 1800s, though, the creek was used to ferry heavy goods like coal and sand for fertiliser up to Minane, while lead ore was mined for centuries before around Tracton and was shipped out from Ringaballa and the Ferry Creek.

Walks back up along that creek are among the pastimes today for those who enjoy Fountainstown’s quieter glories.

There’s abundant birdlife, and wildlife, and the sand bar is used by many for storing dinghies and kayaks for sorties up and downstream (there’s a watersports centre, Funkytown, nearby), while the closure in recent years of Ringabella’s famed Séan na mBád’s bar and restaurant is a cause for regret for trippers who could row (or, almost, wade) the few yards to Ringabella quay for a taste of life ‘on the other side’.

The Georgian home Ringabella House, on 34 acres, has been quietly marketed for some time, while back at Fountaintown itself, one of the strongest recent sales was of Camross, a modern extremely comfortable home on 0.4 acres right by the water and beach, which made €805,000 in 2016 via Savills, according to the Price Register.

Ferry Road’s ‘The Cottage’ is guided at €200,000 by Dennehy Auctioneers in Carrigaline, and as it’s only about 750 sq ft, it actually equates on a ‘price per square foot’ at €260/270 psf to the 2,900 sq ft luxury home Camross. But, at €200k, it’s within the grasp of a far wider buying demographic.

It has a main, high-ceilinged living room with fireplace, the kitchen’s behind in a flat roof extension and there’s a ground floor bedroom, a bathroom and the overhead second bedroom is up steep stairs under steeply sloping ceilings.

Whoever buys The Cottage is going to do work (the BER’s a G) and renovation/extension budget will temper the bidding, most likely.

It’s set by the entrance lane up to several quite large new-builds to the rear, as well as being near one of Fountainstown’s largest caravan parks (might a buyer, keen for a permanent home, emerge from here?) and it’s on a sort of corner site, with parking to the side, and has a terraced rear garden.

The cottage’s sale includes a strip of land across the road, by the sea and sandbar, and while it can’t be built on, it gives an element of control and means the views south over the water can’t be blocked.

In fact, if ditches are trimmed back a bit over here, the view will be improved.

VERDICT: Fisherman’s cottage will be a catch to land

Fountainstown, Cork


Size: 69 sq m (750 sq ft)

Bedrooms: 2

Bathrooms: 1


Best Feature: Beside the seaside

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