This Cork City home was rebuilt in the late 2000s by landscape designer John Butler

Olde Cork can be heaven, with coffee at eleven, and a stroll down Stephen’s Street, says Tommy Barker.
This Cork City home was rebuilt in the late 2000s by landscape designer John Butler

Cork City €295,000

Size: 110 sq m (1,184 sq ft)

Bedrooms: 4

Bathrooms: 3

BER: C1

Best Feature: Easy inner city living or investment A

Archaeological testing had to be done on and under the ground before work was allowed start on rebuilding 30 St Stephen’s Street in the heart of Cork’s St Nicholas’ Parish in the South Parish.

The area, near Tower Street and Barrack Street and above where a new Cork school for architecture is being constructed by Evergreen Street/Douglas Street, has building, occupation, hospital and education roots back to the 13th century, and beyond.

It was the site, from 1699, of St Stephen’s Hospital or ‘Blue Coat’ school for disadvantaged children of Church of Ireland backgrounds, catering for several dozens boys which sent four a year to Trinity College in Dublin, thanks to the funds from founder William Worth.

It also, in previous times, had served as St Stephen’s Leper Priory and hospital.

A very old part of Cork city’s southside (the star-shaped Elizabeth Fort is nearby too), its antiquity can be appreciated from the upper floor windows of the lofty, four-bed 30 St Stephen’s Street, rebuilt in the late 2000s by landscape designer John Butler, complete with very private landscaped, west-facing rear courtyard garden, with granite sets paving and Norwegian pine decking creating a central sit-out space.

Location is on this atmospheric old street with some recent infill, and next door is a former graveyard just over an ancient tall stone boundary wall.

The space within this enclosure was previously tarmaced over as a play area, for tennis or basketball, and more latterly has been given to community volunteers who are busy this spring planting it and furnishing it up as an outdoor ‘green lung.’

As that change takes place, No 30 comes for sale via agent Ken Lavan of Barry Auctioneers, in tip-top order inside and out, and having earned its keep as a rental in recent years, to appreciative tenants.

Mr Lavan describes it as newly renovated, but in fact it’s good as new, ekeing out every square foot of inside space with huge depth at ground level and two floors of bedrooms and two bathrooms on high (the build switches from masonry construction to timber frame higher up to allow for some extra feet of width once over the old, adjacent stone boundary wall.

There’s a double aspect kitchen/dining room running into a west-facing living room, with double doors to the landscaped courtyard.

Internal flooring is solid maple and worktops are solid hardwood, with mosaic tiled splashback, and also at ground is a utility with gas boiler and guest WC.

While rented, it was earning €1,800 a month and if rented once more could do so again, or earn even more.

But, it’s also done to a high residential standard and, guided at €295,000 might appeal to a city-living aficionado, and the number of bedrooms would allow Air BnB options, or Rent a Room income scope also (UCC’s 10 minutes away for staff or students).

It’s a five-minute walk to the Grand Parade, and nearby Barrack Street is steadily picking up pace after repaving, with some new building going on, and bars like Tom Barry’s, Pigalle and others, La Tana for top pizzas.

Close too is the tiny Japanese restaurant Miyazaki all making waves among fish, sushi and seaweed lovers at 1A Evergreen Street, where chef Takeshi has cooked for President Chirac, Sting and Rod Stewart; the Japanese ambassador is a regular visitor...as are residents of the South Parish and St Stephen’s Street.

VERDICT: Long city roots and garden

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