Watch: Cork Harbour home has space and light inside, and acres outside

With acres of space and gardens, this Raffeen Hill property is ideal for an active, outdoors crew, says Tommy Barker.
Watch: Cork Harbour home has space and light inside, and acres outside

Raffeen, Cork Harbour €750,000

Size: 434 sq m (4,672 sq ft)

Bedrooms: 5

Bathrooms: 3

BER: B3

Best Feature: comfortably big home on big site with vista

The Raffeen Hill site where Harbour View now stands, and spreads and commands its views, was bought almost on a whim, back in the early 2000s and, the chances are, you wouldn’t come across an opportunity like this for many a long year again.

Set a couple of miles out from Douglas, up and over Maryborough Hill about two miles past the glitzy hotel, this three acres plot was bought with full planning permission in place for a very sizeable home, and has another brick-faced house of seemingly equal measure on equally large grounds on its city side boundary.

Just off the country road is the so-long established Hitchmough’s riding stables, galloping along for the past 35 years or more, having put generations of humans and horses through their paces down the decades.

This Raffeen Hill area, behind Rochestown and Douglas, and scanning a low plain to the south as far as Carrigaline, and much of Cork harbour to the south, is horse and pony territory for families and farmers alike, and many of the larger private homes have a few requisite acres for the four-legged beats to graze and roam. Not for nothing is a certain nearby road known colloquially as ‘horses**t lane.’

But, while next owners might be horsey types, it was boats and sailing and proximity to Monkstown and Crosshaven that attracted the family here now to this elevated trio of acres, and they moved here for a country lifestyle circa 2004 from the city’s western suburbs.

Now, as family events have moved on, it’s downsizing time and closer to grandchildren time (twins, no less) and so Harbour View is floated on the market.

It’s one of the few modern family homes where a Laser dinghy in the double garage is practically lost, the garage space alone space is so vast. It’s an apartment, effectively, in the making?

Selling agent is Sherry FitzGerald and its MD Sheila O’Flynn guides Harbour View at €750,000, describing it as substantial (as it certainly is, at 4,600 sq ft) and finished to a high standard, on manicured gardens.

Nursery firm Nangles landscaped the entire perimeter, and there must be hundreds, if not thousands of trees, in a mix of deciduous and conifers, and the sprawling brick-faced home is almost centrally placed centre in its quite extensive, sloping lawns and acreage.

It’s approached from the north via a downhill tarmac drive to a broad apron for parking, turning, and entering is via either of the twin, double sets of hardwood garage doors (and, handily for peace and quiet, utility function have been relegated to the integrated garage.

The house doesn’t give much away initially: its big expanses of paved terrace patio and glass are kept for the the south, where there’s an apex gabled sun-room/family room off the kitchen, next to it is a dog-leg shaped living room with library shelving and fireplace by a seating area, and further along is a further reception/dining room, with double aspect and fireplace.

The floor plan of this house is deliberately off square, the large hall runs diagonally and distinctively through the centre, and only a few ground floor rooms are simple squares or rectangles.

This splayed internal layout make for an interesting sense of hide and reveal; it works well too for displaying the very many paintings and watercolours the owners have collected before and since moving in here and buidlng ‘the dream,; and the integrated garage offers even more scope for easily colonised accommodation.

Upstairs, the off-centre plan isn’t as effective, and the rooms both have some angled shapes, and sloping ceilings as despite its big floor plate, the roof is low-slung.

Windows are roof lights, in the main, three to the front, most to the back/south and views down to the harbour are tantalisingly out of reach except to those who are very tall, or from one well-placed side gable window.

This upper level has a shower room next to a bathroom, and no en suites, so for those who want an en-suite master bedroom at the least, partition walls will need shifting/reordering, and there’s some landing space to that could be annexed.

As it stands, there’s five good sized rooms up here, so the options are definitely open to adaptation, and likely to be explored post-initial viewing by those in the hunt for a harbour home of stature and space.

Presumably, day-one, planners insisted on the low-profile Veluxes in the first instance: might new owners make an approach now for a dormer box or two?

The views over the Ownebue estuary, harbour, and windmills at Ringaskiddy would make it worthwhile....seeing as they’re there for the taking.

Location-wise, Harbour View is a short spin back over the hills to Cork city and to suburban Douglas, to the harbour and to Monkstown, and bustling Carrigaline too is in sight...as is a new chapter in that satellite town’s housing supply.

Just by the Shannonpark Roundabout, the sod’s about to be turned Monday on the 800-home Astra Construction’s news scheme Janeville, by Housing Minster Simon Coveney.

VERDICT: One-off Harbour View’s space, setting and acres of space makes it one for an active or outdoors’ loving family.

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