Gallery: Lofty perch in Cork Harbour on market for €500,000

Tommy Barker reports on a superb family home which has road, rail and river access for commuting.

Gallery: Lofty perch in Cork Harbour on market for €500,000

Ballynoe, Cobh €500,000

Size: 227 sq m (2,443 sq ft)/1 acre

Bedrooms: 5/6

Bathrooms: 4


GREAT ISLAND, and Cobh, in Cork’s wonderful harbour is best known for its superb run of period, and in particular Victorian, properties, stacked and racked up steep hillsides facing the ocean via Roches Point, spanning the enormous sheltered harbour and up along the river estuary too, as it wraps around the miles of shoreline towards Belvelly.

In more recent decades, Cobh’s become known too for a supply of affordable new homes, in contrast to the demands of large period-era homes which have 150 years, or more, under their belts and slate roofs.

What Great Island doesn’t have much of, though, is bungalows with a decent bit of ground, especially any with water views.

Most of this house type are over the back of the island, and over the hill, or along the small roads towards Belvelly, so very much trumping most of that design ilk is Beechbrook House at Ballynoe, near Rushbrooke.

Not only does Beechbrook House have great, bright elevated views, and ground, and a quality build, it has a ferry service to Glenbrook/Monkstown 350 metres away, plus a commuter rail station within a short walk, with plans in train too for a further station even closer to this house.

Built in 1989 by a family who owned land here directly above the Cross River ferry docking point at Ballynoe, Beechbrook is one of three homes built for various members of the locally-rooted family, sharing a drive but each entirely respectful of one another’s privacy and need for space.

Now, at the turning point of nest-emptying and fledging through the college-going years with a brood of five, the occupants have decided to fly themselves after 25-plus years in situ: they’ve got a site and are set to build again, on a prime perch elsewhere on the ‘island’, above the town.

Guiding at €500,000, Beechbrook House comes to market with local estate agent Johanna Murphy, acting jointly with Mark Gosling in Behan Irwin Gosling in Cork city, and both agents feel a buyer could as readily come from the locality/harbour area as from the city, or even from further afield.

It’s on a superbly-landscaped site of almost one acre, and there’s an option of getting two further acres of land (freshly tilled) to the rear, running back down towards the road by the ferry slipway, so there’s even an option (at an extra undisclosed cost, though) for those who’d like to keep horses or indulge in small-scale agriculture.

Externally finished in brick, this very well-kept home has most of its five/six bedrooms off to one side at ground level, with two en suites plus main bathroom.

Unusually, overhead and once up the hardwood stairs there’s a further bedroom 5/6, plus a cosy living room, with fireplace and an ‘aloof, aloft’ library feel despite a large TV screen.

The Veluxes in the ceilings yield yet more harbour views, but you have to step up to see out of them, so a vista of what’s outside is frustratingly almost out of the picture.

To the left of the hall then is a large, 22’ by 16’ oak floored living room with marble fireplace, plus for the very best views there’s an extensively-glazed adjoining high-ceilinged sun room with Veluxes and marine feel in pale blue and its blue accompanying blinds.

From here, there’s side access to the garden, grounds and also to a detached lofted garage/store, set up as a playroom/gym and utility, all much appreciated by all family members as it frees up so much more space back in the ‘main’ house.

Speaking of which, back inside this well-specced home on its sunny, well-aspected site there’s a further access point via a smaller utility, leading to a good-sized kitchen/family dining room with wood-burning stove, painted units and granite tops.

VERDICT: A very good home, made all the better by being on an exceptional and multi-mode accessible site with harbour aspect, and views over the Lee estuary to the 18th and 19th century villas at Glenbrook

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