Rustic coastal charm on the Wild Atlantic Way

Trish Dromey views a handsome timber-beamed home in West Cork along the Wild Atlantic Way
Rustic coastal charm on the Wild Atlantic Way

Union Hall, West Cork - €195,000

Size: 120 sq m (1,301 sq ft)

Bedrooms: 2

Bathrooms: 1

BER: E2

With rustic timber beamed traditional cottage charm, a scenic countryside setting and easy access to nearby coastal villages, this renovated property near Union Hall is idyllic for holidaying in West Cork.

At least that’s the firm belief of the UK couple fell in love with both the area and the mid 19th century property in 1989 and have been holidaying there ever since.

During that time, the couple, who are both journalists, researched some of the history of the cottage and also quizzed the locals about its origins.

They discovered that it was originally part of the Castletownshend estate, was at some point occupied by a gamekeeper and later by an employee of Rineen Mill before being used by a local farmer to keep livestock.

By the time they found it, it had been rescued from ruin by a local carpenter and joiner, who had put on a second storey, restored the old stone fireplace and made a wonderful job of replacing the timber beamed ceilings.

Thoroughly charmed by the traditional stone-built cottage, the couple wanted to keep it just the way it was, and have made changes only when necessary to provide essential comforts.

“When we bought it, the gravity-fed water supply had dried up during the summer. At the time, well diggers were much in demand and we had difficulty finding one — but we eventually got one in Kerry who charged five punts a foot to drill,” recalls the owner .

The biggest change carried out since then was the construction of a sunroom at the side, which went up in 2013.

“We were told that we could either replace the lean-to glasshouse or let it fall down,” explains the owner, observing that the new centrally-set sunroom is wonderful in the winter.

The largest space in the cottage is a 20’ long sitting room which has a large original stone inglenook fireplace fitted with a stove. With it timber-beamed ceiling, rough plastered walls, curtained doors, several bookshelves and tiled flooring, this is a very traditional room.

Alongside it is an equally traditional-looking kitchen which has timber units, some open shelving, a Belfast sink and hanging utensils. The new sunroom is carpeted and more modern.

A staircase from the kitchen leads to the first floor which has a bathroom with timber panelling and two carpeted bedrooms with sloped ceilings and low windows.

Attached to the cottage at the front is a 170 sq ft slate roofed garage which is used for storage.

Including the garage, the cottage has a total floor area 1,301 sq ft Fitted with gas heating (using gas cylinders), and a mix of single- and double-glazed windows it has an E2 BER rating, something a purchaser will probably want to address Set on a half-acre site, the cottage has a sheltered courtyard area at the front with an old stone wall and a raised bed as well as a gently-sloping field at the side.

Located at Coomahalig in Forenaught it’s two kilometres from woodland walks at Rinneen, three from Union Hall village, and is also within eight kilometres of Skibbereen and Castletownshend.

“The setting is idyllic — we are looking out on to scenic fields, hills and woods. The nearest property is on he other side of the wood and there’s another one three fields away — which means we are secluded but not isolated,” observes the owner.

Guiding it at €195,000, Ray O’Neill of Sherry FitzGerald O’Neill says the property has wonderful character and is close to the magnificent scenery of the Wild Atlantic Way.

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