WELCOME to the heart of Glounthaune, and indeed welcome to New Glanmire... What?
‘New Glanmire’ was the name given back over 200 years ago to what’s now Glounthaune, east of Cork city, and east too of Glanmire. That’s when the village was originally laid out as a planned town, by the edge of Cork harbour, hemmed in to the south by a tidal quay wall, and by expansive mud flats.
That was back in 1810, and even today the precise address is recalled at a terrace of five homes next to the Rising Tide bar, where an old stone plaque commemorates their construction as part of ‘New Glanmire 1819.’
And, while Glounthaune took off subsequently and substantially, this original core part, New Glanmire, has managed to retain a particular, almost quaint air of antiquity ever since.
Perhaps that’s due to the arrival of the rail line cutting out in a straight line from Cork city, down past Little Island and through Glounthaune, where there’s a commuter rail station. The line splits thereafter, one way to Cobh (that line opened in 1862), and straight to Carrigtwohill and Midleton on the other, a service started in 1859, abandoned in 1988, but reinstated in 2009.
Today, the lines running east of Cork city carry over 1.2 million passengers a year, over two-thirds of them on the, Cobh line, and they all pass this new-to-market property.
Listed in recent weeks with estate agent Anthony O’Regan of Keane Mahony Smith is the local Catholic church’s Parochial house, and it’s a fine, and well-set, Victorian five-bay detached five-bed two-storey house, on an enviable 1.25 acres, with all-important water-frontage, mature trees, and an old, lofted coachhouse (pic, right) with cobbled yard.
It has the harbour, and quay wall as its southern boundary, with the N25 Euroroute just beyond that, while the old N25 is just the far side of the rail line on the house’s northern boundary, where the bulk of Glounthaune continues to develop.
Access to the house, and to the rest of the New Glanmire — comprising about 18 houses, a playground, bar/restaurant (the Rising Tide) and the local community centre, in the former national school — is over an old, arched rail bridge, and that set-aside access gives the cluster an enviable sense of back-water remove.
Most of the houses here are terraced, and 19th century in origin. There are a few semi-ds, with one fine, upgraded one making the most of this quay wall and water side proximity, but, in truth, there’s nothing to beat the old parochial house, especially given its scale, grounds and past importance. Hmmm... What, though, of its future?
It’s a decent, and well-kept Victorian/late 1800s build, done right and well kept, but it’s not listed or protected, so it may be further altered, upgraded, significantly extended — or flattened.
It has a glazed side porch entrance to a hall with original tiled floor, two reception rooms (one with a stove), original shutters to double-glazed replacement windows, and five bedrooms with one en-suite, plus a former housekeeper’s quarters.
Permission was granted last year for a detached, dormer bungalow on a section of the grounds, so that’s an immediate extra asset, and some entrepreneurial locals previously mooted it as a suitable site for a small cluster of trade-down/retirement homes.
Mr O’Regan guides the house and its level, enclosed 1.25 acre waterside and railside site at €700,000, and that’s a sort of level that leaves lots of options open for its future, in any new ownership, with or without much extra development.
KMS’s Anthony O’Regan says of “it’s one of the most attractive and interesting properties of its type to come on the market for some time,” and adds it should be “of interest to those wishing to acquire a wonderful family home or the investor who may wish to develop it, subject to planning.
A quirk is a right of way from the Parochial House to the 1898-built Sacred Heart Church, over the old N25 road and rail line, which keep its own watch over a diverse and scattered parish which includes Glounthaune, Knockraha, Little Island and Brooklodge... by ‘old’ Glanmire.
VERDICT: This could be the answer to someone’s prayers.
Size: 184 sq m (2,000 sq ft)