surveys the many attractions of this stone-fronted Georgian residence
Kilworth, Co Cork
Nestled in the culture-rich community of Kilworth, a few miles from the thriving heritage town of Fermoy, is a stone-fronted Georgian lady. Brought to market in a joint agency of John Hornibrook/Sherry Fitzgerald O’Donovan and Collins O’Meara, Kilworth Cottage is approached via wrought-iron electric gates wound in acanthus leaves parting high demesne walls.
This north-west entry and façade was originally the back of the house, but with the addition of an ornate crenellated Victorian-style timber porch, that’s impossible to determine on arrival.
The old front approach (if you prefer it) has its original road gate, entrance door, sunroom/porch and individual back hall. The cottage is said to sit near the remains of a medieval chapel and amongst its later residents was the Dowager Countess of the last Earl Mount Cashell.
Renovated and refurbished over 20 years by its current owners, it features a handsome early 19th-century double-pitch created to distribute the weight of the roof over two gables in the newly fashionable double-pile layouts.
These two volumes are enhanced by appropriate, single-storey additions running left and right in a collective ramble of 353 square metres. The west porch leads onto a hushed, sun-dappled hall with American pitch-pine flooring with an entire wall of storage.
Turning left we enter the kitchen, set on a U-shaped arrangement of beech cabinets with thick, wrought- iron hardware and integrated appliances. It’s a dewy-eyed dream of a pastoral kitchen/breakfast room, the dining area warmed by a wood stove and set in a double aspect of sash windows.
The vast southeast-facing games room is designed for entertainment: Wild parties, barbecues, catering for space-hungry teens and perfecting billiards. The dwarf walls are finished in stone, also revealed on the original two-storey gable inside.
A superb, light-drenched bonus space, it includes four Velux windows, and a terrace of glazing with corner windows and double doors opening onto to a huge, low deck.
A further tranquil sitting-room includes an aristocratic (currently open) late 19th-century marble fireplace, and attractive double doors to a private deck and serene areas of garden. There’s an almost identical fireplace in the similarly sized formal dining-room reached through a set of double-doors.
Through the hall is a roomy office, equally suited as a double guest bedroom. The attached garage is structurally sound, with power, plumbing and double doors — pleading for conversion.
Upstairs are three doubles with quaint, high-tented ceilings set over two levels plus a family bathroom. The stately master bedroom includes an en-suite at the gable end, tailored from a “secret room” found during the renovation.
The windows throughout the house have one-over-one timber sashes with double-glazed units. There’s standard OFCH, and with all that roof acreage, solar thermal or even solar voltaic adventures await.
Outside, the grounds have a parkland feel with a sweeping cobblelock driveway and crisp, footpaths, a vehicular turning circle, patio and pond, streetstyle lanterns, and specimen trees set back from the house.
Raised beds, girdles of shrubs and meticulously areas of level lawn would be easily managed with clippers and a ride-on mower. Finally, set into a boundary corner, with a compact yard, there are three large, block-built stables. Rent a couple of local acres for the summers and horses at home could complete this dream.
Tenderly renovated Georgian homes of a manageable size? Rare — don’t hesitate.