Brush of country style in Enniskeane

Tommy Barker reports on a superb west Cork family home near Enniskeane with ‘rooms’ for horses

Enniskeane, West Cork - €445,000

Size: 186 sq m (2,000 sq ft)
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 3

HORSES now prance here, and foxes gambol with abandon, but decades ago, these groomed grounds at the west Cork rural road junction called Nyhans Cross were noted for cross-road and pattern dances; and, it’s entirely possible the courting couples hopped over the ditches here after dances to continue their, eh, moves.

However, a stop was effectively put to the shenanigans of cross-road dancing, not by any priest, but by the arrival of the Lilac Ballroom.

The Lilac opened up, in nearby Enniskeane, running for decades, with dancers bussing in from all over Co Cork and Cork city, and it hosted all of the country’s top showbands of the era, from Red Hurley to Kelly and the Nevada, and the Lilac was where Big Tom split from the Mainliners in 1975... a good band break up will alway make the news.

Making ripples this month at Nyhan’s Cross, however, is this 2004-built stone-faced dormer home, new to market with estate agent Don Brennan of Sherry FitzGerald Brennan Busteed based a short spin away in Bandon town.

He guides the spotless, well-built and finished 2,000 sq ft dormer home at €445,000, and its big selling point is the fact it’s on 1.6 landscaped acre, with garden pergola, a railed-in horse-riding arena or menage, and a five-stable block done to a very high standard.

The stables are next to a stone-faced double garage/workshop, heated by a wood-burning stove, and this secondary stable/garage building is lofted, with seemingly acres of storage.

It’s been home to a family who relocated west of Cork city, keen on a country/rural lifestyle, and it’s been groomed itself for over 12 years to its current excellent state.

Foxes still disport freely here on the lawns, in ones, twos and threes, despite the presence of several family-owned dogs inside the secure boundaries.

And, after the house’s owner added a second entrance off a side road to get his large horse transporter in, locals knew the name Foxes Den was aptly chosen, as many fox dens or earths have a second or several entrances for safe escape options from hunters and terriers.

All the joys of nature can be seen from this Foxes Den, with a south-facing gable end conservatory especially, and there have been many years of planting and landscaping to enhance the package.

Location is four miles north of Enniskeane, en route to Cappeen or Coppeen on the ‘Bantry line’, so those to-ing and fro-ing to Cork city have a choice of routes, either via the Macroom/Kerry road at Crossbarry, or via Bandon, while a local area landmark is the 22m high round tower at Castletown Kinneigh: it’s to 1,000 years old, and one of just two of any stature left in Co Cork.

Unlike its siblings in Cloyne, this west Cork tower is distinctive for its lower six metres, built as a hexagon instead of being circular.

Stone graces the front of Foxes Den too, and once past the porch and in the central hall, there’s an immediate warm welcome, from a multi-fuel stove in a chimney breast in the hall itself.

Rooms include kitchen with utility with all-year access, dining room off via double doors, plus comfortable sun room, a lounge with fireplace , and a study, with exterior access, a la a proper fox’s den.

Upstairs is a galleried landing, family bathroom and four bedrooms, all with built-ins, and one’s en suite.

VERDICT: Tally home.

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