Tommy Barker says this is one of the very few woodland sites where development has been allowed in the greater Cork area.
Crosshaven, Cork harbour €820,000
Size 373 sq m (4,000 sq ft)
Best Feature: Setting, style
There’s abundant wildlife in the woods at Brookwood - it even includes red squirrels, as well as wild deer.
“The first year we moved in, we saw a fully mature stag, with a full set of antlers,” recalls one of the owners of this one-off home in a lovely woodland setting, above Drakes Pool and near to Crosshaven and Carrigaline. Since that day, they’ve seen lots of other deer flit about in the many acres or conserved hardwoods here, but none as impressive as that visiting stag.
Newly up for sale is Croí na Coille (the heart of the woods), a high-end family home, on a great 1.25 acre site, in a private residential enclave of just 11 houses, each privately set among the trees, just below rich farmland at Aghamarta: at one stage, the Aghamarta Estate would have topped 800 acres and taken in much of the land in a triangle between Crosshaven, Carrigaline and Fountainstown.
Back in the 1990s, sites were offered here in the preserved woods, and Croí na Coille was the last of the 11 sites to be built upon.
It’s one of the very few wooded sites where development has been allowed in the greater Cork area: rare other examples would be Monkstown Demesne, and the orchard at Maryborough House.
As part of the planning grant here at Brookwood, a levy was put on the land’s owners/developers to part-fund the scenic waterside walkway from Carrigaline to Crosshaven, along the old railway line which had been initiated by voluntary vision and labour, and is now one of the most amenable and accessible of amenity walks in the harbour area... seemingly a win-win for all concerned.
In contrast to the busy walk and cycle route below, up in Brookwood all is serene, with a stout electric gate restricting access to the eleven homes dotted within the dozens of acres of wood rising up above the road.
Most of the private homes slotted discretely amid the trees are to the back of the wood, with farmland visible behind, to the south/west, and that position stops them feeling too hemmed in with all the green growth.
There’ s a real mix too amid the designs, from large dormers and Tudor-types to contemporary boxes, there’s hardly a need to blend with neighbours, when you can’t see them.
Design of this 4,000 sq ft five/six bed home was by architect Clifford Glean of CMG Architects, and he and the owners opted for an ‘upside down’ sort of use and layout, to maximise the site’s slope and every precious bit of available light.
Five of the six bedrooms are snugly set downstairs, all are doubles, all are well finished out and comfortable, whilst three of them have en suite bathrooms and there’s a good main family bathroom also with bath, and tiling throughout is of a type that won’t rapidly date.
Good and all as the downstairs is, the very best of the good rooms here are upstairs, light, bright and airy with soaring ceilings in the main entry hall, and with overhead ceiling glass on the stairwell which also has a south-facing arched window; again, there are high ceilings and feature sail lighting on tracks (by Wink) in the main, lofty living room with adjoining dining room.
Up here is a fine large landing, and short connection corridor, so there’s little or no wasted space, and there’s a Ducon concrete slab between the floors, with underfloor heating upstairs, and rads below.
Main entry point is up a flight of tiled steps to the front hardwood door, or by a back garden path to a link/elevated section of decking and bridge span, which gives access to the kitchen, and to the main living space, with views over the landscaped and shrubbed banks in the site’s slope.
An alternative entry point is at the side gable, where an electric roller garage door opens to a double garage utility/gym and plant room, which then leads straight into the lower/bedrooms level where there’s also a large, sauna-like hotpress used for drying and airing clothes, with enormous hot water immersion for the pressurised water system.
Selling agent for this hugely accommodating and well-built 4,000 sq ft home is Trish Stokes of Lisney, who prices it at €820,000 and who says the mix of bedrooms and living accommodating is unmatched, all superbly maintained and decoratively kept up to date, on grounds that improve with maturity, and with a mix of colourful shrubs, and old oak, ash beech, birch and pines, surrounding and dotting this 1.25 acres.
The wood theme is picked up too in things like hardwood double glazing, and some bespoke hardwood doors, variously made by Munster Joinery and by Waterford Joinery, who also did much of the internal joinery. ash stairs and doors.
Several of the double doors feature sail-like glass inserts or motifs, and the slight maritime theme is picked up again in the living room’s sail lights, and in the front porthole window in a lofty attic space room above the upper floor’s main en suite bedroom, with dressing room. (There are equal quality master bedrooms at both levels, making for an adaptable home for multi-generations.)
Apart from the enormous high-ceilinged lounge (with front bay window and rear deck access) there’s a dining room, second evening reception room with double aspect and solid fuel stove inserted into the fireplace, and the kitchen’s entirely modern in feel, with stainless steel appliances and smart and capacious units, topped with granite.
VERDICT: A fine home, in a rare wooded setting.
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