Talk about putting the WOW! into the WAW, Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way.
Bantry Bay, West Cork €130,000-plus
Size: 102 sq m (1,100 sq ft)
Set and rooted into the wild Atlantic, and not just ‘along it’, is this extraordinary, fresh-to-market offer, a proper old lighthouse and a full, small, perfectly misformed rocky West Cork island, in Bantry Bay by Bere Island.
No man (or, woman) is an island, but this is the next best thing for those craving wild solitude, a slice of rock that has a life-saving record in an extraordinarily beautiful setting, in the Atlantic Ocean but part sheltered by Bantry Bay, and looking over the Sheeps’ Head peninsula.
Do properties get any rarer, or more perfect for the niche buyer who does, indeed, want to get away from its all?
It’s snip, at €130,000, perhaps (though that’s just a starting point?), as a writer’s retreat, and for sale now for the first time ever in its 169-year history; it’s floated out there, in fact, just as some of the world’s top literary talents arrive in Bantry from July 18 for the 2016 West Cork Literary Festival.
Already, two international writers at this year’s Lit Fest, Zadie Smith and Alice Carey, have West Cork homes, so who know what other luminaries might be drawn to this beacon-like offer?
(Coincidentally, one of the events in this month’s Lit Fest even takes place on a Bantry Bay island, on Whiddy Island.)
Built in 1847, and decommissioned in the 1970s, this lighthouse and six,single-bedroomed keepers’ house is on Roancarrigmore Island, a tiny rocky outcrop which includes a small jetty for boat landings, and there’s a circular outline of a former helicopter pad.
Other than that, there’s a bit of walled enclosure, and the passing marine and maritime life, plus tides, day-in, day-out.
Selling agent is Kenmare-based auctioneer Tim Sullivan of DNG Timothy Sullivan, with DNG Advisory in Dublin, who notes it has genuine 360-degree views from its beacon.
He guides from €130,000 and – possibly wryly – notes that viewing will be on specified days only, and that access is by boat only.
Irish Lights is the vendor, and has kept right of access for maintenance to a solar powered stainless steel beacon on Roancarrigmore, as the light itself now is no longer used.
Currently, a number of other decommissioned Irish lighthouses are in varied ownerships, or are controlled by the Landmark Trust who rent them out for holiday breaks, as do some other private owners, but only a few are on islands (Clare Island in Clew Bay is one example up to let).
This Bantry Bay beauty, unlived in for 40 years, needs work, but has lots of extraordinary features, topped by solitude – but, as of now, it has no electricity, and no water supply. Water, water, everywhere and only bottled stuff to drink.
VERDICT: A de-light
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