Trish Dromey reports on a converted railway goods shed thats quirky, roomy and has lots to offer on board.
Ballyhooley, Cork €375,000
Size: 294 sq m (3,170 sq ft)
Best Feature: Hoping for carriage of sale
The Old Train House in Ballyhooly is a wonderfully eccentric six-bed property created out of the shell of a 150-year-old Great Southern & Western Railway good’s shed.
It’s been modified for residential living by two successive sets of owners who did so without knocking any of the 3ft-thick limestone walls, changing the openings or fundamentally altering the original structure.
Previously run as a B&B for over a decade, it attracted guests with its history and character and even featured on RTÉ’s Nationwide.
In the gardens the old railway platform is still identifiable and the very well preserved signal box makes a very distinctive feature.
In keeping with the travel theme, the owners have put up a signpost for the Cork Train and another for Castletownroche.
During the 100 years that trains ran between Fermoy to Mallow, this 60ft long structure was used for goods storage.
Twenty years or so after the last train passed through in 1968, it was bought by owners who converted half of it into a home.
In 2000 the current owners bought it and converted the other half and also creating a 41ft long by 26 ft wide integral garage especially to house their vintage cars.
The opportunity to create of a garage of this size was the main attraction for the couple, since their collection at one time included a Rolls Royce and a Daimler which were not going to fit into the average garage.
What’s most interesting about the conversion is that they also set about making a home from the building rather than altering it to suit. As a result, the configuration of the windows is a little unexpected.
At the front end, which once had a train sized opening, there is now a huge double window — the lower half provides light for the kitchen on the ground floor while the upper section illuminates the sitting room on the first floor — at a slightly lower level than you would normally find a window.
Double glazed windows have been fitted in all the loading bays at the sides of the house and some on the first floor are lower than expected which makes property both quirky and interesting.
During the original conversion the space at the front was turned into a 30ft long kitchen, while other rooms created include a utility room, a shower room and a study and well as two upstairs bedrooms with en suites.
The also added one bedroom on the ground floor and three with en suites upstairs.
The décor is traditional with exposed beams and strong colours are used in the various rooms.
Located just 700m from Ballyhooly, on Station Road, The Old Train House comes with three quarters of an acre of lawned gardens.
The old platform is now used as a flowerbed while the signal box used to be the office.
Guiding at €375,000, the 3,170 sq ft one-off house is on the market with Michael Dorgan Auctioneers.
“It has both character and history and is quite unique — the likelihood is that it will be bought as family home.
"The large garage offers an opportunity for someone looking for space for a home enterprise,” says Mr Dorgan.
He’s already showed it to two viewers from the UK who he says are the type of buyers which always appreciate properties as unique and interesting as this one.
Verdict: The perfect home for a railway buff.
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