Mitchelstown, Co Cork €265,000
Size: 288 sq m (3,000 sq ft)
Bedrooms: 6/7 Bathrooms: 4
Old houses that are not pompous period residences are rare enough in this country. As a nation we tend to demolish to re-build, which may have something to do with a history of dispossession.
Either way, well-maintained, lived-in houses spanning two centuries and made for the common man, are as rare as hen’s teeth.
In the case of Kingston Hall in Mitchelstown, the hewn stone habitation was built by the Countess of Kingston as an orphanage, part of an overall scheme of social housing in the town in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Preference was given to members of the Established church — and in the case of Kingston College, it provided for “the maintenance of a chaplain, 12 poor gentlemen, and 18 poor gentlewomen, with preference to such as have been tenants on the Kingston estates”.
The quality of the cut limestone buildings have stood the test of time, so much so that Mitchelstown is regarded as one of the better examples of a planned Georgian town. Kingston Hall became a residential home, in the 20th century and it’s present owners have resided there since the 1980s, says CCM’s Eamonn O’Brien, who is selling the property for the reasonable sum of €265,000.
It has been cherished down the years by the O’Callaghan family who also operated a medical and legal practice from part of the Hall.
Eamonn O’Brien suggests it could still have commercial and residential use. But the main selling point, he feels, will be the size — it has six to seven bedrooms — and location at the top of the square in Mitchelstown.
“The O’Callaghan’s are leaving behind magnificent gardens on three-quarters of an acre,” he says. “They’re absolutely private, fully landscaped and a horticultural delight as well as a gardener’s paradise. And they’ve kept it low-maintenance with a lawn in the centre and a potting shed.”
The house faces onto The Square, but is utterly private to the rear and rooms fan out in a linear pattern, with separate access to the commercial/ medical centre end.
The residential element is elegant, well-maintained and decorated in country house style with some fine fireplaces, quality period features and high ceilings. It also has a sunny aspect.
There’s exceptional living space, says O’Brien, with a kitchen, formal drawing room and dining room, a sun room overlooking the garden, and with direct access, plus a study and office. The house also has six bedrooms and four bathrooms. Ancillary buildings include a garage and stable with separate mews access, and a greenhouse.
Room sizes are excellent and there are any number of uses here, suggests O’Brien — from a boutique B&B —to business and home, or commercial enterprise.
VERDICT: Comfortable, spacious, with lots of period detail and large site, Kingston Hall is a bit of a bargain.
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