THE GRASS may be greener and the sea a brighter blue in the old John Hinde picture postcards of Slea Head, but nowadays the stone cottage in the foreground still looks much the same, except for the replaced thatch topping.
Coumeenole, Co Kerry €245,000
Size: 52 sq m (564 sq ft)
Best Feature: Postcard pretty
Snapping photos of sunny Ireland in the 1950s and 1960s, John Hinde produced colour-drenched photos which portrayed Ireland as a green and scenic land, filled with thatched cottages and red haired children.
With the help of this type of postcard, such cottages have become a symbol of romantic Ireland, and a prized possession for overseas owners.
It is not then very surprising to learn that Coumeenole Cottage has been owned for over 30 years by an American couple who bought it from a previous American owner.
It’s possible that it’s been in US hands since John Hinde photographed it or since the 1970s when the turbulent sea at nearby Coumeenole Strand was seen in cinemas worldwide in the David Lean epic, Ryan’s Daughter.
The US owners devoted a website and a Facebook page to their cottage which took 11 years of restoration work, rented out to US holidaymakers for $800 a week in high season.
According to the owners’ website it’s been much photographed and painted and has featured in numerous calendars, postcards and magazines since 1929.
Except for the golden haystacks and thatch, the cottage isn’t hugely different outside from when it appeared on the John Hinde postcard. Inside traditional features have been maintained but the owners have introduced a range of creature comforts.
The stone walled, pre-famine property now has a slate roof, underfloor heating, double glazed windows and a variety of modern appliances.
Maintained at its original 564 sq ft size, it has a kitchen/living/dining room with exposed stone walls, an open hearth and one bedroom, plus bathroom.
On a site of half an acre, the property has a lean-to, a shed as well as some old stone ruins and a field. Located on the Slea Head Drive, it’s within a few minutes walk from Coumeenole Strand which is popular with both movie buffs and surfers.
Open to offers of in excess of €245,000, the property is being sold by Fitzgerald Auctioneers and the Munster Property Auction online process, and may be sold at a public auction in Cork on October 1.
Mr Fitzgerald believes Coomenole Cottage is charming and scenic enough to attract the interest of an overseas buyer looking for a romantic Irish cottage by the sea.
VERDICT: photogenic and charming
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved