Tommy Barker finds his breath taken away by this exquisitely set Ring of Kerry 2,800 sq ft hideaway.
Castlecove/Sneem, Kerry €725,000
Size: 267 sq m (2,874 sq ft)
Best feature: Extraordinary setting
There’s a particular irony in the fact that the man who owns the isolated and private waterside Seal’s Rock hideaway, overlooking a seal colony on the Ring of Kerry, made his living as a writer and lecturer in sociology, known for his studies of human cultures, tribes and groups.
This decades’ old bungalow is a summer 2015 property market offer for a well-known US sociologist, Ian Robertson, who produced leading college textbooks as far back as the 1960s and 1970s, some of which are yellowing now in the sunny study/library of this exquisitely set, yet gently ageing, 2,800 sq ft Irish bolt-hole.
Getting planning for a house right on top of the water like this has been built will be a near impossibility anymore.
That — plus the 25 acres of land and lake it comes with — are the sale trump cards with Seal’s Rock, which does indeed have seals happily basking on rocks below its deck, and just across a short stretch of water where there are mini-isles forming part of an incredible Kenmare River/bay view.
Seal’s Rock, Derreensillagh, is listed with auctioneer Ron Kruger of Kinsale-based international estate agency firm Engel and Volkers, who seeks offers around €725,000.
Little or nothing along this section of the Ring of Kerry between Sneem and Derryane/Waterville has made this sum in recent years: a rare waterside property, the Lobster Pond by Caherdaniel, made €350k in 2013, but the holiday home market down this way is only now coming into in recovery mode.
Reached via two discrete entrances by a road bend on the N70 Ring of Kerry, and then down a long planted-up track with woods, this long, low-slung bungalow has been embedded into clefts of rock, by a part-sheltered cove, and the rock sort of dictated the linear layout of this house, with two dormer bedrooms reached via a timber spiral stairs, one a real viewing perch, with a bed raised up on a plinth for miles-long south-westerly views out the Beara Peninsula across the bay.
Also set for views are the main high-ceilinged living room with wood-burning stove set into a tall stone chimney-breast, and a lower level library, with high-level bookshelves, plus fireplace.
There’s good internal space, at about 2,800 sq ft, and the grounds drop down through a rocky meadow to a swimming cove.
VERDICT: Not the best for young families or older visitors, but for the right buyer, it’s a private 25 acres slice of coastal Ring of Kerry wilderness, with a clear seal of approval
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