House of the Week: A small spot on the edge of Skibbereen

Even small spots like Rossnagoose, on the edge of Skibbereen in West Cork by Abbeystrewery, can look out on wider global horizons than their elevated physical setting might normally allow.

Within sight of the Ilen River as it wends its way from town to sea by Baltimore, occupants of this home called Cape View can scan the river for top rowers like the Silver Medal Olympic winners the O’Donovan brothers, and many others, from this illustrous and multi-garlanded club, now almost 50 years on the pull on this estuarine stretch of the Ilen.

And, while cries of “pull like a dog” might have faded on the West Cork winds, the parish of Abbeystrewery can today hold its head and hearts up with the very best of polite choral society: local Rector of the Abbeystrewery Union of Parishes, the Rev John Ardis, took off with members of the West Cork Choral Singers earlier this month to sing in New York’s Carnegie Hall, invited as an international choir of distinction to an event celebrating the music of UK composer Karl

Hoping too to hit an international note or two at Rossnagoose is Skibbereen estate agent Maeve McCarthy of Charles P McCarthy & Co, who’s just readjusted the asking price on this one-off 2,500 sq ft home, within whistling distance, or a row or a walk, of the Ilen river, and of the reinvigorated West Cork town itself.

One an elevated piece of tended ground about a mile from the town, the somewhat optimistically-titled Cape View faces south, towards the coast, towards the hills by Lough Hyne in the distance: those wooded hillside walks at Lough Hyne were, however, blitzed by last October’s Hurricane Ophelia and have yet to reopen, with flanks of trees there dramatically uprooted and flattened by the extraordinary winds.

Rosenagoose, next to Abbeystrewery, is more inland and ‘Cape View’ backs into farmland and fields of pasture with mature and surviving tree belts behind.

The parish of Abbeystrewery, meanwhile, carries quite the historical burden for the greater Skibbereen area, as it includes in its midst a Famine graveyard pit with upwards of 10,000 souls in unmarked graves.

The route out towards Abbeystrewery from Skib is scenic, with recent flood prevention measures and raised walls along a portion of roadway next to the Ilen river.

Further out the N71 is Ballydehob, and Schull and ferry departure points such as at Cunnamore Pier to Carbery’s islands, while a bridge by Abbeystrewery provide a cross-country way towards Oldcourt and the Baltimore Road.

With its town proximity, and space with up to five bedrooms plus a sub-€400,000 price guide, Cape View’s buyer target market can include overseas buyers, and locals on the hunt for a quality home, reckons auctioneer Maeve McCarthy.

A modern build, dating to the 1970s it was completely overhauled in 2006, when new windows went in, insulation was upgraded, the attic was converted and extensions were added to the front, and a conservatory to the side.

It has solar panels, and a decent B3 BER, and internal extras include a kitchen and island by David Kiely with granite and hardwood tops, and also stand-out/stand-on are the quality parquet floors in a significant number of rooms.

In fact, the herringbone parquet floor features in the kitchen, hall, dining room, living room and conservatory, as well as in the three ground floor bedrooms, one of which is en suite.

Also at ground is a parquet-floored utility room, and overhead are two more wood-floored bedrooms, bathroom with shower and a first floor study on a mezzanine, with balcony overlooking a living room (with cassette-style wall-mounted stove) and a lofty, glazed front gable for light and views.

Overall decorative condition is well above average, heating is via oil and there’s a detached garage on the c one acre of elevated grounds.

VERDICT: Wide appeal, due to town proximity.

Skibbereen, West Cork


Size: 234sq m (2,500 sq ft)

Bedrooms: 5

Bathrooms: 4


Best Feature: Quality

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