House of the week: Farran, Co Cork - €425,000

A SMOKING-hot renovation job, under a seamed copper-clad roof, has been done to this Aglish, Farran, family home of distinction, and which has risen up from once-humble estate cottage roots.

Farran, Co Cork


Size: 260 sq m (2,800 sq ft)

Bedrooms: 5

Bathrooms: 4


A wholly-modern makeover has been completed by the current owners of the sizeable, 2,800 sq ft five-bed home, which started off its life as a semi-detached worker’s cottage on the sprawling and historic Farran House estate.

Set just a few miles west of Cork city and Ballincollig, Farran House itself dates back at least 200 years, and in its earlier days it was owned by the Penrose family, and later, from 1868, by William Clarke.

House of the week: Farran, Co Cork - €425,000

Clarke was a major tobacco and cigar merchant, and the family came from Liverpool, first to east Cork and then in the mid-1800s switched to Farran, where at one stage they owned up to 5,000 acres of land. The Clarke family maintained local Farran links over three generations, up to the 1970s, and what’s now the public amenity Farran Woods was once part of their estate.

Such acreage and 19th century agriculture necessitated a large workforce, and many dwellings for them, of which this beguiling and intriguing new-to-market offer is but one. Originally a modest ‘two up, two down’ country cottage, it was taken on as a renovation and extension project by a young couple, Ken Davis and Amanda Cornhouse, in the early 2000s.

House of the week: Farran, Co Cork - €425,000

He and Amanda did the work here in two stages, first doing a simple kitchen extension in 2001, and then going large and more extravagantly so in 2003, when they added on a whole new wing, all topped with a pressed metal copper roof.... lots, and lots, of copper.

Their much worked upon and transformed home is fresh to market, listed at €425,000 by estate agent Norma Healy of Sherry FitzGerald; she has the second of a set of planned open viewings at this property today, at 1.30pm, and already curiosity levels among hopeful viewers are high.

House of the week: Farran, Co Cork - €425,000

She says the five-bed, two-storey home has both character and quality, as well as a surprising amount of space, and the price guide is possibly on the modest end of the scale, but reflects the fact that it is semi-detached, next to another upgraded ‘other half’ home, whilst well-screened from it by mature boundaries.

It’s on a half acre of landscaped, country-set grounds with mature trees, and its roof which is a mix of copper and slate on different sections blends in, as does the copper gutters and drainpipes, expanse of timber cladding, and vast quantities of Valentia stone, more than 20 tonnes, which hands-on builder Ken ferried up by truck and trailers from the Kerry island quarry.

House of the week: Farran, Co Cork - €425,000

That Valentia stone adorns the entrance pillars, low approach wall and part of the new extension’s facade, which also is part finished in vertical strip treated timbers, and also glimpsed on the approach is the front gable bedroom’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ style balcony, hinting at surprises also within.

Internally, it has its rooms off a central hall and fits in a 21’ by 15’ lounge, kitchen, playroom, study, and utility, with a dining room opening to the hall and down a step or two, part-divided off by a simple stainless steel with tensioned wires, with a stove facing the dining table from a hall side wall; the main lounge has a further wood-burning stove, and a feature wall of glass and glazed doors for garden access.

House of the week: Farran, Co Cork - €425,000

Overhead are five bedrooms, all doubles and the master bedroom’s quite the stand-out space, about 21’ by 15’ with high, vaulted ceilings and Veluxes and feature steel trusses, cased in oak for an old-style beam effect.

It’s a simply decorated, calm space, with triple aspect and that balcony access via casement French doors, and also has a long, walk-in wardrobe with built-in and very spacious en suite bathroom with Jacuzzi bath and a jet shower.

House of the week: Farran, Co Cork - €425,000

This all-in main bedroom suite takes up almost half of the top level’s floor area, and a three-piece main family bathrooms takes up the wash duties for the four other bedrooms.

Windows are timber and double glazed, Rationel style for the most part, along with some top-hung Veluxes upstairs, and apart from the two stoves heating is via oil, and the BER’s a decent B3.

House of the week: Farran, Co Cork - €425,000

VERDICT: Roll up, roll up, for part of the Clarke estate.

House of the week: Farran, Co Cork - €425,000


We hear a lot about the geese, ducks and swans that arrive here from colder climes for the winter, but much less about smaller birds that come here to escape harsher conditions in northern Europe.Keep an eye out for redwings this winter

More From The Irish Examiner