House of the week

MOVING out is going to be hard enough, parting and packing up being such sweet sorrows, and as for decluttering, well ... it’s not going to really make much of a difference, is it?

The red-brick period semi-d Glenville has lots of property market requisites in its favour, but its charm is extra, down to factors like the patina of age, more old pine than your average forest, and enough books on shelves to account for another forest or two’s demise.

New to market Glenville’s a busy spot in more way than one; it’s choc-a-bloc full of possessions, and in the last fortnight, house-hunters are almost falling over one another (and themselves) as they navigate its three floors of rooms, one more packed and curious than the other.

The owner, who’s more than bit a of magpie, has stories about lots of her finds and buys, but the one that really says it all is when the well-known pine and memorabilia dealer Liam Hurley got reluctant to sell to her — because he thought she was another dealer, adding a mark-up and selling on when he was giving her a good deal on items for this house.

Well, Liam, never fear, it’s still all here in Glenville, present and correct — right down to the main 19’ by 14’ bedroom, which is home to no less than six different, mis-matched pine wardrobes, bursting at the seams. When the house sells (and it may not be too long on the market, judging by early bids) there’s going to be one heck of a clearance sale ... and the start of a yet another fashion revival of stripped and waxed pine.

The past decade of minimalism gave Glenville a skip: if it even got its snooty nose around the front door, it could have seen there was no space for such an approach here - so it will be interesting to see how it’s dressed up by new owners.

Set near the top of the Cross Douglas Road, within a mile or so of Cork’s city centre, Glenville is new to market with Barry Smith of Rose Property Services, who has ratcheted up quick viewings from a clearly pent-up demand for this sort of offer, and it’s already at the €395,000 asking price, and is turning up surprisingly fair engineers’ reports.

That’s not to say it won’t need work or investment once in new hands, because it clearly will, but combinations of factors like location, long west-facing back garden, and three floors of space giving over 2,000 sq ft of period property underline a real value here for this 100-plus year old home.

Neighbours each side of Glenville (also with ‘Glen’ at the start of their house names) have had very significant upgrades and extensions, so there’s ideas to garner just by looking over the verdant dividing walls in this spot. But, be warned, those houses have had big budgets lavished on them, while the pay-offs are accommodating houses, for decades of family life.

Glenville’s owners have been here since the 1980s, with family now grown up so it’s down-size time. This house has kept lots of original build integrity, with a range of fireplaces on every level, with original stripped pine doors and architraves, high ceilings, painted old floor boards, and original encaustic Victorian hall floor tiles.

The main two ground floor reception rooms interconnect, and each of the next two levels up has two bedrooms (the front one has three windows), while what might have been bed five in the annex return is now joined into one very large bathroom, west facing. All four bedrooms are large, and landings and half returns are well-sized — and, clearly as seen here, colonised by more stuff.

Auctioneer Barry Smith comments that Glenville “oozes character from every nook, with a positively fascinating environment and managing to blend modern and old in a very convincing fashion”.

He doesn’t mention the advice he might have given about trimming back the ivy on the front of the house, and in any case he may as well spare his breath — there’s 10 times more ivy up the annex wall behind, as hirsute a covering as Hagrid in Harry Potter movies.

Glenville’s got central heating, off-street parking, a perfect aspect back garden with back lane access, and character, in abundance.

VERDICT: A perfect antidote to minimalism, and a great property product to boot. It’ll be interesting to see how it changes in new owners’ hands.

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