House of the week

ONE careful lady owner — the term, often applied to a second-hand car sale as a sort of badge of tender, loving care, can equally, and probably even more appropriately, be applied to the Cork home called Spanish Point.

This one-off 2,000 sq ft quality house, overlooking the Owenabue estuary, gets its name from its owner’s birth-place, Spanish Point on Co Clare’s wild and rugged coastline.

“When I went looking for a site to build on, I said I wanted the roar of the Atlantic in my ears,” recalls this house-proud owner, who instead settled for the quiet of a cul-de sac off the Currabinny Road, within a few minutes’ walk of Carrigaline, south of Cork city.

Fifteen years on, house as immaculate as the day it was built and quite ageless, the lure of another coastal site and the thrill of a new-build has prompted the spirited decision to sell, and to uproot and move once more. As a result, Spanish Point’s new to market, and one of the very first re-sales in all the years since at The Estuary, where a variety of house-types were offered to trading-up buyers in the late 1990s.

Estate agent Malcolm Tyrrell of Cohalan Downing guides this mint-order, well-laid out home at €525,000, and says it’s a rare opportunity to get a walk-in high-end home, with design flair, a fantastic spread of old pitch pine internal doors for instant ‘ageing’ character, with great gardens, water views (up as far as Drake’s Pool,) and a super-quiet setting.

Spanish Point’s owner got the pick of sites at the time in what was know as Cogans’ Field, and she chose well, reckoned to be on the largest site, with a southerly aspect, and direct water views from the front. Builder was local man John Cummins, and gardens were designed by Marie Hugo and done by the Pavilion Garden Centre, and include a hefty Douglas Fir pergola for climbers and privacy to the side, olive trees, prunus, silver birch, flagpole cherries and a host more shrubs, lots of trimmed rail sleepers for beds and edging, plus seating areas to sit and contemplate.

Inside, the spire of St Mary’s C of I church can be seen from the kitchen window, but the main views are to the water, and the house’s front facade is staggered so the very most of the rooms get to have windows to this ever-changing vista of changing tides, petwer-hued slobs, and wader, bird and wildlife.

There’s a bright, much-glazed 18’ by 13’ living room to the side gable, by the pergola, with rear garden access and fireplace, a slightly smaller front sitting room with wood-burnng stove, and the kitchen’s any cook’s dream, with a costly Lacanche range cooker at its heart, plus hand-painted units by Martin Kiely, with granite tops and a ceramic sink.

There’s a utility, and guest WC also at ground level, and flooring through both levels of the house is narrow-plank pine, as good as the day it was fitted.

All doors internally are in old pitch pine, expertly restored and trimmed with brass fittings, and architraves were made up to match in old pine too: it helps give an ageless feel, and the house is hard to date as a result.

Upstairs there’s four bedrooms, with en suite master bedroom to the front, plus walk-in wardrobe, and there’s Stira access to the attic.

VERDICT: Designed and built right from day one, it’s as good as new — and hard to find a fault with.


IF you are the parent of a child who is about to venture forth into the hallowed halls of Primary education, or ‘Big School’ as every Irish mammy refers to it since the dawn of time; well, chances are you’ve probably been very active in your Google searches looking for tips and advice on how to ease your child, and yourself, into this next chapter.Out of curiosity, I searched online for ‘Back to school advice’

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