House of the week




WHAT a package Belmont is. This period/Edwardian three-storey four-bed home on a third of an acre in one of the best stretches of the Douglas Road in Cork is a desirable, new-to-market arrival.

It is set to cause a stir of longing among better-heeled buyers looking to buy a bit of old class, and make it a new family home for decades.

Sizeable, full of original details to work with, plus a site that must be 300ft in depth, it’s going to get lots of envious viewings via agents Savills, because of its many essentials, as much as its €495,000 asking price. But it’s going to need more money spent on it once purchased to get the best out of its huge charms.

A big semi (though its asymmetry with its neighbouring ‘half’ makes it look as if it could have been one even larger home at one stage) it’s one of six, similar era south-facing semis and three large detached homes set behind high, screening limestone walls and long, landscaped front gardens.

There’s an elegance and variety to this row of house designs, and one of the bigger red-bricks was home to, and designed by, celebrated Cork architect Arthur Hill who may have had an influence on the neighbouring homes. Design features include stained glass, old brasses, ceiling coving, pitch pine stair rails, and finials, limestone porch step, and some original sash frames to the rear, while the detached garage is a time-piece in its own right, with corrugated cladding, and an inspection pit.

Bountifully-blessed Belmont has one of the very longest sites on the row, compete with rear garden access from the car-park at Douglas swimming pool behind, and the garden’s a real trump card in this property’s appeal, coming with garage, shed and excellent side access to boot.

There’s a generosity to many of the rooms, with two attic level bedrooms (the top front one is charming, crying out for a wide window seat) and the middle level has two more with double aspect (thanks to the east facing gable), plus bathroom and dressing room, and lots of landing/circulation space, likely to be reconfigured in new ownership.

At ground level, the house is particularly deep, but is essentially one room wide (about 18’,) with up to three reception rooms, kitchen, wet-room/shower room and a series of pantries/utilities and stores.

There’s formality to the front 17’ by 14’ drawing room with copper fireplace canopy, the dining room en route to the kitchen off the entry hall has an east-facing bay window, and fireplace, and furthermost to the rear is a garden room, in a great pitch, all ready for replacement with something altogether grander.

Agents Clare O’Sullivan and Catherine McAuliffe of Savills say Belmont, has got huge appeal, prestige and space inside and outside, and has a public park, plus both a boys’ and a girls’ national school within a two minute walk. Savills have just recently gone ‘sale agreed’ on another fine Douglas Road home, the detached Kedges between €650k and €700k (and Sherry FitzGerald have gone ‘sale agreed’ on a more standard-sized, very good condition semi across the road by Ballincurrig Park for around €450,000). Although Belmont’s a semi, it’s going to get many of the same viewers dropping by as Kedges did. Bring an architect or engineer to get a handle on how best to get light into the rear garden room, and access westerly light from some roof glazing options.

LOCATION: Douglas Road, Cork

PRICE: €495,000

SIZE: Sq m 210 (2,275 sq ft)

BEDROOMS: 4

BATHROOMS: 2

BER RATING: F

VERDICT: Great site, size, authenticity and details, needing renewal and a room to get evening sun.


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