House of the week: Castle Road, Blackrock €895,000

THERE’S been any amount of work done to No 5, Castle Road, since it last changed hand , 15 years ago: today, it’s almost a new build.

Dating apparently to the late 1700s, and said to be the first one of this terrace of four, elegant homes built in the transition from Georgian to Victorian build eras, No 5 (also called Lysanne) was last sold in 1999, followed by 15 months of rebuilding to have its new family of owners in for Christmas of the Millennium, 2000.

Effectively, the end-terrace Lysanne was reduced to three walls, and then re-ordered and reinstated with steel inserted in its structure, top to toe. Thanks to all the engineering, it should now be around for centuries which time its new plasterwork, floors and interior details will surely have acquired their own patina of age.

The three-storey home, now extended to 2,700 sq ft and with five bedrooms, is at the village end of Blackrock’s Castle Road, a scenic stretch by the River Lee, with several recent, good, period house sales — one to Munster rugby captain, Peter O’Mahony - variously making €640,000/€680,000, while another is reportedly making over €1m. Lysanne’s attraction is that it doesn’t need any more spending or changes, bar minimal ones to suit taste.

Right now, it’s presented in neutral decor throughout, all very creamy and easy on the eye, with new ceiling cornices, roses and other plasterwork on walls, along with chandeliers aplenty, while floors are in oak, or porcelain tiles, for the most part downstairs.

A few bursts of dramatic colour, or wall-papers, will make it immediately personal to any new owners, and its back faces south, overlooking its own private patio and terrace, with useful side lane access to the rear from the old-world and leafy Factory Lane, which stretches back from Castle Road towards Convent Avenue.

Previous owners had kept the old coachhouse at garden’s end, and it’s now a tasty mews conversion, all walled-off. Selling agent for Lysanne (which had been quietly on the market with other agents several months ago) is Lawrence McSweeney, of Savills Cork, who prices it at €895,000, and who says “it’s deceptively spacious and already fully renovated and extended.”

Unlike its three neighbours in the terrace, which have kept their pedestrian paths up lush front gardens, the front railings of Lysnne have been cut back to allow for a gate access and off-street parking for number of cars, on a gravelled front drive, with some perimeter planting, while the old, side stone walls along the boundary lane have been retained. New windows, in timber sashes, have been fitted, in keeping with the house’s period, with four steps up to a fan-lit front entrance.

Once past that door, much was changed in the house’s re-ordering and layout in 2000, especially with the stairs (also on a steel frame) now moved back along the hall, running up to, and from, a gable wall and arched window on the return.

The main formal room (main pic, above) is to the front, with white Italian marble fireplace, high ceilings, decorative plasterwork and two sash windows facing the river just east of Cork Boat Club, and where scaffolding has just gone up on an ivy-clad, abandoned old riverside house. Across the hall is a play-room/home office and out the back of the house is very large, well-ordered great living/dining room, and kitchen, all facing south and flooded with light.

It’s at least 30’ across, with a wide window by the Belfast sink, and has garden/patio access both from a single door and from French doors a few feet away. Kitchen units are in painted maple, and there’s a good selection and capacity, all topped with granite, while units include Fisher and Paykel and a range cooker with gas hob. Handily, there’s an understairs pantry, too, down a step or two from the kitchen level.

The back garden is enclosed (with secure double-gate access to the side lane) and is in two, lawned sections, plusthere’s a well-built, large workshed, with laundry cubby, built by the side boundary wall.

VERDICT: Work all done, so it’s one of those ‘blank canvases’ for new owners to put a mark on.

Castle Road, Blackrock €895,000

Sq m 252 (2,700 sq ft)

Bedrooms: 5

Bathrooms: 4

BER Rating: D1

Best Feature: Good as new


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