Bridge worth crossing

A price reduction to €175,000 has already brought a surge of fresh viewing interest to this quirky, colourful and charming West Cork townhouse at Skibbereen’s Upper Bridge Street.

So says local selling agent Pat Maguire, of the quality home, with artistic and craft-adorned interior and its surprising rear extension, making for a snug enclosed back yard with elevated south-west aspected sun room.

A sort of grotto blue on its front facade, the mid-terrace No 87’s been worked on by someone who knows her way around design: it’s evident in the way the house has been re-ordered and furnished, sort of tailored ironically enough to the word ‘eclectic,’ and graced by some fine craftwork and stained glass feature panels and lighting.

There’s a surprising 1,500 sq ft here in this handy town roadside pad, with the sort of feel and flair you’d find in a West Cork artist’s rural retreat — but with the added handiness of being right on the edge of the town (near the bridge to the Schull Road).

Packed with character and visual warmth, the main 20’ by 14’ living area’s just inside a sheltering foyer, and has a beamed ceiling and original old fireplace and wood floors, while the brightest spot of all is the first floor sunroom, overlooking the private enclosed courtyard. Want another surprise up here?

Hot hint: try the first floor sauna, next to the main bathroom with its sunken bath.

A private family home, No 87 was extended on two levels, back in the late 1980s, and now also houses a galley kitchen and a breakfasting area with terracotta tiled floor and display shelving, utility with Belfast sink, guest WC and three, overhead individual first floor bedrooms (most with feature ceiling beams and rafters) reached by a hand-made circular wooden staircase with matching curving handrail.

It’s all kept homely with lots of natural finishes, from rough-rendered walls and old and varnished pine to slate window sills out by the courtyard, and heating is oil fired.

The courtyard is a bonus (it could be partially covered in) and there’s access to a verdant upper garden from the upstairs, south-facing sunroom.

Meanwhile, for those looking for a more contemporary feel in a Skibbereen townhouse, Mr Maguire reports interest in 57, St Fachtna’s Terrace, a 1,300 sq ft three-bed done by a German local to a very high standard, with a modern, fibre-cement board box extension to the back, a B2 energy rating and a €189,000 asking price.

VERDICT: In 2007, quirky and beguiling No 87 Upper Bridge Street had high hopes of a €370,000 sale with a different agent, now it’s a more realistic €175,000.


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