Skehard Road’s secret garden

Tommy Barker steps into a secluded one-off home with a sunny disposition and super quality build and finish.

The owners of Dún Bóige found, and then created, a secret garden and woodland world for this one-off home, on a bright, sheltered site in Cork’s suburbs. 

Not only is it within a walk of Douglas village, and of the expanding offices campus at City Gate in Mahon, but it also bounds and overlooks Mahon Golf Course and the Douglas Estuary. It’s quite the find.... once you find it.

Location is at the Douglas end of the Skehard Road close to the Well Road, past the neat townhouses of Douglas Hall Mews, at the end of a leafy cul de sac which opens out to quite a bright, southerly vista just as you go down the private drive and into the quiet, sylvan world of Dún Bóige.

 Skehard Road’s secret garden

It’s a house that responds to its specific site and sloping topography, with immense attention for even the smallest details and choices of materials. The site’s special, layered and landscaped and verdant, with frogs in a pond by a strategically placed patio and decking. 

The grounds produce abundant but frustratingly-tiny wild strawberries, and lots of apples, while the brick sun-room extension or orangerie in detailed brickwork with a glass roof is another fruitful spot: it’s even home to a robust banana plant, among other unusual plantings.

Now that it’s moving-on time, Dún Bóige’s fresh to the June property market for its owners who designed and built it, listed with estate agent Sam Kingston of Casey and Kingston, who guides at €750,000 and who says it’s both immaculate and well-conceived, very much a walk-in condition, turn-key buy and on a special quarter-acre site.

With a keen interest in design and construction, the owners specified and sourced a wide and distinctive range of finishes, including French roof tiles and trim. 

There’s a coloured render backdrop, set off by bursts of brick panels, brick sills and English cottage-style tiles on the main facade’s double bay windows. 

It’s a very sympathetic and warm mix of materials and the delivery was confidently done too. Much of brick work is craftsmanship personified.

The overall look is of an Edwardian era home, with modern flourishes and, internally, there’s an attractive timbered wall panel effect in the splayed entry hall (with solid oak floor), and the same panel look is used to great effect in the vaulted ceilings of a family room, with gas-fired cast iron stove.

Other rooms include a lounge with corniced ceiling with bay window and another gas stove, and the fitted kitchen with low-key timber units topped with black granite then tee-s into a large, oak floored dining space, with fireplace, and views down over the layers of immaculate garden and winding paths.

 Skehard Road’s secret garden

Double doors open from the dining room and down three steps to a brick-finished, and much-glazed south-facing sun room. It’s top class, and banana-plant friendly.

The first floor has four large bedrooms, several with views over the golf course fairways and estuary. One has a quality en-suite, plus main bathroom off a large landing which will allow for a further staircase to a floored and serviced 600 sq ft open span attic with eaves storage, designed to allow for several further bedrooms. 

An oversized, 4’ by 4’ Velux, meanwhile, floods light down the carpeted, hardwood stairs. Externally, the grounds are as pristine and considered as the house, and there’s a large detached garage/workroom, with brick detail and high parapets, given a feature finish of lead.

VERDICT: every detail is well considered, on a gorgeously-private site.

Skehard Road, Cork City


Size: 225 sq m (2,415 sq ft)

Bedrooms: 4

Bathrooms: 3


Best Feature: Design and build quality


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