Stationed somewhere special in Clonakilty, West Cork

The sandstone-faced Victorian rail station which served Clonakilty rolls to market, says Tommy Barker.   

Clonakilty’s Station House has a long and proud West Cork history, and was intimately involved in the coastal town’s comings and goings for almost 80 years.

The rail line, which opened in the 1880s, was shut down in 1961, with the tracks ripped up and the sleepers sold off to Nigeria, but the glory days of rail and its preeminence are recalled still in the Model Railway Village, one of the town’s biggest tourist draws, set up over 20 years ago.

The actual sandstone-faced Victorian rail station which served the Clonakilty hinterland is up for sale, having been made over and extended to comfortable living quarters in the early 1990s, done by its current occupants.

Prior owners were St Patrick’s Woollen Mills and Clonakilty UDC, and before that CIE, after it took over the mantle and assets of the Cork and Bandon Railway Company and later the Great Southern Railway in the 1940s.

Lord Carbery turned the first sod on the 62-mile West Cork Railway, which ran from Baltimore to Albert Quay in Cork City.

Stationed somewhere special in Clonakilty, West Cork

Clon’s elevated Station House has a spread of water and town views above the town and its harbour, off McCurtain Hill, and local estate agent Martin Kelleher seeks offers over €360,000, noting it has up to six bedrooms, with three reception rooms and some outbuildings.

The site’s currently short on the garden front, although the vendors acquired some extra ground recently and the rear has a sunny, elevated patio area pitched perfectly for views from this station sentinel point. There’s a lapsed planning for a two-bed dwelling adjacent, so new owners may wish to go back down this ‘track’ themselves.

Mr Kelleher says the stone building was “constructed to the highest standards of craftsmanship in 1886, and has stood the test of time, has been carefully maintained and upgraded over the years. Properties of this vintage and quality close to the town centre do not often come up for and it won’t be on the market for long.”

VERDICT: Just the ticket for those on the hunt for something different. With its history, setting, and bedrooms tally, it could work a treat for something like Airbnb.

Clonakilty, West Cork


Size: 204 sq m (2,180 sq ft)

Bedrooms: 5/6

Bathrooms: 3

BER: Exempt

Best Feature: The rail deal


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