Tommy Barker gets fired up about a spacious and modern family home with its own pizza oven.
The arrival of No 8 Westbury Heights will set a bit of a stir in the north Cork town of Mallow: after an extension four years ago with a striking kitchen garden added on too with pizza oven, outdoor fireplace and covered BBQ, and now all up to about 3,000 sq ft inside, it must be one of the very best modern family homes in the area. And, it’s in what’s probably Mallow’s most-sought after development too.
However, despite having a €600,000-plus price tag, No 8 Westbury Heights is not the most expensive North Cork market arrival in the recent past.
It is far eclipsed by Michael Flatley’s Castlehyde on the River Blackwater closer to Fermoy, guiding €20 million and to a lesser extent by the recent, and still very substantial €1.4 million sale going through of a modern mansion, the 10,000 sq ft Parklands on 108 acres at Gortnagross outside Mallow.
The Mallow mansion Parklands was built a decade ago alongside planted forestry at Gortnagross by local developer John Barry of Castlelands Construction, and was largely completed (along with indoor swimming pool, and all the luxury trimmings before the company which at peak built over 500 homes a year got into difficulties). It went to market last summer, guiding €1.15m, or ‘just’ €895,000 on 32 acres via Sherry FitzGerald O’Donovan and its Country Homes division.
It has since, very recently, sold as an entire, on 108 acres, and the additional surprise is that it was bid well over its asking price, to finally fetch €1.4 million. It got overseas interest but the successful buyer was local. And, it’s a bargain amount of property for the sum.
Now, the same Mallow agents Sherry FitzGerald O’Donovan have the substantial, and town-edge offer at 8 Westbury Heights new to market, in tip-top order, seeking offers over €600,000 for its trading-up owners.
No 8 has been in the same Mallow business family’s hands since first built back around 2002 by well-regarded local builder and pilot Gerry Creedon, who did about 24 of these vaguely colonial-style red-brick homes up on Kennel Hill, above the exclusive Navigation Road at Annabella and they’ve always been highly-prized, locally valued, and only rarely come up for resale.
No 15, a five-bed, sold in 2013 for a recorded €335,000 according to the Price Register, and that was about the time when No 8’s owners went on their own extension drive, adding on to create a great, bright open kitchen/living/dining space. It’s the size of a good two-bed apartment at 770 sq ft, with garden access and southerly aspect.
It’s high-end now, from top to bottom, supremely comfortable, on a sloping site (with views behind towards Cork) of a quarter acre, recently landscaped with limestone paths, and the scene stealer and scene-setter outside is the enormous outdooor cooking centre, in stone, with wood-fired pizza/bread oven, plus barbecue, fireplace, and granite seating, all handily under a sheltering roof cover – practical, all-weather outdoor dining, Irish-style.
The five-bay, brick and stone quoin-fronted property’s timber-framed at its heart, gets a solid C2 BER, and has electric access gates, CCTV, and a brick-paved drive to the front.
The rear terrace is elevated above the south-aspected grounds, and there’s also a dual-feed water feature crafted in Burren limestone with water cascades. Garden landscaping and design was done by the well-known Dominick Cullinane, who was behind the Mallow Garden Festival since its inception, and clearly that enthusiasm got him a bit of local Mallow work as well.
Selling agent John Singleton of Sherry FitzGerald O’Donovan describes No 8 as “a captivating, impeccably decorated residence with an exceptionally high level of finish throughout.” Entry is through a tiled porch, into a large hall with mahogany staircase with coved ceilings and porcelain-tiled floor.
Off are two wood-floored reception rooms, a 15’ by 14’ lounge via glazed double doors, with fireplace, and the larger 20’ by 13’ living rooms has a second, open fireplace.
That’s nothing, though, compared to the now-extended luxury kitchen/dining/family room, as it’s a whopping 32’ by 24’, with hand-painted units in Farrow and Ball paints, some topped with white marble which also features on the splashbacks.
Well-lit, inside and under units too, it has a double ceramic Belfast-style sink, Rangemaster double oven, other Neff appliances, and a Liebherr wine cooler. The room’s exceptionally bright, all the more so thanks to a roof light in its middle section.
Other rooms include a study, a utility and guest WC at ground level, while upstairs now are four bedrooms, and the front two each are en suite (power showers,) with walk-in robes.
The main family bathroom is classically elegant, with hand-painted vertical panels in cream and gold around the bath enclosure, and this low-key and luxurious wash room has a separate shower and there’s parquet-style flooring.
VERDICT: pizza and pizzazz.
Sq m 274 (3,000 sq ft)
Best Feature: Quality all the way
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