House of the Week: 5-bed on the Blackrock Road for €650,000

Offers the chance to put your own stamp on it
House of the Week: 5-bed on the Blackrock Road for €650,000

Glanleam on Cork's Blackrock Road.

Blackrock Road, Cork



231 sq m/2491 sq ft







THE speed at which time passes comes into sharp focus when a house you could have sworn featured fairly recently in the Irish Examiner property pages turns out to have done so a dozen years ago.

Maybe it’s because the house itself is so memorable. There aren’t too many homes of Glanleam’s calibre, certainly not this close to the city and certainly not with a 35m long garden.

On its last outing, Glanleam was guided at €1.2m. The timing wasn’t great. It was 2008 and the house failed to sell.

Now, at just over half that price - €650,000 - selling agent Malcolm Tyrrell of Cohalan Downing expects considerable interest, while advising buyers that they "will spend a bit of money" on Glanleam. After all, it is a century old.

During most of those 100 years, this lovely old home on the Blackrock Road has housed generations of Hylands, who have been in residence since 1941.

It was the father of Sandy Hyland, the current owner, that bought the property from the O’Sullivan sisters who built a bungalow alongside at the time.

Sandy (of Barry and Hyland, the family shoe-shop on Patrick’s St) and his wife Mary are now keen to downsize locally.

Mr Tyrrell says houses like Glanleam are getting harder to find.

“It has character to it. These days, homes are becoming much more homogenised,” he says.

Glanleam's setting alone is a talking point. It’s right where the old Passage West and Monkstown rail line passed under the Blackrock Road. Nowadays, that rail line is a popular greenway that links all the way down to Passage, and is a massive hit with walkers, joggers and cyclists.

Glanleam is sited in such a way that no-one passing down the Blackrock Road has any idea of its glorious rear. The front door and gorgeous veranda are at the wrong side for the passerby. So are the magnificent gardens.

The National Inventory of Architectural Heritage - which records buildings of architectural significance - includes a reference to Glanleam and its “handsome veranda” and its retention of original windows.

In addition to the handsome veranda, there’s a lovely patio. The whole garden, south-facing, is a suntrap.

The house itself, a three-bay, two-storey, detached home with fabulous high ceilings and big windows, is full of light and has no difficulty absorbing bold paint choices. It retains many appealing features like original fireplaces and original pine floors.

Three bedrooms and a bathroom occupy the first floor and the master bedroom has two sash windows and a working open fire.

The remaining two are attic-level bedrooms, floodlit by big box dormers, with a store or home study in between.

Downstairs, the formal reception is to the left of the hall, with its original bay and sash window; across the hall is a front-to back kitchen/dining/family room.

There’s also a study/den/playroom to the back in a projecting single-storey extension, added c1950, which is a real evening retreat and has independent access from the garden.

Mr Tyrrell says most of the main rooms are south-facing.

At nearly 2,500 sq ft and with a huge garden and terrific location, Mr Tyrrell says it’s been an amazing family home and while “there was never a great deal of money spent on it, it is secure and dry.” 

Whoever buys will need to invest, while hopefully preserving Glanleam's unique character.

“I think it will be someone keen for the location and for a detached home in Blackrock,” Mr Tyrrell says.

“What we are seeing in Blackrock at the moment, is that it’s up the charts in terms of numbers.

“But Glanleam is at a good price and you have the chance to put your own stamp on it.

“Blackrock is still the area for which demand is highest.”

 VERDICT: Oozing charm and elegance. Stellar location. Be prepared to invest in its maintenance.

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