Builder’s Rochestown €1.5m  home with pioneering 'extras' good as his Bond

Swimming pool complex and hideaway home bar just some of 'builders' extras' at 7,880 sq ft  timber frame built Anglesea House, looking good as it comes up for sale at almost   50 years of age
Builder’s Rochestown €1.5m  home with pioneering 'extras' good as his Bond

Drone image of7,800 sq ft  Anglesea House, Rochestown, with swimming pool complex on right. Agent Patricia Stokes guides  the pioneering 1970s timber frame build on 1.5 acre at  €1.5 m

Rochestown, Cork

Rochestown,  Cork

€1.5 million

Size

734 sq m (7,880 sq ft)

Bedrooms

5

Bathrooms

4 + pools., changing rooms

BER

C2

THERE’S a guarantee that the large, family-friendly Anglesea House is a rock-solid build — it has been the private home of the noted, retired Cork house builder Noel Parkes and his wife Geraldine for almost half a century.

Pool complex has roof openings 
Pool complex has roof openings 

This Rochestown hill-set house was pioneering back when first built as an early exemplar of energy-efficient timber-frame construction.

The build method became a life-long passion of Noel Parkes, who having seen it widely used in the US in the 1960s, sought to have it introduced on a scale in Ireland.

1.5 acres of private grounds include planning grant for two additional 2,250 sq ft homes
1.5 acres of private grounds include planning grant for two additional 2,250 sq ft homes

Remarkably, for a home of its mid-1970s vintage, it comes for sale with estate agent Patricia Stokes, with an impressive C2 BER — the equivalent of a spritely spring in its step, for its new owners.

It’s on a sizeable 1.5 suburban acres, with full planning on the lower portion of that for two more , 2,250 sq ft detached homes.

Now you see it, now you don't. Private bar revealed on right-hand side, which can be locked away when display cabinet slides across to  obscure it for 'closing time.'
Now you see it, now you don't. Private bar revealed on right-hand side, which can be locked away when display cabinet slides across to  obscure it for 'closing time.'

It comes available in the very weeks when many Irish family homes are hosting First Communions and Confirmations in their gardens and patios: well, this house, with its builders’ ‘extras’ — such as a swimming pool and a sliding, retractable bar — can go a few steps further than more modest private dwellings in terms of happily hosting very major celebrations.

Main living room is so large a baby grand piano  is almost lost in a corner
Main living room is so large a baby grand piano  is almost lost in a corner

Anglesea House has managed to hold not one, but two weddings — giving a proper send-off to one son, and a daughter, who grew up at this party-friendly, family-centered property.

To fit everyone in, and to keep them warm and dry for those Big Days, they were able to cover over the indoor, heated swimming pool to use as a marquee-size venue, complete with His and Hers changing rooms. Then, in another useful and knowing nod to the 1970s, the main, sunken reception room between the lofty hall and the pool building enjoyed its own home bar for long before Covid-19 made them highly popular.

Cheers?
Cheers?

Here, though, instead of being out in a garden shed or proudly-titled shebeen, it’s more of an occasional speakeasy, as it’s a secret one, which can be securely hidden away at a moment’s notice.

The push of a button sees a large display cabinet silently withdraw to reveal a well-stocked bar.

Craftily made, and operated by a motor-driven chain, it’s quite the James Bond lifestyle gadget, built-in. It will be sampled in coming weeks, just as the 25th James Bond movie No Time to Die gets released.

However, whether actor Daniel Craig reprises his scene from 2006’s Casino Royale in those skimpy blue shorts, emerging from Anglesea House’s swimming pool, perhaps on a private viewing, has yet to be revealed.

Deep end?  Daniel Craig appears with Eva Green in James Bond film, 'Casino Royale.' 
Deep end?  Daniel Craig appears with Eva Green in James Bond film, 'Casino Royale.' 

This home’s locked-away yet revealing bar was deliberately designed this way, Noel and Geraldine Parkes chuckle, to keep temptation away from daring teenagers and their friends in earlier days when they had free run of the super-sized house, the stocked kitchen, the gardens, the lower ground floor games/snooker room, and the hugely popular pool, with motorised opening roof,

The man who brought timber-frame construction to the Cork, and who built numerous one-off homes as well as upmarket schemes with suitably exalted names like Hilton, Beverly, and Kensington, delivered the near-8,000 sq ft Anglesea House with its few surprise HomeBond touches, an adjacent workshop/games room and its indoor pool in 1975.

So far ahead of its time was it in terms of modular timber frame build that Noel Parkes worked in close partnership with the Institute for Industrial Research and Standards (IIRS) the forerunner of the NSAI, who did regular site visits to see how it might work in Ireland, creating warm, well-insulated homes.

Lofty hall
Lofty hall

The house gets its name from Cork’s Anglesea Place near City Hall where Noel grew up.

Wanting his mother Ellen to move to live with the family of five, he christened this Rochestown property “so she could continue to live in a place called Anglesea”.

Mrs Parkes snr shared the house for over 30 years: just as well it was large.....

All-in, it has 734 sq m or 7,880 sq ft, and that excludes the attic level, with the original design by Cork architect of the day, Charlie Beale.

View over grounds to Lough Mahon
View over grounds to Lough Mahon

Ahead of the curve Anglesea House is set on the upward slope of Coach Hill in Cork’s Rochestown, looking out over the waters of Cork harbour and Lough Mahon from its elevated perch.

Auctioneer Trish Stokes notes its size, amenities, build quality, its C2 BER and custom touches and says “great design cannot be over-rated, but family living is at the heart of this home. The large-scale layout of this home is proof that generous space can be comfortable and calming to live in.”

She adds that it “has its own distinctive sense of place, and its seclusion and privacy is balanced with the benefits of neighbours and nearby amenities.”

Among those neighbours are Lower Kensington, where Anglesea House stands like a watchful sentry over the entry point to that cul de sac, and separately accessed, Upper Kensington, near Garryduff.

Noel Parkes built both Lower and Upper Kensington (the bigger Kensington homes are in ‘Lower’ section, not the ‘Upper’) but none come remotely to the scale of this expansive five-bed plus grounds.

It’s being sold as the couple are set to trade down, having made maximum use of their home, as did, in fact, four generations, over 50 years.

Kitchen with hand-built hardwood units nad mahogany panelled ceiling
Kitchen with hand-built hardwood units nad mahogany panelled ceiling

Favours got returned too. Some of the family are now also in the construction business, and one carpenter son hand-built the kitchen units for his folks, having seen a high-end example in an interiors magazine.

Not unexpectedly, that kitchen and island’s been the hub of the house, and has full-on views to the waters of Lough Mahon. That same vista’s even better above, from the main en suite bedroom, which even has a ‘70s style radio built into a bedside locker.

VERDICT: Retro? No. Original.

Rochestown, Cork

€1.5 million

Size: 734 sq m (7,880 sq ft),

on 1.5 acres

Bedrooms: 5

Bathrooms: 4 + pool/changing rooms

BER: C2

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