Chance to buy Belvelly's 'other' castle in Cork harbour

Great Scott! Cobh's Great Island property mix includes a castle keep and a converted coachhouse@€375k, and a villa style bungalow by the water@€275k
Chance to buy Belvelly's 'other' castle in Cork harbour

Two lots on offer at Ashmount, a do-er lodge by the water,  plus a converted coach house with a 600 year old castle, keep or tower

Great Island, Cork Harbour

€275,000 + €375,000 (in lots)

Size

900 sq ft + 1,188 sq ft

Bedrooms

2 + 3

Bathrooms

1 + 1

BER

E2 coachhouse, villa and castle n/a

 

 

THE remarkably restored Belvelly Castle on Cork Harbour’s Great Island isn’t the only castle on Cobh’s island – there’s one here for sale today, and it’s a far cheaper proposition.

Ballymacshanroe Castle is a mile or so from Belvelly castle
Ballymacshanroe Castle is a mile or so from Belvelly castle

The rebirth of the 800 year old, 80ft high Belvelly Castle was done at cost of many, many millions of euros by its saviours, Garry and Anne Wilson, who bought it at auction in 2016; it made for a fascinating episode of RTÉ’s Great House Revival with Hugh Wallace in 2019.

This Belvelly bedfellow, another castle nearby, mightn’t make the telly with quite the same impact, but it might not break the bank either.

Belvelly Castle by  Belvelly Channel at the entrance to the Great Island in East Cork. Picture Dan Linehan
Belvelly Castle by  Belvelly Channel at the entrance to the Great Island in East Cork. Picture Dan Linehan

Set a mile or so to the east of Belvelly Bridge and that remarkable castle’s renewal with its Thinking Man sculpture and gilded tree, is a property mix at a spot called Ashgrove, facing the backwaters of Belvelly Channel and Brown Island, offered in two lots via agents Casey & Kingston.

#imstayinghome flag on top of Belvelly Castle. Picture Dan Linehan
#imstayinghome flag on top of Belvelly Castle. Picture Dan Linehan

One lot is the remains of a 600 year old, low-slung tower castle, Ballymacshaneroe, robust enough still for its age, and, serving the most modern of modern-day purposes: it holds a receiving dish for a broadband signal or TV signal for the home right beside it.

The tower, or keep, was once a two-room structure associated with a local wing of the ancient Barry family, a surname still much evident locally via the Smith Barry family of Fota, and also later tied into the Beamish family.

The tower was raided while in Barry ownership, in 1599, by Hugh O’Neill’s Ulster men, according to the Cork Historical and Archaelogical Society journal of 1915, which noted an adjoining mansion house had since all but disappeared.

Not much more than 20ft high, Ballymacshaneroe Castle stands still (pic, right), despite the ravages of time and terror, just beside and partly behind a converted old stone and brick-arched coachouse/old outbuilding dating to c 1800s, and this latter is now a well presented two-bed home of character with its pointed brick arches a highlight.

This duo, castle/tower/keep and pretty, old converted stand-alone house are on lovely green garden grounds of 0.47 of an acre behind limestone entrance pillars denoting it as The Coach House, and are for sale with Sam Kingston and Jennifer Roe of Casey & Kingston. They guide them together at €375,000, noting the latter’s in excellent order, with an E2 BER, and is currently lived in.

Ashmount Lodge and Coach House Cobh Cork
Ashmount Lodge and Coach House Cobh Cork

In front and more readily visible if passing by on the relatively quiet backwater road along Great Island’s northern shoulder is Ashgrove Lodge, an unusual, almost villa-like bungalow of c 1,200 sq ft, with more modern ‘Spanish’ arches a 20th-century affectation, on c0.3 of an acre with garage, old outbuildings and stone walls.

It’s in pretty poor order, after roof and ceiling damage and water ingress. It’s a stone’s toss to the water, with the tidal reaches of Cork harbour over a low wall where there’s a basic bit of a slipway for a small boat. Recent road works along this stretch with several other intermittently-placed homes have bulwarked the wall in sections: but, anyone taking on the lodge might be mindful at the outset of the scale of work needed, and of rising sea level concerns and, if a replacement is to be built, it might be prudent to raise it up a bit to the level of the Coach House behind.

The guide price for Ashgrove Lodge/its site is €275,000 and the agents Casey & Kingston will sell together, or separately and if the latter, it’s noted that the Coach House will need planning for its own biocycle unit.

The road ringing this scenic stretch, prettier on a full tide and rich in marine, shell and birdlife, passes from Belvelly Bridge and then meanders up a wooded hill towards Marlogue and Ballymore, then on, to the back and east of Cobh.

Water's edge
Water's edge

Even though there’s a boat storage unit nearby at Rossleague on the island, there’s not that much marine traffic on a day-to-day basis at the back end of the five-mile wide and two-mile deep Great Island (though there have been shellfish operations), with occasional 25kms ‘circumnavigation’ kayak races, passing by these low-key local landmarks.

Your castle awaits...... 
Your castle awaits...... 

VERDICT: Dip a toe in the water and the market at Great Island’s great, backwater hinterland and salt marshes?

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