Rail deal: Cork's viaduct the local landmark on doorstep of €825k home on 13 acres

200-year old Castlewhite House has roots back to 17th century Rochfordstown Castle, land for horses and is within a trot of Dunnes Bishopstown to boot
Rail deal: Cork's viaduct the local landmark on doorstep of €825k home on 13 acres

Castlewhite House

Chetwynd, Viaduct, Cork



282 sq m (3,025 sq ft)

on 13 acres 







THERE’S an unmistakable Cork landmark on the doorstep of Castlewhite House – the 90’ high viaduct, a sturdy yet ghostly reminder of the heady days of the Cork Bandon and South Cork Railway.

Train crossing  the Chetwynd Viaduct on 1st March 1961
Train crossing  the Chetwynd Viaduct on 1st March 1961

Historic and all as the viaduct is (built in 1849 and serving the rail until 19610, the stone and steel four-span structure was a brash blow-in for the then residents of Castlewhite House, whose rural peace must have been shattered first by the viaduct’s construction..…and then by trains, trains, trains.

The elegant Georgian home (just now up for sale and an opportunity to do something even grander with it ) dates to the 1820s.

It was built on the grounds of the 17th century Rochfordstown Castle, whose date 1630 is recalled still on a plaque on an old outbuilding/dairy to the back of this graceful, hideaway home on the city’s western fringes, with the Castlewhite Equestrian Centre to its back boundary.

Ideal for horsy folk-itself, Castlewhite’s a robust home of Georgian proportions, with distinctive set-back side wings with some feature windows.

Castlewhite is set off by distinctive side wings
Castlewhite is set off by distinctive side wings

In terms of horses for courses, it all once commanded a large estate of many hundreds of acres, but ended up on reduced lands after the intervention of the Land Commission after the 1923 Land Act, with reductions continuing into the 1950s and 1960s.

Castlewhite House is on 13 acres, in two paddocks, with views back to Cork city
Castlewhite House is on 13 acres, in two paddocks, with views back to Cork city

As it comes to market this January, it is offered on 13 acres of good land (in two paddocks) along with the house, all priced at €825,000 by agents Pat Falvey and Laura Pratt of Lisney Sotheby’s International Realty.

Privately set to the front, it has a long approach avenue (shared with one other home at the road end) off the N71 main route to West Cork opposite the recently reopened The Viaduct roadhouse restaurant, bar and gourmet food shop, now owned by Cliste Hospitality.

Apart from the calibre of the house, its features, size and lands, a key attraction is the vista back north/eastward to Cork city, with a long, rolling view from its elevation out over Curraheen towards the hills fringing Cork’s northside, and all-aglow at night with Apple’s HQ a hilltop crowning glory on distant Hollyhill.

One of the double aspect reception rooms
One of the double aspect reception rooms

Currently lived in, Castlewhite House is in good overall condition, but in fresh ownership it has the potential be made quite special – a period home, with all the trimmings, with land for horses or hobby farming, on the edge of the city a mile or so from the just-extended Dunnes Stores at Bishopstown Roundabout.

It's exactly the sort of place those of a certain ‘disposition’ might covet: if a home hunter wants the sort of house that’s going to wow visitors at dinner parties, or hold fine art, well, this is a top runner. And it’s only January.

Agents Pat Falvey and Laura Pratt can surely expect medics to be to the fore in request for viewing and bidding, as they’ve traditionally been strong buyers here, around Waterfall, and up Spur Hill where the hill slopes are dotted with Polly Pocket style mini-mansions, some with turrets and repro bling.

Castlewhite's hall with interior fanlight
Castlewhite's hall with interior fanlight

This is the real deal.

Dealing perhaps in cliches about Cork’s better-heeled home buyers, there’ll also be counter bids from the stalwart likes of lawyers, tecchies and returnees from overseas as it really is a sort of ‘once in a lifetime’ offer.

This historic property’s name Castlewhite is now shared with the immediate locale around the viaduct and Chetwynd.

Rear view of Castlewhite House
Rear view of Castlewhite House

The same name even transferred into the city and a second residence with another White family-owned Castlewhite built off the Western Road, later assimilated by UCC and now the name continues there on blocks of student accommodation, build in 1991.

Old dairy building with crest recalling 17th century origins
Old dairy building with crest recalling 17th century origins

Castlewhite proper (Rochfordstown) was in White family hands from 1670, bought by a city Sherriff William White.

Previous owners were the Travers (the name changed to Castle Travers), later families included Hawkes, O’Callaghans, and Feens, and it was briefly owned by a property developer in the heady 1960s, as Bishopstown expanded out in this direction.

The current family owners have been here since the 1970s, having gone to a second generation, and it’s likely whoever buys now will similarly aim to keep it for the long haul.

One of the five bedrooms
One of the five bedrooms

It has over 3,000 sq ft, with five bedrooms, several rooms have a double aspect, and the front ones have those lovely long views to look forward to in summer months over the property’s two paddocks, past a cedar tree and back down the tree-line avenue.

A number of the windows were replaced with pvc ‘georgian’ double glazed units, but some of the original front twelve-pane over eight-pane sliding sashes remain to show how its original elegance can easily be reinstated in the next ownership.

The main house has a dash render exterior, which may or may not be replaced with breathable lime render, and the recessed flanking side wings have some lovely original arched, diamond and occulus windows.

There’s the original fanlight over the door with Doric columns, not currently seen from the outside because of a later-added porch, while inside the gracious wide hallway has an internal arch with fanlight, with glazed side doors.

Rooms have deep ceiling coving, many windows have shutters and there are several excellent original fireplaces, while the upper floor has five bedrooms, with a main bathrooms in a rear annex over the (quite basic) kitchen and rear entry point.

Double aspect room
Double aspect room

Unsurprisingly, the 200 year old pedigree property home needs updating (the BER's a G, and surprisingly the property's not a protected structure), but its bones appear excellent.

A buyer,  in consultation with a price-sensitive conservation architect,  might be able to make major upgrade at a not too unreasonable additional budget, on top of what it eventually gets bidded to.

VERDICT: Sure, it needs some work, but it means next occupants can make this highly accessible edge-of-city period home their ‘castle,’ exactly the way they’d like it. Horses, for courses indeed, with the viaduct as a directions marker.

More in this section

News Wrap

A lunchtime summary of content highlights on the Irish Examiner website. Delivered at 1pm each day.

Sign up
Cookie Policy Privacy Policy FAQ Help Contact Us Terms and Conditions

© Irish Examiner Ltd