Signed, sealed, delivered, €260,000 revamped post office is a tasty package

Bang for your buck at lovely Knockanevin with beautiful countryside views 
Signed, sealed, delivered, €260,000 revamped post office is a tasty package

Knockanevin, Kilmallock

Kilmallock, Co Cork



114 sq m (1227 sq ft)







GAELIC placenames tend to nail an area’s terrain with far more accuracy than the Anglicized variant. Take Knockanevin, meaningless in English, but which in Gaelic conjures up images of a pleasant hillside (“Cnocán Aoibhinn”). Sure enough, just such a hillock is on view from the Knockanevin property featured here. It’s a house not quite as old as the hillock itself, that in its heyday was the focal point of village life.

View from Knockanevin
View from Knockanevin

The beauty of this Knockanevin home is that apart from the solar panel giveaway, the owners have taken a less-is-more approach, so that appearance-wise, it still looks very much the 120-year-old home that it is. In fact the original house on the site, a cottage, dated to 1829, but it was replaced c1900 by the house you see here. Or at least a version of the house you see here, which has been brought into the 21st century on foot of a series of renovations undertaken by the current owners.

Back in the day, this house was the village hub, a shop and post office where locals gathered to exchange news or buy tobacco or post letters. Everybody knew it, just as everybody knew the neighbouring church, in this small agricultural hinterland of Kilmallock, in north Cork.

Neighbouring Church
Neighbouring Church

The property operated as a post office up until 1985, when its owners, the Gruffertys, retired. They had made some internal changes over the years, reducing the shop size to create more living space. They had also ensured it remained structurally sound, if in need of modernisation, when Mark Slattery and John McLaughlin, a UK-based couple with Irish connections, bought it in 2015.

The pair had not been looking in the Kilmallock area as family connections were in Belfast and Tipperary.

“We almost bought in Tipperary in 2013, but the sale fell through. We were here on holidays in May 2015 when an email came in, I think from the same estate agent, about this house.

“We decided to take a look and we drove up on a beautiful May day and fell in love. We viewed it twice that week and put our own house in the UK up for sale,” Mark says.

By September, they’d moved over but instead of ripping everything out, they embarked on incremental changes, working on a new project each year.

“The house wasn’t a wreck by any means, but there was an unbelievable draught blowing right through from front to back, so the first thing we did was change the windows and doors. We also replaced the boiler and some of the radiators,” Mark says.

Over the next few years, they put on a new roof, installed a new bathroom upstairs, installed a new waste water system; fitted solar panels on the roof (hot water supply), replaced two fireplaces and put in two stoves; more recently, they took down a wall between a dining area and kitchen to the rear to create a bigger kitchen. Removing the wall also opened up the views right through the property, so that they could look right down the valley to Ballyhoura.

New Kitchen
New Kitchen

New Kitchen
New Kitchen

Living room
Living room

They put on a new porch too but retained the legacy of two front doors (one had been the entry to the shop, the other into the house).

“We hummed and hawed about leaving the shop door, but it was a good decision to keep it because the long glass panel lets the sun in all day during the summer and it opens out from the sitting room into the garden,” Mark says.

Garden door from living room
Garden door from living room

They did plenty of cosmetic work too, exposing/retaining original features where possible and laying new floor tiles in areas where the originals had seen better days.

The gardens were re-worked (one of two Monkey Puzzle trees planted as “Mr” and “Mrs” when the Gruffertys retired in 1985 remains, gender unknown, as well as two Irish yew trees). 

John tackled big perimeter hedges, and in doing so,uncovered the original perimeter walls. 

They were embedded with horse-shoes which locals told the owners had been used by villagers to tie up horses and donkeys while going about their business in bygone days, or perhaps enjoying a tipple in one of the outbuildings, rumoured to have been a shebeen many moons ago, before the Gruffertys’ time.

Another outhouse used to be a garage and has a power supply and yet another, also with power, used to be a sorting office.

When Mark and John bought the house, it came with about three-and-a-half acres, but as they’re not farmers, they sold off all but one acre, a good portion of which they allow a local breeder to use for rescue horses.

The couple has loved living in Knockanevin, but are returning to the UK now for family reasons.

“It’s been glorious living here, we have loved the peace and quiet of the countryside and it’s been fantastic to be part of such a great community. And although it is the countryside, it’s still just 10km from Mitchelstown and 10 minutes from the M8 motorway to Dublin, which has been very handy when I needed to do work in Dublin,” Mark says. Limerick is a 45 minutes drive.

The pair will take many good memories of Knockanevin with them and of course the picture of the house painted by Mark’s mother, Margaret Slattery, complete with solar panels!

Painting by Margaret Slattery
Painting by Margaret Slattery

Selling the detached (insert size) four-bed is Michael Dorgan of Michael Dorgan Auctioneers and he says there are two distinct groups of buyers looking, who are impressed by the €260,000 guide price.

“You have younger couples who are travelling to Cork City to work and who see that they would get great bang for their buck – four beds, all that space, a whole lot of character, for not a lot of money. The majority intend to commute or work from home,” Mr Dorgan says.

The second group includes local families impressed by the quality of the extensively renovated house.

“It’s of a quality you would not usually see in such an old house and it comes with an extensive garden, several outbuildings and all the benefits of the countryside,” Mr Dorgan adds.

Accommodation at Knockanevin includes a shiny new kitchen with a double larder and door to the back yard, a utility, a bathroom with shower, a living room (with door to garden) and also a snug, with a parquet floor and original timber ceiling downstairs. Upstairs, the bathroom has a double shower and there are four bedrooms.


Mr Dorgan says the property is just 40 minutes from the Jack Lynch Tunnel and nearby activities include fishing, hill-walking and horse riding.

VERDICT: Terrific value for a quality renovation in a lovely setting. Ideal for buyer looking to live in a home with character in the countryside and willing to commute, or someone in a position to work from home. The Good Life vibe.

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