VIDEO: House of the Week - East Ferry, Cork Harbour

IT MIGHT sound dismissive, but the blunt fact is the least interesting part of Water’s Edge is the house itself.

Its setting and its site just beats it hands down, and the hint is in the name. Heck, it’s so close to the water, the family who’ve owned it have been able to fish from their garden, successfully shore angling for species such as skate and thornback ray (see pic above).

A modest three-bed bungalow at the mouth of the tidal estuary and Ballincurra river which stretches back to the Owenacurra river in Midleton at Cork harbour’s East Ferry, Water’s Edge is a new-to-market spring arrival, a family estate sale, with a lofty €765,000 price tag.

That level of expectation is down to the location, views and aspect; it handily ticks all of those boxes, but anyone buying up at even close to this sort of price level is going to want a more impressive place to call home.

So, Water’s Edge may be upgraded, and extended, or possibly even removed to clear the way for a more imposing and energy-efficient new build. Despite being in very good condition, it’s kind of basic and the bedrooms are small.

Builders will be drafted in, no question of that: it’s ripe for something creative, ,coastal-focused, even marine themed.

Might it go out, or up? Might some inspiration be taken from some of the neighbouring homes? Would you get planning for an all-glass fronted contemporary build?

What’s probable is that the 1960s-looking Water’s Edge was built on the site – or, at least the grounds - of another, earlier dwelling, and reminders are the quality and presence of the original old stone perimeter wall and pillars that give it distinction (and privacy) from the scenic East Ferry road to its back.

In fact, it’s most likely to have formed part of the adjacent East Ferry Lodge, a c 5,000 sq ft immaculate Victorian era home, also with extensive harbour frontage here at Gold Point.

That ‘lodge’, complete with guest house/games chalet and outdoor swimming pool, went for sale about five years ago, initially with a guide price of €1.65m. A year later, East Ferry Lodge had a change of agent, and a price shave to €1.5m. 

Now, the Price Registers shows it as a still stand-out sale for the East Cork area, at €1.215m, when bought in 2014 by a young, local family.

It was a far better house, on a far larger site, but key to the sale was the sea frontage, and southerly aspect on one of the most scenic stretches of Cork’s natural harbour basin.

Water’s Edge looks out towards the mouth of the harbour and Whitegate, towards Great Island too, with Cobh as its counterpoint and back to Spike Island, now a fast-appreciating visitor attraction with its own harbour, military and penitentary stories to tell, and to woodland by Marlogue, where there’s a marina and sailing centre.

VIDEO: House of the Week - East Ferry, Cork Harbour

Just a few hundred yards away is a pier and slipway, by Murph’s bar and restaurant, a popular eating and drinking spot beloved by those on Sunday spins, those out on a balmy summer’s evening walk, and those who drop by, by boat from other points of the harbour for an on-shore quality feed.

Set too at the water’s edge is one of the prettiest tiny churches anywhere in Ireland, the Church of Ireland’s Holy Trinity, with contrasting sandstone and limestone exterior, and pale and red brick banding contrasts inside: it’s a popular place for weddings due to the sheer romance of its positioning.

Selling agents for the promise-laden Water’s Edge are Malcolm Tyrrell and Suzanne Tyrrell of Cohalan Downing Associates in Cork city, who say “there’s obvious potential for further development.” 

Already, apart from the tidy 1,350 sq ft bungalow, the one-third acre grounds include an old outbuilding set up as four loose boxes (a previous owner rented land nearby for his horses,) and there’s a glasshouse, apple trees and fruit trees with a range of seasonal berries, plus shrubs, camellias, azaleas and a host more, testament to the owners’ love of gardening.

VERDICT: So-special site and setting.

East Ferry, Cork Harbour €765,000

Size: 125 sq m (1,345 sq ft) Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 2

BER: D2

Best Feature: Water’s Edge


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