With the addition of a little seasonal decoration, some tinsel, and a red nose, the stag’s head in this Shanagarry home would be a dead ringer for everyone’s favourite Christmas reindeer.
Size: 299 sq m (3,217 sq ft)
Best Feature: Not deer
But despite any similarities, it’s definitely not Rudolph, since it has been occupying pride of place above the fireplace in this sitting room for at least 25 years.
It was there when the current owners bought the 19th century cottage in the early 1990s and has remained undisturbed since — though major extensions have been carried on all around it, and the property has almost tripled in size.
The owners never managed to get any information about the head or how it got there. “When we bought the cottage, which had been partially renovated as a summer home, it was already on the wall,” says the owner, who has no plans to remove it now.
A short walk from Ballinamona beach and 1km from Shanagarry village, the once-small, traditional cottage has been transformed into a spacious 3,200 sq ft home. Despite the addition of en suite bedrooms, a jacuzzi bath, double-glazed windows, and a new kitchen, it has kept its cottagey feel and traditional features which include beamed ceilings, latched doors, and timber panelling.
Rooms in the original, thick, stone-walled part of the house include two large sitting rooms. One doubles as a formal dining room and has black beams on the ceiling, timber wainscoting, and a fireplace with a stove. The other, home to the Rudolph lookalike, has a high-vaulted, timber-panelled ceiling, a huge open fireplace with a stove, and a timber mantel above it. An open tread staircase in this sitting room leads to the attic which has two timber-floored bedrooms with sea views.
Since the owners bought the property in the early 1990s, they have created a great deal of extra space by adding on rooms as needed. The earliest addition was a large, en suite master bedroom. The second, a few years later, involved building a new kitchen/dining room at the back. Fitted with pine units, it has a raised ceiling with black beams.
A few years later, the owners added a conservatory which runs along the full 41’ length of the house. With exposed stone walls, some timber panelling, and tiled flooring, this provides a comfortable area in which to sit and look out on to the back garden and across to the tennis court.
In a fourth and final extension, to create extra space for family living, the owners added a second en suite bedroom at the rear of the property.
As part of the renovations and upgrading, they turned the room next to the kitchen into a utility room. The main bathroom, in the original part of the house on the ground floor, was also upgraded with black and white tiles and a jacuzzi bath.
The decor has been kept neutral — all the walls are white and doors added during the extensions are latched like the ones in the house when the owners bought it. Replacing the windows with double glazing, they upgraded the heating, insulated the walls, and brought the energy rating up to a C1.
In addition to the 3,200 sq ft house, there is an additional 800 sq ft of space in a renovated two-bedroom guest cottage at the front, next to the gated entrance.
Should a new owner require additional space for storage or a workshop, this property has an abundance of it. At one side of the extended cottage there’s a detached, L-shaped row of old stone outbuildings which collectively have an area of around 1,000 sq ft.
Extending to 1.3 acres, the site is bounded by mature trees, has a gravel entrance, a courtyard at the side, and extensive lawns. At the far end of the garden, enclosed by fencing, is a full-sized tennis court put in 12 years ago. Located a few fields away from a local bird sanctuary, the property is approximately 18km from Midleton.
Guiding at €455,000, the much extended cottage is on the market with Cronin Wall Properties, Midleton, who say it’s unique, charming, and offers wonderful space for a trade-up buyers.
Verdict: Spacious house, spacious gardens, and a unique ornament for Christmas
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