West Cork home with old world charm
Bridgewater house, Glandore, West Cork €1.35m
Although Bridgewater House is only about 20 years old, it has the grace and elegance of a much older property. It's partly to do with the proportions - high ceilings, large rooms - and partly to do with the craftsmanlike touches to, for example, the stairway in the hall with its carved woodwork detailing and crisp white cornices, unusual in an age of new builds that favour minimal decorative flourishes. It gives this house a sense of solidity and also avoids some of the dangers of pastiche.
In fact, the current owners built the house after having spent time in South Africa. They introduced some of the elements of colonial architecture they liked so much when it came to designing the interior, such as the grand double-height entrance hall with its delicate central chandelier. A staircase with mahogany handrail wraps around the stairs to the upper storey, which is supported by white fluted columns.
The main reception rooms lead off the hallway. They are bright and spacious with oak floors or light coloured carpet. Walls throughout are painted in Parma grey and subtle shades of stone and cream. It is a house built for entertaining - there is a fine drawing room with double doors giving onto a sun terrace that guests could spill out onto with their drinks on a sunny evening. While the good-sized kitchen/dining room has a large central island suited to food prep on a generous scale. A big utility room is supplied with a double sink and fitted units.
A conservatory leads off the dining room. "It's the ideal spot," says Maeve McCarthy of Charles McCarthy estate agents, "to read the paper and drink your coffee in the mornings." You would be spoiled for choice - there is also a light-filled reading room and a study.
Elsewhere on the ground floor there is a separate studio that can be accessed by double doors from outside. It has the potential to be converted to a playroom.
On the first floor there are four spacious bedrooms, though three share a bathroom. The largest is the master bedroom, with an en suite with bath and shower. It is a bright room with double doors opening onto a balcony that gives wonderful views out over the inlet that leads to the sea. The property is in turn-key condition.
Bridgewater House is set on a hill just 100m walk from the village of Glandore and designed so that the rear of the property faces out to sea and those spell-binding views of the inner harbour at Glandore and further down the coast to Union Hall. The same views can be enjoyed from an outdoor hot tub.
No doubt the vendors will be sad to leave this picturesque spot. They are local to the area and are aiming to develop another property in West Cork. For now, says Maeve McCarthy, the house would be well-suited to a family wanting to settle permanently in West Cork - the city is an hour's drive away and there are good schools locally - or to those looking for a summer house, with the sandy beach of Warren Strand 10 minutes away.
In summer, Glandore is a busy sailing spot with fleets of Squibs and Dragons racing across the bay in the annual regatta in August, and a biannual Classic Boat Regatta. The local sailing school is based at Glandore Harbour Yacht Club and draws many visitors. There are a number of fine restaurants in the neighbourhood including The Glandore Bistro on the harbour and the Glandore Inn. Nearby are the pretty towns of Skibbereen and Castletownshend, which was home to the Anglo-Irish authors Somerville and Ross who wrote Some Experiences of an Irish RM.
Size: 325 sqm
Agent: Charles McCarthy, (028) 21533
Viewing: by appointment only