Saturday 19 August 2017

Check out the amazing staircase in this dream West Cork home with seaside views

This house has been designed to take advantage of the limitless views

An Radharc was built into a hill on the site of an old cottage in the mid-2000s
An Radharc was built into a hill on the site of an old cottage in the mid-2000s

Eithne Tynan

That Jonathan Swift was a genius is beyond argument, but one contemporary critic believed he rather let himself down after living for a time on the shores of Glandore Harbour in west Cork.

In 1723, Swift wrote a poem in Latin called Carberiae Rupes In Comitatu Corgagensi, or Carbery Rocks In County Cork. His grandnephew and biographer, Deane Swift, was not all that taken with it.

The marble and wrought-iron staircase
The marble and wrought-iron staircase

"The Dean understood the Latin language perfectly well, and he read it constantly, but he was no Latin poet," wrote Swift the Younger of his uncle. "And if the Carberiae Rupes… had been the produce of any other author, they must have undergone a severe censure from Dr Swift."

Granted, Carberiae Rupes does read a little overblown - especially from a writer who was usually so much a master of wit and purpose.

The top floor dual-aspect drawing room with balconies
The top floor dual-aspect drawing room with balconies

Allowances can be made, though, for the circumstances. This is a particularly beautiful part of west Cork, such that even a mediocre poet might be inspired to write 33 lines of uncharacteristically florid verse.

There's a top-floor drawing room at An Radharc, in the townland of Rushanes, where that sort of thing might happen. Given the name of the house, though (translating as The View), your doggerel is perhaps more likely to be in Irish than in Latin. An Radharc is on an elevated site with limitless views over Glandore Harbour, and it's three storeys high, so you feel almost as if you're towering over the landscape.

The fitted kitchen
The fitted kitchen

It's just east of the village of Glandore, home of the celebrated Glandore Yacht Club, and looks west towards Union Hall and south towards the open sea and the pair of islands known as Adam Island and Eve Island. The current owners are keen sailors and it's likely the new owners will develop their interests along nautical lines as well. If so, they'll become well acquainted with Adam and Eve before long. The instructions to sailors entering Glandore Harbour are to "avoid Adam and hug Eve". The same instructions apply to those leaving the harbour, although it must be harder to avoid Adam after having hugged Eve in plain sight.

The house was built into a hill on the site of an old cottage in the mid-2000s, and it's on three-quarters of an acre of grounds designed by renowned landscape gardener Verney Naylor.

The Bantry-based landscape artist's style is informal and naturalistic and she is known for working with rocks as well as other natural materials. She likes her gardens to look as if they have evolved naturally from the landscape.

Inside, it's a substantial 5,000 sq ft in a slightly unorthodox layout, in that there's a mixture of living rooms and bedrooms on all three of the floors.

One of the top floor bedrooms
One of the top floor bedrooms

The three levels are connected by a marble and wrought-iron staircase made by Ronan Creative Ironcraft, lit by a tall arched window looking east. The floors are in oak or marble, and there are balconies dotted about and patio doors leading out to a terrace that looks south and west over the water. The ground floor has a dual-aspect kitchen and dining room measuring about 16ft by 22ft. It's fitted with solid wood countertops and a centre island, with granite countertops and painted in duck egg blue. Two sets of patio doors open from here to the terrace.

Next to the kitchen is a dual-aspect sitting room measuring 16ft by 14ft with a curved wall, a fireplace and French windows to the terrace.

The views from the terrace
The views from the terrace

The showpiece reception room, though, is the drawing room on the top floor, where the aspiring poet puts quill pen to vellum. Corresponding to the sitting room below, it's also dual-aspect and has a curved wall, but there's a vaulted ceiling here and on the two external walls are balconies looking south and west.

The lower ground floor has a huge games room measuring some 30ft by 33ft, or about 1,000 sq ft. It has a solid-fuel stove in a granite hearth and there are several sets of patio doors, again opening south and west.

The garden designed by Verney Naylor
The garden designed by Verney Naylor

Also on this lower level there's a utility room, a wet room and workshop, a comms room and various stores.

An Radharc has four bedrooms in all, and all are en-suite. There's one on the ground floor, which is dual-aspect with sliding doors to the terrace. Another is on the lower ground floor and the remaining two are on the top floor. These top bedrooms include the master suite which has a vaulted ceiling and views of the bay. Adjoining it is a dressing room and an en-suite with a bath and separate shower.

There are dual-aspect windows in the en-suite too, so you can enjoy a pleasant vista from the bath.

The house has an elaborate three-zone underfloor heating system, oil-fired, and there are gas fire places in the drawing room and the sitting room. The energy rating is B3.

It's for sale with joint agents Savills in Cork (021) 427 1371 and Charles McCarthy in Skibbereen (028) 21533. The asking price is €1,350,000.

An Radharc

Rushanes, Glandore, Co Cork

Asking price: €1.35m

Agent: Savills in Cork (021) 427 1371 and Charles McCarthy in Skibbereen (028) 21533

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