Stunning timber-framed home with views of Kenmare Bay can be yours for €1.15m
This spacious timber-framed home may soon become a rarity
If you're thinking of building a timber-framed house out of Japanese larch, now might be a good time.
The Japanese larch is a popular species among bonsai enthusiasts, but more significantly it has also enjoyed a glorious heyday in the construction industry that is soon likely to come to an abrupt end.
The tree, a deciduous conifer, has been afflicted by a highly contagious disease called Phytophthora ramorum, sometimes known as sudden larch death, discovered in this country in 2010.
Thousands of acres of Japanese larch planting in Ireland and Britain had to be felled to try and curb the spread of the epidemic.
The Department of Agriculture stopped grant-aiding Japanese larch plantations in 2010, and is still describing the situation as "worrying".
So while the timber will be plentiful for a time - infected trees that have been felled can still be safely used for commercial purposes - it is likely to become increasingly rare.
When that happens, there's one five-bedroom detached house outside Kenmare in Co Kerry that will be rendered even more unusual - and it's quite unusual already.
It's partly the setting: the property is on two-and-a-half acres in the townland of Cappanacush East, looking south towards the Caha Mountains and Kenmare Bay, and with a sizeable pond in the garden to reflect even more of the sky.
Then there's the size and sheer scope of the interior: the overall floor area is over 4,300 sq ft, with a living room sufficient to inspire a tremor of status anxiety in the owner of any medieval banqueting hall. And then there's the fact that it's a timber-framed house, constructed of none other than Japanese larch.
But other species of tree have given their lives for the existence of this house too, and will continue to do so. The internal beams are pine, the joinery is all oak, and there's a wood-burning stove in that vast living room, where you can cremate any number of dismembered trees in perpetuity.
It's a roughly square property and more or less symmetrical on both floors, with a double-sided oak staircase with marble steps linking the two levels.
That's in the entrance hall, which has a limestone floor and French doors to the deck out the back of the house. On the other side of the hall and down a couple of steps is the living room or lounge. It has a double-height ceiling so you can see right up to the gallery landing on the first floor, and there are three large skylights in the roof.
Along with the wood-burning stove, there's a built-in flat screen TV in the room, and a wall of windows with two sets of French doors leading out to the patio. One of the interior walls is also fully glazed, so you can keep an eye on what people are doing in the adjoining dining room, and vice versa. The dining room is dual-aspect and has more French doors to the patio.
The Italian fitted kitchen, also dual-aspect, is on the opposite end of the living room, but can be reached only from the hall, through a set of glazed double doors. It has Italian floor and wall tiles and also ceramic tiled countertops and a centre island. In the kitchen there's yet another set of French doors to the patio.
These rooms all look south. Also on the ground floor, on the other side of the house, there's a utility room, a guest toilet and one guest bedroom with an en-suite shower. The other three bedrooms - all en-suite - are upstairs, on either side of the gallery landing that overlooks the lounge.
The master bedroom suite occupies the full width of the house. To one side there are French doors to a balcony overlooking the pond, and there are also views south towards Kenmare Bay. Adjoining the room is a dressing room with built-in cupboards and mirrored wardrobes to reach the en-suite.
The 2.5 acres of gardens include lawns, flowerbeds and a hexagonal railed deck jutting out over the pond. Also on the grounds there's a 375 sq ft garage and a 150 sq ft workshop.
There's a water purifying system and oil-fired central heating - underfloor on the ground level - with an energy rating of B3.
The house is just off the N70 Ring of Kerry route, roughly nine kilometres west of Kenmare. About three kilometres down the road towards the town is the Ring of Kerry Golf & Country Club, described by the late Terry Wogan as "a superb course set amidst the finest scenery in the world".
At Killarney, some 40 kilometres from the house, you can catch a train for Dublin, Cork or Limerick. Alternatively, Kerry Airport is about an hour away by car.
All the contents are included in the sale.
Kenmare, Co Kerry
Asking price: € 1.15m
Agent: Savills in Cork (021) 427 1371