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A Neo-Gothic coastal home in West Cork has superstar appeal

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Number 9, Cuan Dor Haven, in Glandore, West Cork, was designed by Alexander White, known for specialising in church architecture

Number 9, Cuan Dor Haven, in Glandore, West Cork, was designed by Alexander White, known for specialising in church architecture

Number 9, Cuan Dor Haven, in Glandore, West Cork, was designed by Alexander White, known for specialising in church architecture

9 Cuan Dor Haven, Rushanes, Glandore, West Cork

Asking price: €570,000

Joint Agents: Cahalane Skuse (021) 4279179 & Hodnett Forde (023) 8833367

It used to be that Jeremy Irons and Graham Norton were the ones to watch for when on holidays in West Cork. Everyone knew that Norton could turn up at the local pub quiz in Ahakista or Irons could be spotted out for a coastal walk near his castle outside Ballydehob.

Meantime, Carol Vorderman could be seen strolling around Glandore where she had a home for many years. She has since tweeted about missing West Cork. So it was always the Brits. But lately, the bohemian bolthole has become more of a Hollywood hideaway.

Celebrity publicist Tonya Meli and her husband Gerald Casey bought Shorecliffe House in Glandore for €1.5m in 2015. The Georgian estate, valued at €4.3m in 2009, was the beloved holiday home of former billionaire Tony O’Reilly. The young couple were married in Kenmare in 2014, where guests included Hugh Grant and Colin Firth, so this house is sure to be a VIP magnet.

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The double-height hallway with timber beams overhead

The double-height hallway with timber beams overhead

The double-height hallway with timber beams overhead

Last November, actress Saoirse Ronan traded a property in Greystones for one in West Cork. The 26-year-old star spent €800,000 on a stone-faced traditional home in the townland of Foilnamuck.

The pandemic has meant she hasn’t managed to spend any time there yet, but the actress insists she’ll always call Ireland home, so locals are hopeful she’ll bring a buzz to Ballydehob.

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Glandore resident and publicist Tonya Meli

Glandore resident and publicist Tonya Meli

Glandore resident and publicist Tonya Meli

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For that superstar appeal, a house in a private development in Glandore has just come on the market. Built in 2004, No9 Cuan Dor Haven was West Cork’s first gated community.

The house is startlingly different than Celtic Tiger new-builds, with more in common with a neo-Gothic late Victorian gate lodge than the cookie cutters we are more familiar with. When launched, they were mostly bought by professionals from both Ireland and overseas, and used as a second home.

But today, estate agent John Hodnett says that a few of them are now occupied full time. West Cork newspaper The Southern Star recently produced a report by its Editor Siobhan Cronin highlighting an unprecedented surge in interest in homes in the region since Covid-19 landed.

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The open-plan living room/kitchen is on the first floor

The open-plan living room/kitchen is on the first floor

The open-plan living room/kitchen is on the first floor

In a year that saw homeowners leave highly populated cities for the good life, Hodnett says he recently sold three properties without the buyers even setting foot inside.

Cuan Dor was designed by architect Alexander White, best known for specialising in liturgical design and church architecture, which explains the elegant neo-Gothic look. He worked on the restoration of St Mel’s Cathedral in Longford after it was devastated by a fire on Christmas Day, 2009, and also supervised the renewal works on the Cathedral of St Mary and St Anne in Cork in the 1990s.

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The dining room of Cuan Dor Haven

The dining room of Cuan Dor Haven

The dining room of Cuan Dor Haven

His liturgical influence is clear to see in the ornamental blue fascias and finials, and the fine masonry in Kealkill stone. There isn’t a bit of PVC in sight, as all houses have timber windows and doors, and the roofs are natural slate. The brick and blue tones allow the new houses to sit more comfortably into their coastal surroundings, blending in with the countryside and sea.

The 12 detached houses on site are all different shapes and sizes. Number 9, with a 1,830 sq ft floor area, has a guide price of €570,000. It was bought by its UK-based owners for €415,000 in 2014 as a holiday home and has been well kept over the intervening years.

As you walk through the blue front door, you’re greeted by a double-height hallway, with timber beams overhead. Up the stairs is the living space and downstairs are the sleeping quarters.

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The view from No9 Cuan Dor Haven

The view from No9 Cuan Dor Haven

The view from No9 Cuan Dor Haven

The upper floor has an open-plan living room/kitchen. The country-style kitchen units are cream with marble worktops. There is an open fire in the living area, with two big windows looking out over Glandore Harbour and beyond to Union Hall.

At the back, there is a dining area. There’s an office at the front of the property, a bedroom and bathroom at hall level, with three more bedrooms downstairs. The master has an ensuite shower room and there’s a family bathroom and utility room.

With broadband in the area, working from home is always an option, whether living here full or part time.

Buyers will appreciate the famous scenery and warmer microclimate of West Cork, along with the postcard-pretty harbour.

Glandore is just over 70km from Cork City. For foodies, Rosscarbery is about 10 minutes away by car and is home to three super restaurants — Pilgrims, The Market House and O’Callaghan Walshe’s.

When travel is allowed again, Cork Airport is an hour and 10 minutes from Glandore, so a commute to and from the UK could be manageable. And if you’re lucky, you could spot a celeb or two coming through arrivals.


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