Cork farmhouse with links to a famous acting dynasty can be yours for €640k
Cork farmhouse has links to a famous acting dynasty
It's one thing to say your kitchen is a pigsty - it's quite another to expect that to be taken literally. At 'Land of Lyre', an old refurbished farmhouse at Aughadown near Skibbereen, Co Cork, the kitchen actually is a former pigsty.
The original cottage was extended into the adjacent milking parlour and pig house, which became a kitchen and studio.
That reclamation was done by the house's previous owners, the stage producer Pádraig Cusack, son of the late actor Cyril Cusack, and his wife Denise.
They bought the place in the early 2000s, and in so doing, took up residence within shouting distance of Pádraig's famous sister Sinéad Cusack, who lives at nearby Kilcoe Castle with her Hollywood icon husband, Jeremy Irons.
The Cusacks eviscerated the house and turned it into something completely new.
They were, however, conscientious about preserving the trappings of a traditional farm cottage, such as exposed roof beams, rough plaster and stone and wood flooring, although the cottage has been fitted with dainty casement windows instead of the more usual sashes.
Then, in 2007, Pádraig and Denise Cusack sold the place to its current owners, Gerry and Valerie Stevenson, who set about making some improvements of their own, including upgrading the central heating system and installing a new fitted kitchen.
The union of house and outbuildings has given rise to a higgledy-piggledy appearance as seen from the front elevation and a quirky layout within - L-shaped on the ground floor, and with an overall size of 2,500 sq ft.
The pigsty and milking parlour section is linked to the original cottage by means of a wide, lean-to corridor, lined with windows and a stone floor, which doubles as the entrance hall.
At the heart of the original house is a living room with a wooden floor, a wood-burning stove in the fireplace, and a door to the garden.
On either side of this room are two smaller rooms, one described as an office and the other as a study, and the latter has a fireplace and floor-to-ceiling shelving.
At the end of the entrance hall/corridor can be found a guest toilet and a utility room, and there you turn left into the large kitchen and dining room.
The kitchen is lit from overhead by a lantern window in the roof, among exposed ceiling beams, as well as three windows along one wall.
The room measures 30ft 6ins by 11ft 6ins and has a stone floor, plus solid wood cabinets with integrated appliances, a Belfast sink, and an oil-fired black Aga set into an elm-lined alcove.
And in keeping with the agricultural provenance of the room, it has a stable door to the outside.
The studio next to the kitchen also has a vaulted ceiling, and its own door to the outside - handy for quick getaways when work isn't going well.
The four bedrooms are upstairs, all with vaulted ceilings and exposed roof beams.
The master bedroom is at one gable end and has French windows leading out to a balcony, where there are views of Roaringwater Bay, and steps down to the garden. A private staircase leads from the master bedroom down to a dressing room and ensuite wet room on the floor below.
The selling agents say the Fastnet lighthouse illuminates the master bedroom at night - a buyer might be inclined to hope that's an exaggeration.
On the opposite gable there's another bedroom with a door giving on to a flight of old stone steps running down to the garden, in case one of your guests wants to leave in a hurry for any reason. As well as the two other bedrooms on this floor, there's also a family bathroom with a wood-panelled bath and separate shower. Out in front of the house is a courtyard dotted with raised flowerbeds and enclosed by the house and a couple of stone outbuildings, as well as old drystone walls.
At the back of the house is a tree-lined lawn with mature shrubs and flower borders. There's also a paddock and another field containing a polytunnel, fruit enclosure and orchard. Outbuildings include a stone coach house and various store houses, including a large store room under the balcony that's wired and shelved.
The site amounts to three acres in total and privacy comes naturally, as it's at the end of a boreen and has no near neighbours. There's nothing to see from 'Land of Lyre' but miles and miles of pleasantly undulating countryside rambling down to the sea.
The downside of that is it's a long walk for a pint of milk - or a pint of anything else.
The nearest settlements are the market town of Skibbereen and the coastal village of Ballydehob, both about 9km away, or about 15 minutes' drive. You can reach Cork City in about an hour and a half by car.
'Land of Lyre' is now for sale for €640,000 - a significant reduction on its 2007 asking price of €760,000.
Land of Lyre Aughadown, Skibbereen, Co Cork
Asking price: €640,000
Agent: Charles McCarthy Auctioneers (028) 21533