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Good Lord: Cork €1.25m dream rectory offer tons of space and gorgeous surroundings

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The dining room in St Olan's

The dining room in St Olan's

St Olan's is a rectory featuring three cottages

St Olan's is a rectory featuring three cottages

The kitchen in St Olan's

The kitchen in St Olan's

St Olan's drawing room

St Olan's drawing room

St Olan's staircase

St Olan's staircase

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The dining room in St Olan's

It is as well that Anglican priests don't have to take a vow of poverty. Among other ordination promises, they must pledge to try and fashion their lives according to the way of Christ, to be diligent in prayer and study, and to strive to be an instrument of God's peace.

While worthy and difficult struggles, they must have been made immeasurably easier in the past by the advantage of a comfortable home provided for them - not least an elegant, 5,000 sq ft country rectory on ten acres with its own duck pond.

However, the rectory known as St Olan's, at Aghavrin, near Coachford in Cork, was apparently a little too richly appointed for its first incumbent. In the early 19th century, what was then the established church acquired a 30-acre glebe at Aghavrin, but the rent was said to have been too high and the rector never took possession.

But eventually the house ended up being inhabited by Reverend William Welland, who leased it from William Crooke of Aghavrin House - located just down the road from St Olan's. And if Crooke's name gives any clue to his nature, then it's likely that the second candidate who did take up residence didn't get his home on very easy terms.

St Olan's has held its grandeur, evidenced by the fact that it is now on the market €1.25 million. Those of us who can't afford it at least have the satisfaction of knowing we're keeping up a tradition.

Like all good traditional country houses, though, St Olan's comes with its own source of income. The property includes three cottages that have been converted from a former coach house and stables in the courtyard. There's a four-bed, a three-bed and a one-bed - all self-contained - and the selling agents say all three are let out on short-term leases.

St Olan's is described as - and looks - Georgian, though perhaps "Georgian style" is a more accurate description given it was not built until 1840, ten years after the last of those Georges had gone to his eternal reward. It was refurbished in recent years by its current owners, including the replacement of the roof and the sash windows.

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St Olan's is a rectory featuring three cottages

St Olan's is a rectory featuring three cottages

The dining room in St Olan's

The dining room in St Olan's

The kitchen in St Olan's

The kitchen in St Olan's

St Olan's drawing room

St Olan's drawing room

St Olan's staircase

St Olan's staircase

/

St Olan's is a rectory featuring three cottages

The house measures some 5,059 sq ft on three storeys - space enough for probably a dozen bedrooms. However, there are only five, as most of the rooms have been sensibly arranged by way of enjoyment during waking hours.

The main door of the house is to the side, and leads into an impressive entrance hall on the raised ground floor. There's a barrel-vaulted ceiling over the open-string staircase, lit by an arched, six-over-six-pane sash window with an overlight.

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Thanks to the positioning of the hall door, the main reception rooms on this level can span the whole front of the house, taking advantage of garden views.

There's a dual-aspect dining room whose fireplace has a polished stone chimney piece. Double doors lead from there to the drawing room, which is also double-aspect and has a marble fireplace. Glazed double doors connect the drawing room to a sun room or breakfast room with a walnut floor and a vaulted ceiling, and from there you can step out on to the terrace.

The maple-floored kitchen has a centre island with double Belfast sink, polished granite work surfaces and an oil-fired four-oven Aga. It opens into the sun room, and there's a utility room with a larder off it.

The other rooms on this level include a study, a guest toilet and an oak-floored sitting room with a fireplace and wood-burning stove.

The basement level, or lower ground floor, has a games room, an office, a wine cellar with nine bins, a bathroom, and a guest bedroom.

The five bedrooms are on the first floor, including the dual-aspect master bedroom which has a marble fireplace, an ensuite bathroom and a walk-in wardrobe. Bedroom four is also ensuite. The 10 acres of grounds around the house include gardens, which feature a croquet lawn, some paddocks and woodland. There's also a private lake fed by a spring, where you can sit and observe your ducks.

The cottages in the rear courtyard have their own access from the public road. There's also a recently-added garage yard with three detached heritage oak buildings. Two are used as garages and the third contains three stables. Behind these is a modern steel shed used as a boathouse.The townland of Aghavrin is in the Lee valley west of Cork City, in the parish of Aghabullogue. The patron saint of the parish is St Olan, after whom the rectory is named.

The village of Coachford, where there are shops, pubs, schools, and an annual autumn festival, is not much more than 4km away. Cork city is about 35 minutes by car and it will take a little over three hours' drive to get to Dublin.

St Olan's, Coachford Cork. Asking price: €1.25m. Agent: Michael H Daniels & Co in Fermoy (025) 31023.


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