Peek inside this dreamy Scandinavian-style escape with views of Bantry Bay
At 3,500 sq ft and €695k, there's room to escape inside and out
Of all the ways in which a man might knowingly bring about discord in his marriage, perhaps the most reckless is to stand up in public and cast aspersions on the intellectual competence of women.
But that is exactly what John Annan Bryce did in July 1910, when the British parliament was debating female suffrage.
Bryce was firmly against it. Women by their constitution were too capricious, he believed, too "liable to be affected by gusts and waves of sentiment" to be able to decide for themselves who should represent them.
Bryce acknowledged that his contribution was made at considerable personal sacrifice as his whole household was against him. In this it was doubtless he was referring to his wife Violet, silently fuming at home while rehearsing sound and rational arguments against his views. And as it would be another eight years before Violet or any of her sex would be given a say in the House of Commons, she would have had to vent her spleen at the breakfast table instead, spoiling her husband's appetite for his boiled egg.
The irony is that, at the time, everything in Bryce's domestic garden ought to have been rosy. In that year he acquired Garnish Island in Glengarriff Harbour, Co Cork, from the War Office, and began establishing a glorious Italianate garden there with the help of landscape artist Harold Peto.
Violet outlived her husband (although foul play was not suspected in his demise), and the garden was bequeathed to the state by their son Roland on his death in 1953. It's maintained by the OPW and is open to the public.
And just 1,500 metres from the garden island, in the townland of Iskanafeelna, is a romantic, Scandinavian-style timber house known as 'New Place'. It's a restful sort of house in a leafy setting a few hundred metres from the shore - the sort of place whose long, quiet views might encourage you to think carefully before saying something your spouse will rue.
If that doesn't work out, though, the internal dimensions are 3,500 sq ft and there are five bedrooms and three living rooms, so there's plenty of space to get away from each other should things become less than harmonious.
New Place was designed by an architect and built about 10 years ago. It faces southwest, which is where the principal rooms are, many of them giving onto a curved, wraparound deck out the front.
There's a great deal of wood both inside and out. Many of the ceilings are timber, either painted or varnished, and there are panelled walls in several of the rooms on both floors. This, combined with some no-holds-barred insulation and double glazing, makes for an enviable B3 energy rating.
The front door is actually a set of French windows in a glazed, double-height wall. It opens directly into an arresting, living room-style hallway, where there's a vaulted timber ceiling with exposed beams. In one corner of the room there's a remarkable rounded chimney breast, painted in terracotta, with a stove in the fireplace
Halfway down this room there's an archway with a gallery landing above it, and on the other side is the hallway proper, with a dog-legged staircase rising to the first floor.
To the left of the hall there are double doors to a dining room, and that's linked by an archway to a dual-aspect kitchen at the back of the house. The kitchen has a wooden centre island with a breakfast bar, and there's both a pantry and a utility room off it.
The dining room provides access to a study, also dual aspect, lined with bookshelves and with glass doors to the front garden.
Then, to the right of the hallway there's a second, internal hallway leading to a boot room, a guest toilet and two bedrooms, one with yet another set of double doors to the garden.
The remaining three bedrooms are on the first floor, along with the family bathroom. The main bedroom has both a walk-in wardrobe and an en-suite, and has double doors to a balcony. There are two attics for storage as well.
Outside, the grounds amount to 1.2 acres with a tree-lined avenue, lawns and raised flowerbeds. Also on the site there's a small detached building by way of a studio or workshop.
New Place is less than five kilometres from the village of Glengarriff and even closer - two kilometres - from Glengarriff Golf Club, where the late Maureen O'Hara was past president. Cork city is an hour and a half away by car.
Glengarriff, Co Cork
Asking price: €695,000
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald O'Neill in Skibbereen (028) 21404