Thursday 22 August 2019

This €1.2m home with harbour views is metres from haunted tourist spot

Rambling bungalow designed to take advantage of views of the harbour

Cois an Uisce is about 300m from Charles Fort
Cois an Uisce is about 300m from Charles Fort
The living room with a window overlooking the harbour
The entrance hall with a trio of skylights
The dual-aspect kitchen and dining room
One of the five bedrooms
The star-shaped Charles Fort near Kinsale

Eithne Tynan

We can assume that the increasing number of couples who clamour to get married each year at the iconic, star-shaped Charles Fort near Kinsale have no idea that its legends hold a grim tale for newly-weds - that it is apparently haunted by the The White Lady of Charles Fort.

Although the legend has changed and been embellished by time, it seems to have first been committed to print back in 1875, in J Duncan Craig's Real Pictures of Clerical Life in Ireland.

As he told it, not long after it was built in the late 1600s, the daughter of the fort's commander was a woman named Wilful Warrender. She in turn married a soldier, Trevor Ashurst. Only hours after their wedding, she and her new husband were wandering along the battlements when Wilful spotted wild flowers and wanted some for "a nosegay".

One of the sentries offered to pick some, on condition that Trevor would man his post in the sentry box while he gathered them. But the sentry took a long time and, exhausted by the day's festivities, Trevor fell asleep. On his patrols, the austere Governor Warrender thought he had found one of his watchmen snoozing on the job and immediately shot him through the heart in a case of mistaken identity.

The living room with a window overlooking the harbour
The living room with a window overlooking the harbour

Grief-stricken, Wilful threw herself over the battlements to her death. Some hours later her heartbroken father shot himself as well. Still wearing her wedding dress, Wilful's ghost is said to haunt the ramparts to this day.

If you were to keep a close watch, and if you were suitably suggestible in these matters, you might just about see the spectre of the tragic bride from Cois an Uisce, a detached bungalow at Forthill.

It's about 300 metres from the fort; indeed it's directly in the firing line of the north-eastern cannon emplacement, so let us hope Kinsale never again finds itself at the centre of any Williamite-style rancour.

Luckily Kinsale is eminently peaceful these days - full of diners, sailors, golfers, holidaymakers and other folk bent on mostly harmless enjoyment.

Cois an Uisce was built in 2007 on a site with views south towards the fort and west across Kinsale harbour to the town. Electronic gates lead to a walled-in driveway to the house, which is set well back from the road for reasonable privacy.

It's a rambling bungalow with 2,260 sq ft of accommodation, all on one floor. The entrance hall has an exposed stone wall and a trio of skylights and there are five bedrooms, all at one side of the house.

The entrance hall with a trio of skylights
The entrance hall with a trio of skylights

The master bedroom is dual-aspect and has a walk-in wardrobe and an en-suite. One of the other four bedrooms is also en-suite and has French doors to the garden, and there's a third bathroom for family use.

The living areas are at the other side of the house, getting the best of the views. You first reach a dual-aspect kitchen and dining room with a vaulted, skylit ceiling and glass doors leading out to a deck.

There are two sets of glass doors leading from the kitchen into a lounge or living room, so the rooms get to share their light. The living room has a hardwood floor and a wall-mounted stove, and there's a corner window overlooking Kinsale harbour.

The house, which has oil-fired central heating and a B3 energy rating, is on a smallish site of about 0.3 of an acre, with parking on the driveway as well as a double garage.

The deck just off the dining room has outdoor lighting to allow for twilight meals and drinks looking out over the lights of the town reflected on the water. Elsewhere the garden consists of a manageable lawn bordered by shrubs and flowerbeds.

Kinsale is about three kilometres away and you can get there on foot by means of the Scilly Walk - a pleasant amble along the mouth of the Bandon River between Scilly, just east of the town, and Summer Cove.

The dual-aspect kitchen and dining room
The dual-aspect kitchen and dining room

On the way back, it would be only sensible to stop at the Bulman Bar, about 500 metres from the house. The restaurant there, Toddies at the Bulman, has a Michelin recommendation and has been one of Bridgestone Guides' Top 100 Restaurants for years.

You can tuck into a plate of smoked eel croquettes accompanied by a glass of Verdejo from, fittingly enough, Spain. Best to stop at the end of the walk rather than the start, or you'll never get going.

Cois an Uisce is for sale with joint agents Engel & Voelkers (021) 477 3200 and Joyce Dineen (021) 477 2635, both in Kinsale. It has an asking price of €1.2m.

Cois an Uisce

Summer Cove, Kinsale, Co Cork

Asking price: €1.2m

Agent: Joint agents Engel & Voelkers, (021) 477 3200 and Joyce Dineen, (021) 477 2635

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