Tuesday 12 November 2019

Two cottages on one property in Fairy Valley for €1.2m

Unique selling point: Two cottages on one property

This thatched cottage is one of two properties at Fairy Valley, which sits on 50 acres of woodland and 34 acres of organic farmland
This thatched cottage is one of two properties at Fairy Valley, which sits on 50 acres of woodland and 34 acres of organic farmland
The main residence at Fairy Valley
Fairy Valley bridge
Fairy Valley pond
The kitchen has distressed-effect cabinets and a rangestyle cooker
Fairy bedroom
The main bathroom has a free-standing claw-foot bath
Fairy Valley gardens
The book-shelved living room

Fairy Valley is the name of an historical sugar plantation in the parish of Christ Church, at the southern end of the island of Barbados. It's also the name of an 84-acre farm at Dunbeacon, near Durrus in west Cork.

Both Fairy Valleys have views of the Atlantic, though the Cork weather, admittedly, is apt to be less agreeable than that of the West Indies.

Cork's Fairy Valley grows trees and organic food instead of sugar, and has one advantage at least over its tropical counterpart, in that it's never been associated with slavery.

Having said that, whoever ends up managing and maintaining this estate, with its 50 acres of woodland, 34 acres of organic farmland, and two separate houses to clean, might find themselves wishing for the help of a few dozen vassals from time to time.

Fairy Valley is on a boreen that turns into a driveway, and is more than half-a-kilometre long in all. The main house is at the end of this driveway, and has views of the Sheep's Head peninsula and Dunmanus Bay. A pair of gargoyles guard its entrance gate, the cute kind, though, not the baleful kind).

About halfway up the driveway, there's a cottage, some 150 metres away from the big house. You could accommodate guests there, or a set of grandparents, or it could provide a bolthole for one half of a quarrelling couple, if the need arose.

Both properties were built recently enough - not that they look it, as both are as quaint as they come. The cottage is thatched and painted white with red window frames, while the main house is a stone-built two-storey with blue window frames and doors, and creeper rambling about.

The main house is 2,271 sq ft in size, with three bedrooms. You enter through a little porch that opens to the main hall. To the right of this is a living room with a timber fireplace and walls lined with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, including a space big enough for a television, sure to kill the buzz of whoever's trying to read in there.

Straight ahead in the hall is a set of double doors leading to a curved sunroom, while, to the left, is the open-plan kitchen and dining room, where there's a wood floor and a painted wooden ceiling. The kitchen has distressed-effect cabinets and a range-style cooker in a tiled alcove, with an ancient-looking wood beam over it.

The dining area has another fireplace, this time in stone. A straight staircase at this end of this room rises to a little gallery office at mezzanine level, with fitted bookshelves and a vaulted wooden ceiling with a skylight.

Off the kitchen, there's a utility room and back porch, and there's also a guest toilet and cloakroom off the entrance hall on the ground floor. Up on the first floor are three bedrooms, two of them en-suite. The master bedroom has a walk-in wardrobe as well, and a fireplace. The main bathroom, with a free-standing claw-foot bath, is also on this level.

Adjacent to the house is a converted barn measuring about 25 ft by 26 ft, with a vaulted ceiling with skylights, and double doors to the garden. Currently, it's used as a music room, with a toilet and a couple of store rooms off it, but it would make a great studio for an artist.

The thatched cottage down the driveway measures around 980 sq ft. It has a large open-plan kitchen and living room with a huge stone fireplace in the middle of it, stretching up to the high vaulted timber ceiling.

There's also a study in the cottage, with a little sun porch off it, as well as two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a utility room.

Other outbuildings on the grounds of the property include a large warehouse and a wood store, and a detached garage beside the cottage.

The garden is set up for both recreation and labour, as it includes a kitchen garden with raised stone vegetable beds set in flagstone paving.

There's a smooth lawn rolling amid mature trees, flowering shrubs and wild blooms. All of this planting is set around a natural-looking garden pond complete with lily pads, and a gazebo nearby where you can sit and watch for frogs. There are steps down into the pond if you fancy a cold dip but, for those who prefer their water to have steam, there's a hot tub as well, beside an area of decking.

The nearest village is Durrus, about five kilometres away - a fairly touristy spot as it's on the Wild Atlantic Way, with some good places to eat and drink.

Ballydehob is 10 kilometres away, and Schull is about the same distance, give or take a kilometre. Cork city can be reached in about an hour and a half by car.

Fairy Valley, at Dunbeacon, Durrus, Co Cork, is on the market with auctioneer Charles McCarthy in Skibbereen, (028) 21533, asking price of €1.2m.

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