Black­rock Road beauty at Clonard

Tommy Barker views a four-storey beauty which has been en­hanced by its pre­vi­ous own­ers on Cork’s Black­rock Road

Irish Examiner - Property & Interiors - - Property -

The lo­ca­tion of 2 Clonard, at the city end of Cork city’s Black­rock Road, holds a pow­er­ful sway over its last sev­eral own­ers. The last two own­ers all stayed on the road, one tak­ing on a ren­o­va­tion chal­lenge, tack­ing an­other Vic­to­rian build, while an­other built brand new, a big de­tached house on a gar­den site about 20 years ago.

Now its cur­rent oc­cu­pant — here since 1995 — is sell­ing to trade down from this four-storey beauty, en­hanced in each of its sev­eral own­er­ships since the 1980s, and she too hopes to find a place to move to on, or just off, the Black­rock Road.

One half of an el­e­gant pair of c 1880s Vic­to­rian semis, No 2 Clonard is fresh to mar­ket, in tip-top or­der over all four lev­els, and is guided at €650,000 by es­tate agent Michael O’ Dono­van of S av ills, who says it has ben­e­fited from sen­si­tive restora­tion, con­ser­va­tion of orig­i­nal fea­tures, and is in walk-in or­der, all within a short walk of the city, and many ameni­ties.

The other half of this at­trac­tive duo, No 1 Clonard, was up for sale in April 2014, guided at €575,000 and fea­tured here as a House of the Week, but its own­ers de­cided to say and in­vest fur­ther in No 1. So, those who had a han­ker­ing three years ago for Clonard can now check out this other half in­stead.

Set just past Ash­ton, it’s in good com­pany: some houses in the vicin­ity sell for mil­lions, and an im­mac­u­lately-re­stored sim­i­lar era semi-d just a few doors away, called All­e­vard, shows on the Price Reg­is­ter in late 2016 as a sale at €870,000. All­e­vard had been in ten flats up to a few years ago, be­fore get­ting a costly makeover, which in­cluded a base­ment level home cinema.

Also over-base­ment, or lower ground level, are Clonard’s duo, with lime­stone steps bridge over what Mr O’Dono­van de­scribes as a dry moat, run­ning across the front of this pair.

This low-down, set-back al­lows lots of light to flow in from front, fac­ing full south and balmy, and No 2’s owner has planted it at­tract- ively so that there’s an en­gag­ing view from this bot­tom, lower-most level kitchen. And, she adds, it’s when she came to view this house all of 22 years ago and saw this kitchen, it was the clincher for her in her de­ci­sion to buy and move in.

The lower ground level is al­most a home in its own right, with con­nected kitchen/break­fast room fac­ing south and there’s a rear fam­ily/liv­ing room with back pa­tio gar­den ac­cess.

Also at lower ground level is a hall, bright thank to a gable wall win­dow, a guest WC, and a large pantry/util­ity.

Up above, at main en­try level, are two in­ter­con­nected re­cep­tion rooms, one front, one rear, each close to 13’ square, with 10’ high ceil­ings and orig­i­nal, hinged solid tim­ber dou­ble doors. The front room has an at­trac­tive orig­i­nal pe­riod fire­place, with highly glazed green ce­ramic tile in­sert, while ceil­ings are coved, and floors are orig­i­nal pine boards, well sanded and sealed.

Michael O’Dono­van says No 2 has “ex­quis­ite, light-filled ac­com­mo­da­tion,” and its win­dow are re­done, dou­ble glazed sashes, with work­ing shut­ters.

Those shut­ters come in par­tic­u­larly handy in the first floor main bed­room/boudoir: as a com­plete sur­prise, this room, with whitepainted floor boards and re­gal pur­ple walls and even a pur­ple ceil­ing, has a stand-alone cast iron bath in front on one of the two south-fac­ing win­dows, and there’s also a wash stand and sink. It’s dif­fer­ent, to be sure, and the owner says it was the mak­ing of the room for her.

Also at this first floor level is a sec­ond bed­room, plus shower rooms/WC, and the top floor has two more dormer-style bed­rooms, equally full of char­ac­ter with some ex­posed beams.

Ren­o­va­tion work in­cludes plumb­ing, win­dows and rewiring, it has gas cen­tral heat­ing and a good BER for its pe­riod and, crit­i­cally for a house of this age (it’s about 130 years old), the drains have been re­placed: No 2 stands straight as a die, straight up.

Ex­ter­nally, its bound­ary to the Black­rock Road is an aes­thet­i­cally pleas­ant mix of lime­stone and red­brick. Its front gar­den is in two sec­tions with gravel drive with park­ing for two cars and a sec­ond, more pri­vate, screened sec­tion be­hind hedg­ing has a lawn and sunny sit­ting-out space.

There’s good side ac­cess to the north-fac­ing rear gar­den/court­yard, fully walled-in and decked out for sit­ting out­door and BBQs, and it is well adorned with artis­tic touches and flour­ishes on its walls.

Sur­faces in­clude a pa­tio with old slate in­set into a con­crete base, brick seat­ing area, gravel, and chunky slate/lime­stone step­ping stones, with perime­ter plant­ing and land­scap­ing. It gets its best sun­light in the morn­ing and in the late evening, and is a great spot for en­ter­tain­ing.

“My chil­dren have had great gath­er­ings and par­ties here down the years... mostly when I’ve been away,” she ad­mits with an ap­pre­cia­tive laugh. VER­DICT: Full of life and joie de vivre.

Black­rock Road, Cork City €650,000 Size: 168 sq m (1,800 sq ft) Bed­rooms: 4 Bath­rooms: 3 BER: E2

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