It’s June — what else would you want to be picking, only strawberries? This one is a small, sweet and fruity beauty, with a 145-year pedigree. Just recently on the market, in time for June’s sunshine and showers, is 4 Strawberry Hill, an older, Victorian style, slender detached home on a corner site onto Shanakiel Road, basking in a south-facing corner above Cork’s genteel Sunday’s Well and close to the old City Gaol visitor attraction.
That puts it within an easy downhill amble of the Mardyke, UCC, and Fitzgerald Park via the Shaky Bridge. The city centre’s a walk away to the east, while up and over Shanakiel’s hill, is Cork’s largest employer — the expanding Apple plant by Hollyhill.
Estate agent Andrew Moore is now selling the gently nudged-into-the-21st-century No 4 Strawberry Hill for its appreciative owners, who bought for the location and views, and now they are passing it on, in good, turnkey order, to others who’ll be of similar mind.
Mr Moore reckons this venerable suburb “is, unquestionably, one of the city’s most sought-after residential areas, a pleasant and peaceful neighbourhood, with an abundance of unspoilt architectural and historical heritage.”
He guides the modest-sized (it’s only about 1,000 sq ft) three-bed detached at €390,000 and dates its construction to about 1870.
Thanks to its lower tier of gardens and surrounding green foliage, “this city home has a country house feel, with lots of elbow room and a slightly continental twist,” Andy Moore says. And he adds that it also had updates and overhauls to bring it to modern comfort levels.
Its age and build condemns it at present to a F BER, but it does have double glazing and gas central heating, and the feature exposed brick and arched main chimney-piece is now host to a wood-burning stove.
Given that this main 16’ by 13’ room has now colonised where the central entrance hall would have been, and also has the staircase to the upper levels three bedrooms tucked into a corner, one can imagine this stove heating a whole heap of house once all fired up.
Seeing as how the main front door now opens directly into the living space, the addition of a small glazed porch on the outside was a sensible move too.
There’s an easy flow from the main living space to the rear kitchen via an open arch, with a straight run of Shakerstyle units.
The rear patio/garden with stone flags can be accessed via glazed double doors: it’s a sun trap for evening heat, says Mr Moore, and is sheltered from the north by a high stone wall and timber structure boundary, which is part of a quirky neighbouring home’s structure.
Separately, there’s a more slender sitting room, almost 10’ by 16’, utility and bathroom with bath, and upstairs there is a shower room and three compact bedrooms, two of which have windows to the south, and one has a westerly aspect looking over Strawberry Hill.
Handily for the Sunday’s Well area, where getting off- street parking can be problematic, No 4 Strawberry Hill has a gravelled parking section for several cars just in front of the house, and the gardens then run down to the south from the entrance.
Andy Moore says No 4’s elevated position and southerly aspect means the super-conveniently set house is bright all day long. And while it has had modern enhancements, lots of originality has been retained, such as the wooden ladderback doors, fireplaces etc.
Overall condition is good, and it’s a walk-in job for a new owner, who just has to top the bidding to get over the threshold.
At its junction of Strawberry Hill and Shanakiel Road, No 4’s just one example of the random, diverse, and attractive housing mix in this upper-tier section of the city with wide panoramic views.
VERDICT: Strawberry feels forever.