Tommy Barker


Irish Examiner - Property & Interiors - - Property -

THERE’S a feel of two dif­fer­ent eras at Marl­field, a four-bed semi-de­tached home in Ballincur­rig Park, just off Cork’s Dou­glas Road. Dat­ing to the 1950s, this invit­ing home on neat gar­dens with ex­tra space to the side giv­ing it ad­di­tional floor area, has a lovely, old-fash­ioned feel to its in­ter­con­nect­ing orig­i­nal re­cep­tion rooms, which run front to back, with ex­tra-high ceil­ings, pic­ture rails, mar­ble fire­place (gas in­sert) and car­pet­ing.

Out back, it turns into a more con­tem­po­rary prop­erty, thanks to a bright ground-floor ex­ten­sion and an up­dated, modest-sized kitchen with white units and work­tops in a mix of hard­wood and creamy stone.

The kitchen’s bright, thanks to a side wall win­dow fac­ing south, and has a sleek Mar­moleum floor fin­ish, which changes then to tim­ber in the sun-room/fam­ily lounge ad­di­tion. This is a fine, square­shaped room with at­trac­tive gar­den views through its twin slid­ing floor to ceil­ing hard­wood framed glazed doors; it’s all so invit­ing it’s a place you’d hardly want to leave, even given all the space in the other two re­cep­tions.

Along­side is a util­ity with gar­den ac­cess, as well as a spa­cious ground-floor bath­room with WC and wet-room style shower, all nicely tiled, and there’s also ac­cess to the front/side of the house via a side/back door to the cob­ble­lock drive for off-street park­ing.

Con­di­tion is im­mac­u­late in both the old and new sec­tions.the lay­out is just that bit dif­fer­ent too, thanks to the wing and a deep porch en­trance with fea­ture arched win­dow as part of the front fa­cade’s asym­met­ri­cal win­dow po­si­tion­ings.

Marl­field, aka No 18 Ballincur­rig, re­verts more to char­ac­ter as you as­cend the stairs, which take a turn around the side an­nexe. Over­head are four bed­rooms, one with basin, and two are good-sized dou­bles, while the other two are large sin­gles, or could squeeze in a dou­ble bed. And, as down­stairs, the ceil­ings seem to have that ex­tra bit of height as well, com­pared to more stan­dard semis.

There’s a main fam­ily bath­room with bath and over­head shower, but no en suites, but a buyer could an­nexe one of the smaller of the four bed­rooms for back-up pur­poses?.

Marl­field is a fresh list­ing with es­tate agent Florence Gabriel of Sherry Fitzger­ald who en­thuses about its sale pos­si­bil­i­ties given its ‘Triple ‘L’ lo­ca­tion, con­di­tion, its over­all space, beau­ti­fully-planted back gar­den, which is mostly east fac­ing and, re­ally, just its re­laxed at­mos­phere. She guides at €425,000: that’s prob­a­bly go­ing to be com­fort­ably ex­ceeded.

The last two very re­cent sales agreed in sought-af­ter, cul de sac Ballincur­rig, were of cor­ner-set homes in more orig­i­nal and un­ex­tended con­di­tion. No 22 made €350,000 with Casey & Kingston. No 12 topped €390,000 via agent James Crow­ley. Both were snapped up within weeks of go­ing to mar­ket.

Marl­field’s a walk-in prospect, fac­ing west to­wards Rose­bank Es­tate with a strip of green run­ning along the length di­vid­ing both es­tates, and is within a walk of the city cen­tre, as well as be­ing near schools, sports fa­cil­i­ties and swimming pool, and the longestab­lished Briar Rose, next door to where a for­mer Spar shop by a phar­macy and book­mak­ers is to re-open as an Ice­land frozen food store.

There’s a par­tic­u­larly good mix of house de­signs in Ballincur­rig: most are semis and many have had ma­jor ex­ten­sions added on af­ter re-sales in the past 15 years, so some are very sub­stan­tial. There’s also a clus­ter of town­houses, Or­chard Close, built in the for­mer long gar­dens of a pe­riod home called Villa Franca, a tall Ballincur­rig prop­erty with se­condary ac­cess onto the main Dou­glas Road which was con­verted back to pri­vate res­i­den­tial use in the past two years, af­ter decades of use as of­fices. (The orig­i­nal Ballincur­rig House was on the South Dou­glas road, near the for­mer Tex­aco fill­ing sta­tion.)

Ballincur­rig Park’s houses have been built around in a block lay­out, but gar­dens are mostly big enough, and now ma­ture enough, so as to min­imise over­look­ing. About a dozen share the look and ex­tra fea­tures as Marl­field has, with front/side porches, slit win­dows, arches, and ex­tra de­sign touches which were un­com­mon, even when built. VERDICT: Only leav­ing fam­ily hands for the first time in decades, No 18, ‘Marl­field’, is go­ing to be hotly pur­sued.

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