Potter’s glebe house with new lease of life for €895k

Refurbished six-bed country guest house outside Shanagarry ticks many boxes

  • Address: Kilmahon House, Kilmahon, Shanagrry, Co. Cork.
  • Price: € 895,000
  • Agent: Sherry FitGerald Country Homes / Sherry FitzGerald O'Donovan Midleton
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Buying Kilmahon House was a 2004 act of faith on the part of vendors Mary and Jeremy. It was also a new beginning, a break with their London life and, Mary is convinced, destiny.

With Jeremy in remission from a serious cancer, achingly aware that, “life is short” the couple decided on a “new focus”. They were looking for an old property to renovate when, by accident on the last day of a visit home, Mary came upon Kilmahon House.

In September that year they began five a five-year job of bringing new life to the property.

“We ripped out the insides,” Mary explains, “every ceiling and wooden lintel. We chiselled back to original plaster on walls. That took 2 ½ years. We spent another 2½ putting it together again, living there while moving a lightbulb around with us.”  

When they’d finished (with engineer/builder Daniel Ryan as guiding force) they’d created a 440sq m (4736sq ft), two floors over garden level, light-filled home and country guest house with six en suite bedrooms, drawing room, family/tv room, study/library, dining room and kitchen/breakfastroom. It’s a house which, over the years, has attracted diverse life in the form of “amazing, fascinating guests. It was a leap of faith that worked very well”.

Kilmahon House, on the outskirts of Shanagarry Village, had many earlier lives.

Built in 1780 as a glebe house, it was home to the family of renowned potter Stephen Pearse from 1954-2004. A room long served as a shop for his Shanagarry Pottery and today’s village has a Shanagarry Design Centre as well as Ballymaloe Cookery School.

For sale through Sherry FitzGerald Country Homes/Sherry FitzGerald O’Donovan Midleton, the asking price is €895,000.

Sitting room
Sitting room

This is a house full of light, even at garden level where the large, Aga-heated, stone-tiled, kitchen/breakfastroom looks out over the garden.

The main ground floor entrance hall has the feel of a glebe house with its slabbed stone floor and deep windows. A sitting room with timber floor is comfortably enticing; so too is a slightly more formal drawing room. A smaller room serves as a library and a second en suite bedroom has garden views. The main, first floor bedroom has a sweep of views over nearby Ballycotton Bay – all four bedrooms on this floor have fine views.

The health-giving aspects of the countryside around Ballycotton means Jeremy is in excellent shape these days. The couple will miss the house and area, but for family reasons and with manys a backward glance, need to return to the UK.

The land around has old trees and is partly bounded by an old stone wall. The house is garden surrounded, including a walled garden and orchard. A large coach house (partly rebuilt) and outhouses are ripe for conversion.

Cork city is 37km away.