Thursday 24 May 2007

Three-bed Martello to fetch €1.5m

POLITICAL party canvassers didn’t make it to the door of this unusual home, a rounded Martello tower with the ‘For Sale’ boards going up, just as the election posters come down.

Built in the early 1800s to keep military and naval marauders, as well as the French forces of the politically astute Napoleon Bonaparte out, this Irish Martello tower is now inviting people in. If they have €1.5 million or more to hand to breach its defences, that is.

With walls 9’ thick, of stone and brick, it is literally bomb-proof: in fact, back during the War of Independence its stored munitions went up with a bang. The internal walls came down, but the rest stood steady.

Bunker-like in its character and fortitude, it has now been made over into a fairly spectacular home which doesn’t quite fit the usual property description boxes.

Ironically, this ‘three-bed detached’ hits the market today as a national conference, des/Ire, at the National Sculpture Factory in Cork explores the limited range of housing options open to most house hunters.

U2 singer Bono had his spell in a Martello tower, and the James Joyce museum in Dublin’s Sandymount is housed in another, while several more around the coastline are also in domestic usage.

This island tower been fully renovated by a couple who have worked on lots of older properties, none until now as distinctive as this spot by Belvelly bridge, beside Fota Island on the way to Cobh, They are selling up to restore an inland riverside castle.

Selling agents are Sherry FitzGerald in Cork City, who say a buyer can come from literally anywhere in the world for such a show-off, one-off (speaking of which, Michael Flatley’s architect Peter Inston owns the ruined Belvelly castle across the road from this Martello tower). Viewing is by appointment only, don’t try coming by boat, with guns blazing. . .

Irish Examiner

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