Waterfront adventures for kids in Cork five-bed lodge for €1.35m

Ballymore Lodge, Valley Road, Ballymore, Co Cork Asking price: €1.35m Agent: Sherry FitzGerald Country Homes (01) 237 6402 and Sherry FitzGerald Cork (021) 427 304

rish children have always loved going around to their granny’s. But for Julie Moloney, this enthuisiam was additionally enhanced by the house with 10 acres of Cork waterfront and wooded grounds which her grandparents had bought in 1971.

Just east of Cobh on the Valley Road, Ballymore Lodge is a mini manse with huge gardens and direct access to the sea at Cuskinny Bay making it a paradise for visiting grandchildren.

Built in 1885 it was previously known as Ballybeg House up until the 1960s. The five bedroom, 3,057 sq ft Victorian-style structure was originally built by the inhabitants of Ballymore House, a stately period home just half a mile up the road.

They constructed it as a hunting lodge for the owner’s son, according to local lore. Later it was owned by a Colonel Donovan.


The view of the bay from the kitchen

It comes with a wooden trail leading directly to the shoreline of the bay.

Julie’s grandparents, Kay and John Moloney were living in Blackrock, outside Cork City, but were looking for a house with room to roam for their six children, who then ranged in age from six months to 12.

“As soon as they saw Ballymore Lodge, they immediately fell in love with it,” explain Julie who works as an accounts manager for a recruitment firm. “It’s right on the shore line and you can see the water from the house. It’s surrounded by woodland and very secluded and peaceful.”


The walkway down the shore

Julie’s father Michael, who was the third eldest child, has many happy memories of growing up there. “It was a perfect location for young children,” says Julie.

“They became friends with the children of the family living in Ballymore House. They would catch their own fish and go down to the water and fill the pot with salt water to cook the potatoes for dinner.”

All the Moloney children spent a lot of time on the water as they had a boat and most learned how to sail. “My father’s boat was called National 18 and he raced it professionally for a while. There were also stables, which are gone now, where they kept horses and even a boules green. My grandparents loved the house,” says Julie. “They used to spend all their free time pottering around the garden. They had a greenhouse and grew all of their own fruit and vegetables. My granny always had a pot of soup on the go, made from the vegetables.”


An aerial view of the house and grounds

Her grandmother, was a stay-at-home mum but she also had an entrepreneurial streak. “She had a large section of the garden reserved strictly for growing lavender and she used to sell it to locals and tourists passing by. She actually called the business ‘Ballymore Herbs’,” says Julie. The house remained a focal point for the family years after the children had grown up. It was used for one of Julie’s aunt’s wedding receptions. It was also where the family gathered to spend Christmas and birthdays.

Then 23 years ago Kay was widowed when John passed away. Kay died two years ago after some time spent in a residential home.

But despite her sad loss, Julie’s Christmases at Ballymore Lodge were not over. Last Christmas both Julie and her partner Julian, both contracted Covid 19 and needed somewhere to isolate away from the rest of the family.

“It made sense as the house was empty. We went down there to recover and have been there ever since. We’ve absolutely loved it. It’s been like living in a fairy-tale.” Since then they’re lived there in a curatorial role.


One of the reception rooms

Despite its age, Ballymore Lodge is in good repair. When her grandparents bought it, it had been empty for two years and they had to cut the lock off the gate to enter. On moving in, they extended the kitchen at the back of the property, adding a space for couches and big floor to ceiling windows, offering views of the Cork Harbour coastline. In addition, they updated the casement windows at the front of the house, and painted the walls, mostly neutral shades of cream, white and beige.

“My granny designed the interior,” says Julie. “She was really into tapestry so she made all of the curtains and the cushion covers in matching fabrics herself.”

Entering the front door, on the left is a big airy sitting room, which has a high ceiling, an original white marble fireplace and offers views of the bay.

On the right is another roomy reception room, which has original exposed polished wooden beams in the ceiling and these are found throughout the building.

There’s a study, with a wall lined with books. “I studied there for my Leaving Cert and I love that room,” says Julie. “It’s very peaceful.” Upstairs, there are five bedrooms, four of which are double and one single. The master bedroom faces the sea. “I’m sleeping in there at the moment and I’ve never slept so well,” says Julie. “Once you pull the shutters back it’s pitch black and you can’t hear a thing.”

The windows are double glazed and insulation has been added over the years “It’s located in an inlet, which means it’s not as cold as it would be on a seafront,” explains Julie. While the interior is comfortable, it’s now a little dated. It comes with its own boathouse, a greenhouse and a number of stone outhouses. The garden is full of mature shrubs, plants and trees and there are pathways leading to the woods behind the house.


The kitchen with the beautiful view of the bay

The house is just east of the harbour town of Cobh and a 15-minute drive from Midleton and 25 minutes from Cork City. “We are very sad to be selling it. I would love to buy it myself but I’m only starting off in my career,” says Julie. “I hope the new buyers will appreciate it. It’s hard to put into words just how beautiful Ballymore Lodge really is.”

Sherry FitzGerald is asking €1.35m for the house with 10 waterfront acres.

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