One Of The Great Estates In Co Cork Is For Sale, And In Need Of A Saviour

Penny Churchill August 30, 2023

Penny Churchill takes a look at the Cuskinny House Estate, a house with history and a wonderful location that’s now in need of some serious updating.

Is it a Georgian mansion? A castle? A waterside home on a secluded island? The 142-acre Cuskinny House estate is a little of all three, a beautiful Irish estate on Great Island, the largest of several islands in Cork Harbour, one of the world’s great natural harbours. Rupert Sweeting of Knight Frank’s country department and Michael Daniels of Michael H. Daniels & Co in Fermoy are handling the sale at a guide price of €4m (£3.45m).

The estate occupies a magnificent position on Cuskinny Bay, a small horseshoe bay overlooking the harbour. The focal point of the estate is Cuskinny House, a handsome, late-Georgian country house built around a Norman castle-keep that once stood guard over the approaches to the inner harbour and Cork city itself.

It is approached along a sweeping tree-lined drive that leads along the water’s edge to a large gravel forecourt, with lawns, framed by mature trees, running more than 300ft to the foreshore.

The location could scarcely be more idyllic, but it’s not all roses at Cuskinny House as the pictures show: this is a great house now in need of some TLC.

Surrounded by 22 acres of gardens and pleasure grounds, Cuskinny House offers 10,720sq ft of pleasantly rambling, light-filled accommodation including a reception hall, four reception rooms, six bedrooms and three bathrooms, with staff quarters and two self-contained apartments located in the East Wing.

Now in need of modernisation following the death last year of Wanda Ronan, at the age of 101, the present house was built in about 1837 for Savage French by Cork architect Henry Hill, based on drawings scaled down from an earlier, heavy Victorian Gothic design by J. & G. R. Pain.

According to research carried out by Galway University, the French family of Co Cork descend from Richard French of Cork, who died in 1651. By the mid 18th century, Savage French lived at Marino, Great Island, and Savage French of Cuskinny was his grandson. At the time of Griffith’s Valuation (1847–64), Sampson Twogood French of Queenstown owned more than 5,300 acres in Co Cork.

Recommended videos for you According to Mrs Ronan’s son and executor, Simon Ronan, it was he who built the sea wall at Cuskinny in 1820.

He further reveals that the French family originally rented both the Marino and Cuskinny estates from the Ronan/Ronayne families before eventually buying them outright.

Cuskinny House in Co Cork is for sale at €4m — see more details and pictures.

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