Some people fall in love with castles and they can be great fun to live in. If you were to buy one, it may be the completed article or one that has been neglected and needs a little bit of tender loving care.
Then there are those who like a challenge and fall in love with an historic building project. I have seen many castles come back to life from ruin; it is an exciting time rebuilding an ancient monument, but it's not something for the faint-hearted...as you many have seen with Peel Castle in Yorkshire.
I was inspired when I saw the architect's plans for Carrignacurra Castle, situated in a superb location on the banks of the River Lee, Inchigeelagh, County Cork, half way between Cork city and the wonderful Glengariff. I used to live in Cork and I love this part of the world.
Carrignacurra Castle was probably built around 1575 to defend a ford across the River Lee, about 1.5km east (downstream) of Inchigeelagh village, and would have been an O’Leary Castle. The name, Carrignacurra, probably comes from Carraig na Choradh – rock of the weir. There was an eel weir on the River Lee here in the 17th century.
As I mentioned, this is a renovation project; there is a roof on the castle and to date there has been the installation of three timber sub-floors at the second, third and fifth levels and some restoration on the top floor. There has also been some rebuilding of loops, windows, door surrounds, the murder hole and other details, but you will be starting with a shell of a building.
This is the interesting part - in the last 12 months, planning permission has been granted for restoration and alterations to the castle for use as a dwelling. This includes repairs to existing walls and roof, external rendering, new glazed balustrades, the construction of a two storey extension and glazed link, new vehicular entrance, proprietary sewerage treatment system and all associated site works. The first hurdle has been jumped!
If you would like to be a king or queen of your own Irish castle, Carrignacurra Castle is on the market for €225,000.