€395k Cork home called Rhodesia has salvage from 1928 shipwreck of the RMS Celtic

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Rhodesia, Boreenmanna Road, Ballinlough, Co. Cork

Rhodesia, on the Boreenmanna Road, Cork city, is guided at €395,000 by auctioneer Patricia Stokes

Family home shares RMS Celtic haul with the likes of Cork’s famed Long Valley Bar: ship connection could make it awash with interest
Property Editor Tommy Barker reports Pictures: Ted Murphy- Irish Examiner

Boreenamanna Road, Cork City

€395,000 house + €125,000 site


155 sq m (1,670 sq ft)






F house/G site

THERE’S a bright future, surely, for this distinctive 100-year-old family home, one called after an African country’s historical name, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).

It’s also a house that has been furnished with marine salvage including stairs, pressed metal ceilings, and doors with feature portholes, from one of the largest early 20th century transatlantic liners, the White Star line’s RMS Celtic.

Rhodesia, Boreenmanna Road, Ballinlough, Co. Cork

The White Star Line’s RMS Celtic was grounded in December 1928 on rocks at Roches Point and was slowly stripped of its interiors and other items. Some can be seen in the Long Valley Bar, and here, at Cork home called ‘Rhodesia’

The distinctive Edwardian era four-bed home called Rhodesia is set at the Old Blackrock Road end of the Boreenmanna Road in Cork, near the South Infirmary, and a five- to 10-minute walk to the city centre.

Rhodesia, Boreenmanna Road, Ballinlough, Co. Cork

Porthole doors in Rhodesia came from RMS Celtic

Containing fittings and artifacts from the stricken liner Celtic which grounded off Roches Point in 1928 and was gleefully stripped of finery which is still surfacing in many Cork homes such as Rhodesia (and, notably too, in the Long Valley Bar), this ship-shape home was last briefly floated on the Munster market back in 2008 with an adjoining former clothing factory space.

Rhodesia, Boreenmanna Road, Ballinlough, Co. Cork

Doors which were bought by Long Valley publican John Moynihan in 1928, from ship the ‘Celtic’ which went aground off Cork Harbour in 1928. Picture: Cillian Kelly

Back then, it had high hopes of a €1.2m transaction, with development plays in mind but it didn’t sell, and has remained since in the same family’s hands, now making it an even half-century of Elwood family ownership.

This time, it’s offered in two lots, with the 1,650 sq ft four-bed semi-detached home and garage/workshop guided at €395,000, and the old PC Elwood waterproofs factory unit offered as a separate lot, on 0.1 of an acre fringing and above the old rail line that’s now Cork’s south city link road, a vital artery into and out town, book-ended by the Elysian tower.

Rhodesia, Boreenmanna Road, Ballinlough, Co. Cork

Setting above the South City Link Road/ex West Cork rail line

Selling agents are Patricia Stokes Auctioneers, who describe the house as a substantial four-bed of character, with a garage and substantial workshop plus gardens, all with further development scope.

Rhodesia, Boreenmanna Road, Ballinlough, Co. Cork

Former factory section on development site of 0.1 acre with €125,000 AMV with agent Patricia Stokes

There’s a lapsed planning grant for a detached house on the workshop/garage side, as well as another lapsed planning for a second house on the adjoining factory/industrial plot of c 0.1 acre, which still contains the 1,776 sq ft single-storey clothing manufacturing building where, at its peak, Elwoods employed 18 workers.

Rhodesia, Boreenmanna Road, Ballinlough, Co. Cork

Boreenmanna Road frontage for house and site/ex factory

Given the mix, and scope, Ms Stokes can expect a wide cross-section of inquiries, from romantics who’ll be drawn to the house and its history as well as from the more hard-nosed types looking at development, most likely for residential use.

Rhodesia, the house, is Edwardian in style, double-fronted with terracotta tile trim on its top gables, and has reception rooms left and right of the central hall with bay windows, and the left one links back to a dining room, with kitchen beyond.

There’s also a small back room/home office and access to a west-facing compact and mature back garden, with its back bounding the retaining wall heading out of the city on the left, on the Link Road section before the junction with the Boreenmanna Road (motorists and passers-by in previous decades would have spotted the family’s sentinel-like German Shepherd dogs patrolling the property’s curtilage).

Rhodesia, Boreenmanna Road, Ballinlough, Co. Cork

Stairs and ornate ceiling came from RMS Celtic

Internally, the home also has four first-floor bedrooms, three to the front, plus main bathroom and separate WC, with a very fine hardwood stairs and ornate ceiling above the landing among some of the rescued items from the White Star Line’s Celtic.

That 20,000 ton ship went aground in December 1928 while en route from Liverpool to New York, with more than 500 crew and passengers on board, all safely rescued and tales of the bounty washed up on the shoreline — including cargoes of fruit — are legion, with its last piece salvaged by 1933.

Rhodesia, Boreenmanna Road, Ballinlough, Co. Cork

A Cork Examiner reporter interviews a lighthouse keeper at Roche’s Point after the White Star liner Celtic had been driven onto the rocks at the entrance to Cork Harbour 10/12/1928

Construction of Rhodesia was by builder Freddie Mullins. St Finbarr’s, the adjoining other half of the sturdy-looking pair of semis which he also built (integrating more salvage) sold in 2018 for €290,000.

Rhodesia, Boreenmanna Road, Ballinlough, Co. Cork

VERDICT: All Rhodes lead to Boreenmanna Road?

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