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16 Feb 2017

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Fancy living in a castle a church or even a watchtower?

For those of you who were inspired by the Forbes list of 12 Strange and Unusual Houses, we’ve decided to have a look for some Irish equivalents.

Although these unusual houses have all been renovated to modern living standards, the opportunities are endless when it comes to the quirky nooks and crannies an unusual house has.

The charm of a converted schoolhouse or medieval castle are incomparable, something that was lost during the Celtic Tiger’s building boom. For this reason, unusual houses may be a wise investment due to their scarcity.

Here are five of the best unusual houses on the market today. (September 2014*)

Would you live in a church?

It doesn’t get more idyllic than this converted church in Ballylickey, Bantry. The house looks like something right out of a Thomas Hardy novel with its ornate fascia boards and climbing roses on the porch.

This area in West Cork is famous for its relaxed, homely atmosphere and would make the perfect spot to both retire to or for a young family to settle in. This former church is over 170 years old but has been converted into a three-bedroom home boasting all of the luxuries of modern-day life.

Planning permission has previously been granted to build a separate guest cottage on the two acre property, which might interest those hoping to open a B&B, live near family or even build a workshop or office on next to the existing home.

Asking price: €250,000

A watchtower

Having a house in Dalkey is impressive, but having a tower in Dalkey is the stuff of fairy tales (well, maybe if Ross O’Carroll Kelly got together with Disney to write this fairy tale!).

Barter Tower was built in 1804 to protect Dalkey from Napoleonic invasion and is now considered a historic landmark, and an immaculately conserved one at that. The whole purpose of the tower was for it to have panoramic views of Dublin Bay. Now that there’s no fear of angry French men jumping off a ship at any given moment, the view are for pleasure purposes only.

High walls enclose the tower and its gardens to ensure privacy (and to shield yourself from inevitably green-eyed passers-by). The interiors have been cleverly designed to incorporate modern luxuries while maintaining original features like a barrel-vaulted roof and original fireplace. The timber-decked roof garden is pretty impressive too.

Asking price: (Not for the faint-hearted) €2,000,000

The railway children

For anyone in the market for a charming one-bed, this mid-19th century Railway Keeper’s Cottage could be perfect. The house has recently been renovated and insulated by its current owner. It is located in a peaceful spot beside the Kimastulla River in Co Tipperary, and convenient to larger towns, with Limerick city only 20 minutes away. The decor is very cottage chic, with a cosy stove place, pine cabinetry and fresh white walls.

Asking price: €89,000

Back to school

This quaint two-storey cut stone schoolhouse was built in the late 19th century by the Longfields of Longueville House on what was their estate. The schoolhouse was in use until the 1970s, but has been tastefully renovated in recent years and now sits in excellent condition.

The house includes all of the space needed for a family house; a porch and hallway, sitting room, kitchen, utility, attic space and four en suite bedrooms. The original stone entrance and wrought iron gates lead you from the bustling town of Mallow to this attractive property with peaceful lawns and gravel driveway.

Asking price: €325,000

King of the castle

Live like royalty in Ballindooley Castle, a historic property near Galway city centre. This 3,400 sq ft castle has undergone 22 years of extensive renovation with attention to historical detail and now offers all of the comforts of modern home. The sale includes all furniture, fixtures and fittings, all of which suit the vintage of the home. The Norman castle is believed to have been built by the DeBurgo family in approximately 1480. The castle rests on an acre and a half of land, guarded by low walls, hedging and an electric gates system.

Asking price: €599,000

Thinking of buying your own home?

Whether you’re hoping to buy a renovated property or renovate your current home, why not arrange a mortgage meeting to help plan your next step?

You can also download our handy mortgages guides or check out some more advice for renovating on a budget here.

*Prices correct at time of writing

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