Seven Martello towers were built around Cork Harbour by British forces in the early 1800s as defensive forts against a possible invasion of the empire by Napoleon Bonaparte.

Five of these thick-walled circular forts, which were among the 50 constructed along the Irish coastline, are still standing around Cork Harbour, one of the world’s largest natural harbours.

The threat of a French attack passed, and the towers outlived their usefulness as military technology advanced. But the heritage of the towers is recalled at Martello Rushbrooke, a scheme on an elevated site on Great Island, near the maritime town of Cobh.

The scheme is popular among an influx of workers who want a quick rail commute to Cork city centre.

Caraden Homes is building 56 two-, three- and four-bed semi-detached houses at Martello Rushbrooke, which is set within a tree-bounded cul-de-sac with landscaped green spaces. Since the scheme launched in March last year, 35 sales have been notched up, all of which were 965-sq ft, three-bed semis priced between €252,000 and €265,000. They were mostly purchased by first-time buyers availing of the help-to-buy tax rebate scheme, according to the selling agent.

The scheme’s three-bed showhouse will reopen tomorrow to market the final phase of 15 homes at Martello. The homes in this tranche are at the highest part of the site, so some command views of Cork Harbour to the south.

The three-bed houses in the latest release are priced from €260,000, and there are also two-bed homes available from €255,000. These two-beds are the same size as the three-beds, but have been configured to create two large bedrooms, which makes them appealing to downsizers and single buyers.

The tranche also includes four-bed houses that measure 1,421 sq ft and cost from €325,000.

The three-beds have a two-toned painted and plastered façade and a maritime-themed light-blue front door with side glazing that complements the grey-framed UPVC windows. There is enough space for two cars in the paved driveway, with planting and round-top railings forming the boundary.

Inside, there is a living room with a bay window up front and a kitchen/diner to the rear. The high-gloss lacquered kitchen units were supplied by Express Kitchens and the square-edged Sonoma Oak worktops come from Duropa.

Glazed doors open from the dining space to a rear patio and a garden that’s enclosed by treated timber fencing.

Upstairs, there are two double bedrooms – one of which is ensuite – as well as a single bedroom and a family bathroom. Two of the bedrooms have custom-made wardrobes. When the folding Stira stairs is opened, it leads from the first floor to the floored attic, where there is 150 sq ft of storage space.

The downstairs WC, ensuite and main bathroom have floor and wall tiling, sanitaryware, shower fittings, and heated towel rails.

The A3-rated houses are 1.5km from Rushbrooke train station, which is on the Kent Station to Cobh line, and 2km from Cobh station. The train journey to Cork city centre, which is 22km away, takes about 30 minutes.

Viewings of the showhouse will be held from 10am to 12pm tomorrow.

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