Situated on a narrow peninsula opposite Kinsale and beneath James’s Fort, Castlepark Village is flanked on one side by Jarley’s Cove with its sandy beach, and on the other by the River Bandon with deep moorings and a landing pontoon.
‘The client was an Englishman, Tony Hill of J M Hill Group,’ Anderson recalls. ‘They were quite big builders in London. Tony was keen on sailing and owned a 45m yacht crewed under a professional captain. When he sailed into Jarley’s Cove he liked what he saw and thought it would be a nice place for a holiday-cum-retirement village that might appeal to the flow of UK citizens purchasing second homes in West Cork. He had a manor house in Buckinghamshire, with horses, but he sold it to move to Castlepark, where he lived for the rest of his life, establishing an oyster farm up the Bandon River and sending the produce straight to Paris.’ Anderson also bought one of the houses after renting initially, ‘to see if there was anything we needed to change,’ and kept a little boat on mooring in the marina.
‘I used to go to Spain quite a bit back in the 1960s,’ Anderson recalls. ‘I loved exploring Spanish villages. Irish villages too. I would always take dimensions.’ Indigenous examples he cites include vernacular settlements at Moonveen and Licketstown in south Kilkenny, across the Suir from Waterford. ‘I was measuring the spaces between the buildings and noting how you couldn’t take everything in at once. I was doing the same in Ibiza. I wanted to get this tightness and clachán quality at Castlepark. I didn’t want any fences, barriers, walls or front areas. You should just open your door and be in the village. I wanted the buildings to dictate and determine the space and draw people through.’
The first phase comprised 19 homes – involving five different house types, ranging from single-storey two-bedroom cottages to two-storey three-bedroom houses – grouped around three sheltered, gravelled courtyards of differing scale, while six more homes, also part of the original design, were built later. An extension to the village – 31 houses in two clusters – was designed in 1982 as part of a proposal to extend the marina, but came to naught.