Wednesday 22 October 2014

A fixer-uper: Shankill mansion for sale for €1.5m

Run-down mansions in Dublin are the cheapest they've ever been but are they worth the hassle of fixing up?

Eithne Tynan

Published 04/07/2014 | 02:30

The sum of €1.5m will buy you Shankill House, a 5,800-square-foot period property with views of the sea at Ferndale Road, Rathmichael, Co Dublin.
Also included is the detached studio which measures 1,291 square feet. It's a stone-clad modern building, open-plan inside.

Run down mansions in Dublin are probably at the cheapest they've been in a generation right now.

While plenty of foreign buyers have been scooping up big homes in walk-in condition, there hasn't been quite such a rush for those properties in need of a significant investment.

Ironically many of these big old historic homes are in rag order today precisely because they were bought at big money and earmarked for grand plans back at the height of the boom.

The devastation of the property crash has left heaps of historic big houses stranded – once bought and earmarked for golf, hotel or leisure developments, they're now in the hands of the receivers and have not benefitted from being left empty and abandoned for periods running between four and 10 years.

For example, the sum of €1.5m (the price of two bog standard semis in nearby Blackrock) will now buy you Shankill House, a 5,800-square-foot period former country house with views of the sea at Ferndale Road, Rathmichael, Co Dublin.

But the property is being sold in two lots, and the second lot is a parcel of land with planning permission for 11 houses. If you want to proceed with that development – or buy the land to make sure no one else does – it will set you back another €2.5m.


Shankill House is a three-storey over basement property that's been vacant for some time and needs refurbishment. It stands on 3.27 acres and has a studio and mews on the grounds.

The interiors have been stripped out and the house is in need of a serious amount of work. At almost six times the size of an average family home in Dublin, this investment won't be a light one.

On its hall floor are a drawing room that extends the full 35-foot length of the house, a dining room with a solid fuel stove, and a kitchen.

There's a bathroom, utility room and study on the first-floor return. On the upper floors are four bedrooms, one of them en-suite, as well as a laundry and a shower room.

The basement has its own entrance, and consists of three and a shower room.

Also included is the detached studio which measures 1,291 square feet. It's a stone-clad modern building, open-plan inside.

The mews, meanwhile, consists of two self-contained units. The first has a kitchen/ diner, living room and upstairs en-suite bedroom. The second has an open-plan kitchen/ living room and an en-suite bedroom upstairs.


Planning permission for a development of 11 new houses on the adjoining 7.3 acres of land was granted in 2005, and included a provision to rearrange the internal access road so that Shankill House would have its own entrance. Planning was extended in 2012 until September next year.

Shankill and the surrounding area isn't new to property crash devastation. Nearby Foxrock was originally a giant unfinished development left stranded by two conmen in the 19th Century – leaving many investors out of pocket.

Both Shankill and Rathmichael were owned by Sir Charles Compton William Domville who had a horrendous reputation as a landlord and is remembered for his attempts to ruthlessly clear the smallholding tenants from Shankill and Rathmichael to make way for a grand Victorian housing development on a large scale.

Domville's plan was to clear out the tenants and big new villas in order to persuade the city centre gentry to relocate as they were already doing to places like Rathgar, Terenure and Ranelagh.

The developer cleared over a hundred tenants off these lands to the poorhouse and in essence cut the area's population in half during his1860's property development clearance.

But he overreached himself on his ambitious plans and ultimately ended up bankrupted and broke.

Colliers International (01 663 3700) is handling the sale of Shankill House on the instructions of receivers Mason, Owen and Lyons.

Shankill House, studio and mews, on 3.2 acres is for sale for €1.5m; Lot 2 - the 7.3 acres of land with planning permission - is €2.5m.

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