Blackrock home with a snooker table included on the market for €2.7m
Unique selling point: A house with a snooker table included
Published 03/07/2015 | 02:30
Snooker has always been regarded as a gentleman's pastime to the degree that professional players still wear the dickie bow, formal white shirt and waistcoats. The rather quinine aura exuded by those who run and play the game isn't at all surprising given its origins in India in the British officer clubs of the middle of the 19th Century.
Snooker came about when some enterprising Raj Roger decided to add a few coloured balls to the reds to add spice to more traditional pool games held in the officer's mess in Jabalpur some time in the 1870's.
Legend has it that the future British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain named the game when, as a colonel serving there and dominating the tables, is said to have dubbed a rival a "snooker" as a derisory insult after his adversary made a mess of a shot.
At the time "snooker" was itself derogatory slang for a newbie first year cadet. From then on a "snooker" became a word for a bodged shot, and later for the act of setting up of an impossible shot for your opponent.
Whether this latter tidbit is true or not, the future Mr "Peace In Our Time" did indeed formalise the rules of modern snooker at Ooty in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu in 1884 (the British army hadn't much to do in the Raj back then).
Today the chess of billiards is still considered a far more refined and genteel pastime than pool, it's equally popular but more knockabout cousin, and the many other billiard variations which have flailed in popularity through time.
For those who appreciate the game and want to practice at home, or host their playing friends, a privately owned snooker table of distinction is the centrepiece of any really good games room. Before the home cinema emerged, the full sized and well crafted snooker table was the must-have for any Irish home of calibre.
So while a new owner of Tudor Lodge at Stradbrook Road in Blackrock might take a stiff shot to their pocket after shelling out the €2.7m asking price for this truly huge 1930's bungalow, there is some consolation in that the owners are prepared to throw their billiard room's full sized and hardwood crafted snooker table into the deal (well it wouldn't be a billiard room without it).
Stradbrook is one of Blackrock's premier residential stretches and Tudor Lodge is a very unusual example of the sort of bungalows built in our city suburbs between the early 1900's and the 1950's.
While most spanned between 1,500 sq ft and 2,500 sq ft, this five bed version currently stands at a whopping 5,188 sq ft - or close to five times the size of an average family semi.
As it happens, like snooker, our bungalows here in Ireland are also of Raj origin - coming from "Bangala," the term for a low slung home of the sort favoured by the Bengals.
The pavillion style dwellings were liked by Raj snooker playing officers and aristos and when they came home they started building versions with Tudor style trim all over Britain and soon too in Ireland.
Most of Tudor Lodge's size is original - just as it stood in the 1930's. This means the design proportions overall are sound and haven't been butchered or had bad angles thrown up by hotch potch expansion through the generations since its construction - often a problem with cottages and bungalows of this age.
The house comes with a substantial roofed garage (in the 1930's the car was coming into widespread use among Dublin's wealthier classes), and, given its sheer size, an extraordinary selection of downstairs rooms.
The house is entered through a fine pillared porch, the gable of which we can presume at one time or other contained a chicken's feet of timber beaming that might have given the property it's Tudor monicker. Today the gable front which dominates the home's "face" is smooth, which gives it a cleaner look then the mock Tudor touches would afford.
The porch leads inside to the reception hall with its white tiled terracotta floor, wood paneling and a brick surround fireplace which currently has a coal-effect gas fire installed.
The main reception room is the drawing room with a white Georgian-style marble chimney piece and grey marble and brass inset and it comes with a bay window.
There's a formal dining room with a similar marble chimney piece and doors open from here to the garden. There's the morning room which has fitted shelves, a bow window and a Minster Portland stone fireplace. Next comes the aforementioned billiard room with the regal snooker table and where the old under stairs storage has been converted to a drinks bar where reflective snooker players can sit while waiting for their opponent's lucky big break to end.
There's a kitchen/breakfast room which comes with Shaker style units, another terracotta tiled floor and a Rangemaster gas oven with a five ring gas hob. There's a stainless steel extractor fan fitted.
Remnants of the 1930's kitchen ancillary rooms are still here with the boiler room (likely the old scullery) and the butler's pantry where the kitchen and serving utensils would have been stored along with a regular pantry - the small cold room designed to keep food fresh before the widespread use of the refrigerator.
There's also a toilet on the ground floor along with a study for the home worker, or the parent who uses it to get a little peace and quiet.
Upstairs on the first floor are the five bedrooms and the family bathroom. The master chamber has its own en-suite with a freestanding clawfoot tub as well as "his and hers" porcelain twin sinks. The second bedroom has an en-suite with a shower.
This home also comes with a substantial site attached - gardens of a half acre. There's good parking to the front behind electronic dates. There's a decking area, a summer house, storage sheds and the garage for covered parking. The house is also located a short distance to the sea at Seapoint.
Colliers (01-6333700) seeks a buyer with €2.7m in the side pocket.