Dun Laoghaire home with a wine store and conservatory on the market on €1.485m
Former White Lodge owner immortalised in literary history
It's not often you find a rate collector memorialised in story or song. But Edward Cotter, erstwhile resident of No9 Eglinton Park in Dun Laoghaire, was a friend and associate of John Stanislaus Joyce, father of none other than James Joyce, who, in turn, naturally put the humble rate collector into his fiction.
Joyce Snr worked for the Office of the Dublin Collector-General of Rates for 11 years until he lost his job in 1893 and several of his colleagues crop up in Joyce Jnr's works, including Edward Graham Cotter, who plays a small but important role in 'The Sisters' from Dubliners.
Old Cotter is the "tiresome old red-nosed imbecile" who makes cryptic remarks about the relationship between the young narrator and a priest who has just died. He's a distiller in the story but a rate collector in real life, at least according to the scholarly Joyce research website, James Joyce Online Notes (jjon.org).
And given that there seems to be at least 10 Joyce scholars for every 10 Joyce readers, Cotter's notoriety has perhaps doubled since the story was published in 1914.
Old Cotter can be found in the house at No9 Eglinton Park, now known as White Lodge, on the night of the 1901 Census, but he died less than a month later on April 26.
Conjoined with its neighbour No10, the house achieved further renown several decades later when it became the Turkish consulate until the 1980s. It's semi-detached again now and has been a family home ever since.
White Lodge is said to have been built in 1804, although it's not on the first-edition OS map, for which the area was surveyed in 1837.
The second edition (1910) OS map has it and it's shown as a semi-detached building there, although the surroundings look rather different.
Out the front was nothing but an empty space - now it consists of Dun Laoghaire Bowling Club, formerly Dun Laoghaire Golf Club, and partly developed.
It's a comfortable 3,595 sq ft inside and still has original features, including the servants' bells, which you can, by all means, ring in the hope someone might bring you a glass of Swiss white wine, such as James Joyce was partial to, or a pyramid of powdered Turkish delight, ambassador-style.
The ground floor has two formal reception rooms, one either side of the entrance hall.
The drawing room is to the right and has a marble fireplace and high ceilings with cornicing. To the left is the dining room, very slightly smaller but similar in proportion, with a timber fireplace fitted with a gas fire. There's also a sitting room or family room on the ground floor, with a wood floor and a fitted gas stove.
This room opens directly from the kitchen, which is fitted with country-style cabinets and has a PVC bay window. The kitchen has a separate utility room and a wine store for your stash of Fendant de Sion, Joyce's favourite tipple.
A 19ft by 18ft conservatory, which has double doors to the back garden, is reached from the L-shaped entrance hall.
There are four bedrooms in all. On the first floor return level is the master bedroom, which has a dressing room and an ensuite with a Jacuzzi bath. Double doors open from the master bedroom into a private study.
There are two more bedrooms on the first floor and the fourth bedroom is on the second floor. There's a shower room and a guest toilet on the ground floor and a family bathroom upstairs. White Lodge is Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council's record of protected structures.
The house has been well cared for and is in good condition, but the kitchen and PVC windows may need a little updating. The asking price is €1.485m. Based on that valuation, Old Cotter would be collecting the modern-day equivalent of rates - to wit, Local Property Tax - amounting to €2,560.
White Lodge is on view tomorrow from 12pm-1pm.
9 Eglinton Park, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin
Asking price: €1.485m
Agent: Property Team O'Mahony (01) 298 3500