Get in to the Grove: with benefits of nearby schools
A red brick home is on the doorsteps of prestigious schools, says Eithne Tynan
8 Grove Paddock, Stillorgan Park, Blackrock, Co Dublin. Asking price: €1.35m. Agent: Hunters Estate Agents, Castle Street, Dalkey (01 275 1640)
Grove Paddock is neither a grove nor a paddock but an enclave of 14 recently built homes located in a cul de sac between Blackrock and Stillorgan in south Dublin.
Historical maps appear to indicate, though, that the 'paddock' of the title was once part of the curtilage of the 18th century manor house, Glensavage, at nearby Avoca Avenue. Glensavage was home to the Misses Doris and Sheila Findlater, of the celebrated family of wine and whiskey merchants, until the late 1960s.
Doris participated in a big game hunt in Nepal in 1920, where she was one of a party that bagged three tigers, a leopard, two pigs, a scattering of deer and antelope, and a couple of ducks. "I enjoyed every minute of it," she wrote home gleefully. More prosaically, Doris was also an avid gardener, and became famous for hybridising her own nerines.
Latter-day residents of the paddock might also indulge a fancy for horticulture, as there's enough room in the gardens of these houses to cultivate all the lilies you want.
It's unlikely you'll find much in the way of exotic wildlife, though. But having said that, you would probably be unable to fire so much as a peashooter from the vicinity of Grove Paddock without hitting a student of one of the south city's most prestigious institutes of learning.
Nearby schools include Blackrock College, Mount Anville, Newpark, Willow Park, CBC Monkstown, St Andrew's, and Sion Hill.
As it happens, the Findlater sisters themselves attended Alexandra College, the private, exclusive, all-girls' school which was then situated at Earlsfort Terrace and where, in those days, young ladies could presumably get a good grounding in how to spot the whites of a tiger's eyes and the like.
Fittingly enough, the selling agents for Number 8 Grove Paddock, a five-bedroom detached house in the middle of the estate, are Hunters, and they describe it as a 'trophy' home.
Grove Paddock was built in the mid-2000s, having been designed by McGrane and Partners in Dundrum. They're also the architects responsible for the Westgrove Hotel in Clane, Co Kildare, and - rather more exotically - a holiday resort development including villas and condominiums, a swimming pool and a beach bar on the island of St Kitts & Nevis in the West Indies.
The designers gave the Grove Paddock houses an Edwardian-style exterior; the exteriors are finished partly in red brick, and they have an arched front doorway and bay windows.
Number 8 overlooks a smallish though reasonably leafy green area to the front - perhaps a future grove in honour of the name of the estate. The house has some 2,150 sq ft of floor space, not including the converted attic.
The main reception rooms of the property - of which there are four - orbit a central hallway. On the left is a family room, and on the right a living room with wooden floors, a bay window, and a marble fireplace.
Double doors lead from the living room to a dining room, which is itself connected both to the kitchen and to a conservatory. the kitchen, at the back of the house overlooking the garden, has an island unit and granite work surfaces, and is served by a utility room giving access to the side passage of the property. There's also a guest toilet on the ground floor.
Upstairs is the master bedroom, which has a walk-in wardrobe and an ensuite. There are four more bedrooms on the first floor, one of them a double with an ensuite, as well as a family bathroom that has a separate shower.
The top floor houses another bathroom, a store room, and an attic room that might be useful as a home office - or perhaps as a study for a diligent student attending one of the local schools.
The front garden has a low wall and a gravelled driveway supplying off-street parking for three or four cars. At the back, and accessed from both sides of the house, is a westerly garden measuring around 55 feet by 40 feet.
The garden has been professionally landscaped, and is laid out with a lawn, raised beds, Indian sandstone paving, decking, and gravel, as well as a water feature.
Grove Paddock can be found by means of a little purposeful meandering off the Stillorgan Park Road. Blackrock Dart Station is about two-and-a half kilometres away, or you can reach the main Stillorgan road, the N11, in about five minutes by car.