Saturday 3 December 2016

Lessons from the sea in Clontarf

Seafield has been the target of well heeled buyers since 1904

Published 04/09/2015 | 02:30

The Edwardian exterior of Seafield
The Edwardian exterior of Seafield
The back garden at Seafield
The entrance hall at Seafield
The kitchen at Seafield
One of the reception rooms at Seafield

Few will have heard of the Dublin School for Children of Decayed Seamen. However, most will be familiar with the institution it would eventually become - Mount Temple Comprehensive in Clontarf famously became the birthplace of U2 after a 14-year-old Larry Mullen Jnr posted a notice on the school board in 1976 looking for band members.

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Mount Temple, whose past pupils also include author Christopher Nolan and sculptor Linda Brunker, opened in Dublin 3 in 1972. The school, with a widespread reputation for encouraging natural talents in its students, was composed of various shrinking institutions which had to amalgamate - the longest established of these being the Hibernian Marine Society School for the Children of Decayed Seamen (to give it its full name).

The HMSSCDS had been constructed to an imperious design on Sir John Rogerson's Quay in Dublin in 1766 by the Irish Parliament with the purpose of housing and educating the children of sailors lost, killed or maimed at sea in the service of the Royal or Merchant Navy. Shortly after opening it filled up to its full complement of 120.

The school togged them out in sailor gear as a uniform, taught them reading, writing, arithmetic and navigation. But lest we see it as a purely charitable project, it fed them straight back into the naval services as powder monkeys and cabin boys at 14 - cannon fodder for decades of floating scraps from the Nile to Trafalgar and Jutland.

The original building, an imposing neo classical creation, later became the B&I headquarters. Sadly it was demolished in 1979 long after the Dublin Marine School moved to Seafield Road.

In 1904, when the young sailors arrived at Seafield, Dublin 3 was Dublin 4 - its newly-constructed red-brick homes were choice purchases for the city's emerging educated Catholic rich and political elite who were gradually taking power from the Anglo Irish at all levels.

The arrival of the school marked the period in which most homes on Seafield were constructed including Number 142 now being offered for sale at €1.09m.

With five bedrooms and 2,357 sq ft of accommodation overall, this is a substantial city residence by any standards and it has been modernised in recent years to provide an unusual combination of contemporary and traditional, deploying muted tones in the former and bright primary colours in the latter.

The demand for Clontarf has been growing constantly through the past 10 years to the degree that even in the crash, its properties didn't lose as much value relative to other locations. Much of the demand comes from professional adults who grew up and were educated in Clontarf as well as in nearby Raheny and Killester.

Clontarf's seafront access and views, its proximity to the city centre and the quality of the homes here means the competition has continued to be fierce and although these properties fell back to the €650,000 price range in the trough, the better ones have bounced back by more than €300,000 through the past five years.

The exterior is typically Edwardian in full glaze red-brick, a recessed porch with a patterned tile step and flattened fanlight and a tile roofed jutting bay window to one side. Unusually for a home of this age, all the original characteristics of the period including the chimney pieces, cornicings and ceiling covings are still in place. In 2012 most of the windows were replaced.

Accommodation includes an entrance hall with all the ornate trim of the period which leads into the original drawing room - the main reception in this home. It comes with the bay window and black marble chimney-piece set.

Double doors lead into the dining room, which also has the original chimney piece and leads out to the garden. There's a modern open-plan kitchen and dining room and an additional lounge or living area added in 2000.

There are five bedrooms upstairs, two bathrooms and the attic is also floored.

This home also comes with an integrated music system. And today the area's schools still include Mount Temple Comprehensive which is entranced on the Malahide Road. Savills is seeking €1.09m

142 Seafield Road

Clontarf, Dublin 3

Asking price: €1.09m

Agent: Savills (01) 8530630

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