Shipshape on Clontarf Road
Watch the boats roll in from the bedroom of No406
The view from the upstairs window of Radharc Na Mara on Clontarf Road would have been very different in the 17th century.
Across the bay from the house was once a piece of land known as Clontarf Island. The island was used as a quarantine station during an epidemic of plague in 1650. Around 1830, Christopher Cromwell, a descendant of Oliver Cromwell and local publican, built a wooden house on the island and used it as a summer home. A fierce storm hit Dublin Bay in 1844 and the house was demolished, killing Cromwell and his son William.
In the years that followed, more and more people would cross over to the island at low tide to take sand for building or farming. At this time, the sea was also washing sand deposits into the bay so that by 1880, Clontarf Island had submerged below the water and disappeared.
These days, No406 enjoys views over the bay and the Royal Dublin Golf Course. The current owner says she can sit on her bed and watch the ships coming and going.
"I will be very fussy about where we move on to because this house is so bright and so comfortable. From the minute I walked in the door of this house I felt a lovely energy. We've had 16 years of good health, good luck and our children were always very happy. They were great years," says the owner, with a tinge of sadness.
"The back garden is very special, with the quaint tree house at the top complete with slate roof, electricity and heating. My daughter spent many years up there doing tap dancing with her friends from Billie Barry. The trees are so mature and all you can hear is the birds singing. It's incredible to think that you're only 15 minutes from the city centre and have a totally private back garden like this."
At 3,000 sq ft, the house is ideal for entertaining. "Three of our children had their 21st parties here. For our daughter's, we got a marquee that covered the whole garden and had 250 guests in fancy dress. It's a great party house because it all flows so everyone can mingle."
Over the years, the house has been adapted as the kids grew up and looked for more independence.
"At one stage, one of our sons decided he wanted his own space so we created an apartment at the back of the house with its own sitting room, bedroom and bathroom. It's totally self-contained."
After much consideration, the couple have decided that they want to spend more time in their second home in Dingle now that their kids have moved on, so are looking for a smaller place in Dublin, "but not too small because we still want a place where we can get together with our four children at Christmas".
The porch at the front of the house leads into a reception hall with maple flooring and a door to the living room.
This large room at the front of the house has bay windows, a wood-burning stove and double doors into the dining room, with its timber fireplace, stove and decorative coving.
The kitchen has been extended and has fitted units, an island and patio doors out to the deck. There is a small shower room beside the kitchen and a laundry room with shelving that's plumbed for a washing machine. There is a music room or den to the front of the property and a conservatory to the rear.
On the return, there is a shower room and two bedrooms. Up the next flight of stairs is the master bedroom with ensuite bathroom, and another double bedroom with a built-in vanity unit and sink.
The family bathroom has a tiled floor and a free-standing bath. At the top of the house is the original attic room. It comfortably fits two double beds. There is also built-in storage on this level.
The front garden has a gravel driveway, with plenty of space for parking and a stone pathway leading up to the entrance. The west-facing rear garden is 147ft in length with a decking area, lawn, and mature planting and shrubs.
Radharc Na Mara comes with a C3 BER, which is quite impressive for a property that's 120 years old, but not too surprising when you hear that the owners had the house wrapped in external insulation, replaced all of the old windows and put in solid fuel stoves in the place of open fires.
The house has also never had to worry about flooding or getting insurance because of its proximity to the golf club, which protects this stretch of the road.
A short walk to the left will take you to St Anne's Park, or a right turn will take you to Clontarf's many amenities and restaurants. The seafront promenade is straight across the road and busy with walkers and cyclists all year round. If the crowds get too much though, you can just take in the view from the comfort of your own bed.
Radharc Na Mara is being sold through agents Gallagher Quigley and viewing is by appointment only.
Radharc Na Mara
406 Clontarf Road, Dublin 3
Asking price: €1.195m
Agent: Gallagher Quigley (01) 8183000