Tudor influences in Killiney on the market for €2.95m
Dower house has formal box gardens
In certain suburbs of Dublin, 0.6 of an acre is considered a modest garden. And so it is in Killiney, where Tudor Lodge sits on a site that is described as 'easily maintained', thanks in part to the robotic lawnmower that is included in the sale.
This of course is the time of year at which a house such as Tudor Lodge is seen at its best.
There is the formal rose garden, stocked with fragrant David Austin roses, their scent wafting headily in the breeze.
There are the two sandstone terraces, pitched to catch the sun whenever it chooses to appear, the possibility of eating en plein air always in prospect, a possibility to be seized upon whenever the weather permits.
There are tall hedges for privacy, and formal box gardens with pathways on which to stroll and share confidences, Jane Austen-style.
There are herbaceous borders and manicured beds. There's a sunken trampoline for fun and there are a kitchen garden and fruit trees, should the new owners have a yearning for a touch of the good life.
There are no chickens, but there is the room for them.
And there is the house itself, tucked discreetly away down a gravel driveway behind electric gates on a laneway off Church Road, on the Ballybrack side of Killiney, a none-too-common Irish example of the 19th century Tudor revival.
Built in 1880, Tudor Lodge is a good-looking, two-storey, wide house, with five bays and three gables.
With 6,426 sq ft of living space, it's also a substantial one with plenty of space for a large family to spend time together and apart, and to entertain on a grand scale, without having to worry too much about how many people have said 'yes'.
Built as a dower house for the daughters of nearby Loughlinstown House, the reception rooms would originally have occupied the upper floor, with the rooms at ground level used as kitchens and servants' accommodation. Subsequent owners reversed this order, which explains why the bedrooms, now located at first floor level, are grander rooms with higher ceilings than the reception rooms that now occupy the lower level.
As part of this reversal, the original main entrance was moved from first floor to garden level, although a row of original servants' bells remains in situ as a reminder of how things used to be.
Facing you as you enter the parquet-floored hallway is a grand staircase leading to the first floor.
Leading directly off the hall are a cloakroom and guest lavatory, and, immediately to the right, the oak-paneled study with an attractive period oak fireplace.
To the back, overlooking the garden, are the drawing and dining rooms, which are inter-connected.
The drawing room has a handsome black marble fireplace and doors opening out on to the garden.
The dining room in turn connects back to the kitchen and breakfast room, which lie to the left of the entrance hall.
The kitchen is fitted with country-style, handmade units painted off white, with granite worktops, and there's a large central island.
A cheerful two-oven oil-fired red AGA, plus an AGA companion with a gas hob and two electric ovens, ensures that cooking for large numbers will never be a problem.
There are also a large pantry, utility room, mud room and a playroom on this floor.
The playroom occupies the lower level of an extension built by the current owners, who bought the house in 2004.
Above it sits a self-contained granny or au pair flat with a bedroom, sitting room with kitchenette, and bathroom.
Upstairs in the main house are five bedrooms, four of which are en suite.
The master bedroom also has a dressing room and there is a family bathroom, plus charming balconies front and back.
The house is in walk-in condition, having been most recently refurbished and extended in 2010, with under-floor heating in the bathrooms, CCTV, and high-quality finishes evident throughout.
In terms of schools, there are several national schools in the area, and both Holy Child, Killiney, and St Joseph of Cluny are convenient secondary options for girls.
The Tesco shopping centre at Ballybrack is close by, as is access to the M50 and N11, the LUAS at Cherrywood, the DART at Killiney, and several bus routes.
Having undertaken considerable work on Tudor Lodge, the owners now have itchy feet and are moving on to another refurbishment project, albeit a smaller one.
They like the area so much though, what with the beach and the hill, and the proximity to GAA, tennis, golf and sailing clubs, that they will not be going far.
Church Road, Killiney, Co Dublin
Asking Price: €2.95m
Agent: Lisney (01) 2806820