Friday 18 August 2017

Last haven of the city Wrenboys

Family home within walking distance of city centre

The kitchen with island unit
The kitchen with island unit
The Wren boys
The exterior of the house
The rear garden and gazebo
The brightly lit front hall
The airy reception room

Katy McGuinness

For buyers in search of a family home within walking or cycling distance of the city centre, 3 Newbridge Drive is a house that will tick many boxes.

First and foremost, there's the location, a few minutes away from Sandymount Village, with its pretty-as-a-postcard village green, proper shops and vibrant sense of community.

On St Stephen's Day each year, Sandymount hosts a Wren Boys festival that attracts visitors from all over Dublin. The old Irish tradition of Hunting the Wren is still practised around the country, particularly in parts of Kerry and Limerick, but less in the capital. Long ago the Wren was actually hunted and killed, tied to a holly bush and paraded around in celebration of the Winter Solstice Festival. Nowadays the Wren is represented by a symbolic bird in a holly bush and accompanied by music-making, carousing and general seasonal bonhomie.

"The big thing about this house," says agent Christopher Bradley of Sherry Fitzgerald, "is that it's in a cul-de-sac. There are only 11 houses, and there's no traffic, so the children are always out playing on the road and it's really safe."

Sandymount features prominently in James Joyce's Ulysses. Joyce lived for short periods on both Strand Road and Shelbourne Road, and his character Paddy Dignam resided just around the corner from Newbridge Drive, at 9 Newbridge Avenue. Poor Dignam was over-fond of the jar, and in the book, Leopold Bloom and others make the journey across town to attend his burial in Glasnevin Cemetery. Elsewhere in the novel, Stephen Dedalus ponders the meaning of life on Sandymount Strand - these days he would be distracted by the constant parade of runners, cyclists, dog walkers and kite-flyers - and Bloom lusts after the comely Gertie McDowell.

Aside from its undoubted pedigree as a literary backdrop, Sandymount is known for its range of pubs and restaurants. Among the most popular are Brickfield Town in Mulligan's (named after another of Joyce's characters?), which dishes up gastropub fare, and new arrival, Buckle Up, bringing a touch of laid-back Melbourne (yes, it serves avocado toast and very good coffee) to the neighbourhood. Branches of Mario's and Dunne & Crescenzi cater for those who prefer their food with an Italian accent.

In addition to the charms of Sandymount village, Newbridge Drive benefits from being perfectly placed for schools, with a good choice of both primary and secondary options nearby, and access to many more facilitated by proximity to the DART line.

The new Shellybanks Educate Together national school opened just two years ago and is already well-established in the community, while other primary options include Star of the Sea (boys), Lakelands (girls) and St Matthew's (mixed). St Michael's and Marian College are the closest boys' secondary schools, Muckross Park and St Teresian's cater for girls. St Andrew's in Booterstown accepts both.

As well as the amenities of the village and the seafront, residents have easy access to the Aviva Stadium and local sports clubs and facilities including Monkstown Rugby Club, Railway Union, Clanna Gael GAA club and Irishtown Stadium.

And then there's the house itself, an attractive semi-detached bay-windowed family home dating from the 1930s, which is in walk-in condition. The house retains its garage to the side as well as off-street parking.

The current owners purchased No 3 in the early noughties, and have upgraded the property twice since. Most significantly, they added on a large extension to the back which houses the now essential open-plan kitchen/dining space opening out on to the timber deck and the back garden beyond. The space is lit from above by Velux windows, and there's an enormous island unit, and cream-painted units.

This extension brings the total living space to 181 sq m.

The entrance porch retains the original front door with stained glass, and leads on the entrance hall, off which is a guest lavatory. Two inter-connecting reception rooms are to the left. Also, off the hall is a compact utility room.

Upstairs on the first floor, there are three bedrooms and a modern family bathroom. The master bedroom has an en-suite shower/steam room. A stairs from the landing leads to the attic room. Outside, the garden to the rear is nicely planted and features a little gazebo at the end.

3 Newbridge Drive,

Sandymount, Dublin 4

Asking price: €1.15M

Agent: Sherry Fitzgerald

Indo Property

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