The tinkling of fountains and waterfalls are among the musical sounds reverberating around Ashtown Lodge, near Castleknock, in Dublin 15, which was once home to the Walton family, famous for their Dublin musical shop. The family also set up the Glenside record label and sponsored a show on Radio Eireann, whose famous sign-off line was: "If you feel like singing, do sing an Irish song."
The firm's founder Martin Walton fought in 1916 and was imprisoned at Ballykinlar in Co Down, where he formed and taught the camp orchestra and he subsequently established a school of music at the family's North Frederick Street premises.
In the 1980s the family sold it to the O'Reilly family, best known for their car auction firm Merlin. Now it is for sale for €5.95m – a €550,000 reduction on the asking price sought earlier this year.
Its lure is not just the period main house, or even its two other houses, but also its attractively laid-out 25 acres set beside the Royal Canal.
Landscaped gardens with statues of a variety of animals, fountains, an orchard, a floodlit tennis court, an indoor swimming pool, five stables, a stream, pitch and putt course and woodland walks, bordering the Royal Canal are just some of the enjoyable pleasures of the estate.
Its three period residences, the main house, a gate lodge and a coach house have been fully restored or refurbished and have extensive frontage on River Road adjacent to the village of Castleknock.
The décor styles of the houses combine an interesting mix of Tudor and Georgian features set against a dramatic yet relaxing backdrop of manicured gardens.
Ashtown Lodge itself extends to 700sqm and includes three reception rooms, as well as a library, sunroom and study.
Its kitchen/breakfast room space is supplemented by a pantry. At first floor there are five bedrooms of which three are en suite while the garden level accommodates a two-bedroom staff quarters.
A 220sqm annex to this house accommodates an open-plan kitchen, dining and living area as well as three bedrooms and this brings to 10 the number of bedrooms in the main house.
The coach house extends to 580sqm and comes with a 17 metre indoor heated swimming pool which comes with a steam room as well as sets of doors which open to a patio and gardens. The Coach House also has six bedrooms of which two are en suite, and its large open-plan kitchen, dining area opens on to sunny gardens.
Other rooms in this building include a livingroom, playroom, drawingroom and study. Although its exterior was designed in the coach house style with a clock tower to fit in with the ambience of the estate, in fact this building was built as a separate spacious residence only about 20 years ago.
The 290sqm gate lodge has four bedrooms of which two are en suite. Its relatively recent refurbishment included the installation of Villeroy and Boch fittings in the bathrooms and underfloor heating.
Within a walled garden lies a circular ornamental pond with a fountain set against the backdrop of a waterfall style.
A seamless stream intersects the extensive lawns of the main house and all of these water features endow the whole property with its tinkling and relaxing ambience – an outdoor, natural, surround sound system 24/7 – before they were even dreamt of.
A mile-long circuit of paths through the grounds takes you past rolling lawns featuring various ornamental features including a mini steeple and can include a canalside walk close to the 12th lock of the Royal Canal as well as an orchard, and an endless array of trees and shrubs.
There are stables, should the new owner prefer to enjoy the grounds on horseback as well as rabbits and pheasant for those who enjoy game.
All of its features combine to suggest that the property may have potential as an ambassadorial property, or one for the hospitality industry as an equestrian resort or health farm.
With Dublin's hotel industry enjoying a recovery and new hotels in the pipeline, Ashtown Lodge might appeal to an operator.
The vendors wish to sell the property as one lot but a purchaser, or a group of purchasers, might well feel that they could recover some of their outlay by selling off one or two of the buildings or sites fronting on to the River Road at Castleknock.
Contact Vincent Finnegan 01 2984695