Life Home & Garden

Wednesday 16 January 2019

Best bedroom views? The master bedroom of this Howth home looks over Lambay Island and Ireland's Eye

Former GP's residence is on the market for €1.55m

The exterior of the house
The exterior of the house
A recreation room
The hallway and staircase
Decorative detail
The study
The bathroom
The back of the house
Mark Keenan

Mark Keenan

If your baby was teething badly back in the 1890s, then the doctor would prescribe something like Mrs Winslow's Soothing Syrup for infants with plenty of opium, codeine and morphine to calm the little tyke down - or knock him out completely. The motto of one soothing syrup brand of the day was "when you sleep, they sleep".

Bad cough? Your 1890s GP might smack you with Bayer Heroin Cough Suppressant while a tooth ache would see a tin of Lloyds Cocaine Drops proffered. For arthritis, drink a bottle of radium (radiated) water to get your countenance glowing.

The decade also marked a peak in female hysteria with symptoms listed as "erratic behaviour", "hysterical outbreaks" and "laughing at" or "back talking" to a husband. A mild condition might see your doctor recommend a home treatment like the Vigors - a sort of rocking horse with a fitted saddle and bicycle handlebars. The patient would climb on and then rock back and forth vigorously to generate a "hysterical paroxysm". The paroxysm horse from Vigors was endorsed by the Princess of Wales. If the hysteria didn't clear up, then doctors usually sought a hysterectomy or else an incarceration - in an asylum.

If we think health services are bad today, consider that in 1899 when 4 St Lawrence Road was built as a new doctor's residence in Howth, Dublin 13; those who made an appointment in that first year might well have encountered cures that were far more dangerous than the ailments afflicting them.

A recreation room
A recreation room

Very much in rude good health today, the house comes to market this weekend with a price tag of €1.55m. The sale coincides with the disposal earlier this week (sale agreed) of the adjoining former dispensary building at No 3 which was once also part of the property.

No4 remained as a gp's surgery until the more enlightened 1960s before the house ran into a poorly patch. For a time in the 1970s it served as a local authority office and then was turned into flats before it fell into run-down condition. The house was reconverted as a private residence in the 1980s and in at the peak of the Celtic Tiger was fully restored and modernised. The current owner bought it in 2008 and is now trading down in the area.

No 4 also gets the best of both worlds at Howth, being five minute's walk from the scenic waterfront village with its shops, eateries and fish restaurants, while also being just elevated enough on the Hill to avoid the tourist clamour on summer weekends. The raised position also gives some pretty outstanding marine views.

The entrance hall has solid wooden floors, ceiling covings, a central rose and dado rail along with the carved staircase with turned balusters. The living room sits to the front of the house with a bay window looking over the garden, an open fireplace, restored sash windows and again, it has coving and a ceiling rose. The dining room also has a bay window along with a cast iron fireplace and matching stucco trim. The kitchen here is handmade and custom ordered and built with a tiled floor, granite countertops and an island unit. There's recessed lighting, built-in storage, a hob, dual oven, a free standing American -style fridge freezer and a coved ceiling. The dining area has its own cast iron fireplace with a gas inset and the window here has sea views. There's a utility room with storage presses and this is plumbed for a washing machine and a dryer and it has a door out to the garden.

Also located on this floor is a bathroom with a bidet and an electronic shower. An inner hall takes you to the stairs leading to an office on the first floor. This can also serve as a fourth bedroom.

Upstairs the master bedroom looks out over the sea to Lambay Island and Ireland's Eye and it comes with a coved ceiling ensuite that includes a power shower, chrome towel rails and under floor heating. The master chamber also has its own dressing room located off it and this could be converted to a fifth bedroom.

There's also a guest bathroom on the first floor with a free standing claw foot bath tub. The remaining two bedrooms are double sized and one looks out over the sea.

Outside is the garden with a timber viewing deck that looks straight out across the sea and over the Howth Village rooftops below, a view that should harmlessly cure many a malady.

4 St Lawrence Road


Dublin 13

Asking price: €1.55m

The bathroom
The bathroom

Agent: Sherry FitzGerald (01) 8394022

Indo Property

Life Newsletter

Our digest of the week's juiciest lifestyle titbits.

Editors Choice

Also in Life