Life Home & Garden

Monday 16 September 2019

Bushy tailed park life for young ones in Terenure

57 Bushy Park Road Terenure, Dublin 6

Asking price: €1.75m

Agent: Sherry FitzGerald, (01) 4907433

Park right: The open-plan kitchen living space with restored chimney piece
Park right: The open-plan kitchen living space with restored chimney piece
The separate living room
The marbled bathroom
Original joinery in the hall
The exterior with its covered porch
The kitchen
The river Dodder at Bushy Park
World skateboard champion Tony Hawk at the park's skateboard court

Generations of suburban southside Dublin kids who adore Bushy Park, have grown up thinking their favourite weekend playground was thus named because it is... well, bushy. They might well be right; albeit in a roundabout way.

Bushy Park House, the parkland's original three-storey over basement homestead was built by Arthur Bushe circa 1700 and initially called Bushe House. It was later acquired in the 1790s by Robert Shaw, a Dublin-based financial expert who began adding to the grounds.

He renamed it Bushy Park. However, many local historians believe this wasn't a rephrasing of the Bushe family name as we might expect, but instead a tribute to Bushy Park in Teddington, London. That park in turn got its name from the old English word bysce, meaning 'thickly wooded and bushy'.

In the 1950s, the Shaw family donated its huge pleasure grounds to the people of Dublin with more than 50 acres of lush green and wooded spaces for families to make use of.

The exterior with its covered porch
The exterior with its covered porch

The Corporation sold one portion, which included the original house, to a religious order in order to open the Our Lady's Girl's school which adjoins the park. Today the historic house is located in among the convent school complex adjoining the park.

Bushy Park is one of Dublin's most popular weekend destinations. Aside from the usual tennis and football, it is home to a running club and caters for anglers on the shore of the Dodder, which runs alongside it. It has a top class skateboard and BMX court, which has been visited by international skateboard champs, a popular playground with a zip line, a weekend open air food market and a beautiful lake with islands and water features. There are magical woodlands with hidden follies left from the Shaw era. Huge gnarly trees from the days of Victoria are climber heaven and still have 150-year-old love declarations carved into them.

Bushy Park also has an outdoor landscaped amphitheatre with a permanent bandstand, more popular these days with kids rolling themselves downhill than live outdoor events (prohibitive insurance costs). The bandstand has recently been painted by artists to create the visual illusion of a giant television transmission test card. It's that sort of place.

The double benefit of Bushy Park is that another one of Dublin's most extensive walks, in this case the River Dodder Linear Park, joins right up with it. The latter offers the additional advantage of a riverside walk for miles each way, filled with lightning fast kingfishers, leaping wild trout, herons, otters and bats. There's even a fox who sits for photo snapping passers-by in return for sausages and picnic bits.

The suburbs nearby are mostly an interesting mix of homes from the Victorian era through the modern age. Bushy Park Road grabs the attention of devoted house spotters because it has properties from almost every decade, from mid-19th century to mid-20th.

By the standards of the homes around it, 57 Bushy Park Road is 'middle aged'. Built in the 1930s to an arts and crafts leaning style, it does however carry some characteristics which were ahead of its time, most notably the white render between the bricks at its base, more usually seen in 1950s properties here. And with its high pitched roof and Tudor revival porch, No57 wouldn't look out of place around London's Teddington.

The kitchen
The kitchen

Although a three-bed, this house comprises almost 2,400 sq ft of accommodation, or well over twice the size of the average three-bed.

In recent years it's been completely upgraded by owners who have taken very great care to preserve the unique original components which make this house what it still is - a really romantic example of the best craftwork of its age.

Happily they resisted the temptation to do away with the original tiled chimney piece from the old back room of the property when extending. This is indeed a rare piece, which reflects the transition then underway in decorative styles. It mixes a rare low arch covered hearth with centre cream tiles of the sort that came to the fore in the later 1940s and 1950s. It's topped off with neat and smart arts and crafts timber surround.

Also preserved and enhanced is the hall panelling and joinery with similarly unusual wide spaced balusters and some very special newel caps. The original understairs storage is still there and combines with the double front door and stained glass panels to ensure that this hall still retains the impact its original designer had intended.

The property provides a reception room with a large bay window overlooking the front and double doors leading to the south-facing garden, an open-plan kitchen/dining/living room which is now at the centre of the home. There's an additional reception to the front of the house. Upstairs there are three double bedrooms (main one en suite) and family bathroom.

The south-facing rear garden is walled, largely in lawn, and bordered by flowerbeds with mature shrubs. Accessed by the side passage and also from the house, there is a paved patio, for al fresco dining and BBQs.

World skateboard champion Tony Hawk at the park's skateboard court
World skateboard champion Tony Hawk at the park's skateboard court

As was typical of its period, the house is set right back from the road giving it a very decent sized landscaped front garden with a lawn, mature shrubs and trees and parking for a fleet of vehicles on the gravel.

No57 is located between the villages of Rathgar and Terenure with restaurants that include Marios and Bellagios Italian eateries; Indian food at Vermilion, French influenced Bijou and Nepalese Lumanti in Rathgar.

The area has some of Dublin's finest schools within walking and cycling range including, The High School, Stratford, Terenure College, St Mary's, Gonzaga and Alexandra College.

The asking price is €1.75m.

Indo Property

Editors Choice

Also in Life