At top of the tree in Killiney
High-spec Oak Lodge has been staged for sale by House & Garden
Until two hundred years ago, Ballybrack village did not exist, and the only significant road in the area was Military Road, which linked the Martello Tower at Killiney with Loughlinstown, the location of a large military camp.
In his book Between the Mountains and the Sea Peter Pearson writes that the Domvile family were the ground landlords of the whole of Shankill, Loughlinstown, Kilboggett and Killiney, having been granted the lands in 1663 by King Charles II.
The first development in the area began in 1811, when Sir Compton Domvile leased land to a couple of developers named Moore and Oxley. A condition of the leases was that they build quality houses - that the burning of bricks and the construction of mud-walled cabins with thatched roofs was forbidden - and that 10 three-year-old trees be planted in the place of each one felled.
The result of Domvile's far-sightedness was that Church Road was, until not that long ago, a quiet, tree-lined road. It was here that the first of the 'new' Regency-style Ballybrack houses were built, during the period from the 1820s to 1840s. These houses are clustered around what is now Ballybrack village.
At the other end of Church Road, in the direction of what locals know as The Graduate roundabout, Violet Hill was built some years after the houses near Ballybrack village. The original house now lends its name to a private road that leads up a slope to the right, on the opposite side to the church of St. Matthias, the site for which was donated by Domvile. The church was, according to Pearson, funded by the Church of Ireland's Board of First Fruits, and is typical of the period in its cruciform plan and plain appearance.
In recent years, this section of Church Road has been widened, with new granite walls constructed along either side, and it now leads directly to the dual carriageway and on to the N11. There has been significant development along here, principally of high-end detached homes.
As you turn into Violet Hill the first houses on the left are smart Hamptons-style new builds. Further up, mainly hidden behind high hedges and electric gates, is a mixture of detached properties of different vintages.
Oak Lodge dates from 2005, and takes its name from the enormous oak tree in the driveway, perhaps one of those planted by the original developers in accordance with the terms of their lease.
The vendors bought the house new, paying substantially over €2m for it back then, and have used it as their family home ever since, upgrading décor and bathrooms over the years. With their family grown, they have now downsized to an apartment in nearby Dun Laoghaire, and Oak Lodge has been staged for sale by House & Garden.
It is, by any standard, a substantial family home, with 3,130 sq ft of living space, standing on one-third of an acre of mature and private gardens behind electric gates with a large gravelled parking area to the front.
The internal layout is bright and open, with a high standard of finish evident throughout. The large marble-floored entrance hall opens directly onto the open-plan, walnut-floored dining/living room to the rear of the house, a cosy sitting room and a large kitchen/breakfast room with generous apex windows and double French doors leading to the patio.
The kitchen is fitted with high gloss cream units and amongst the appliances included in the sale are an American-style fridge-freezer, five-ring gas hob and double oven. The utility room next to the kitchen can be accessed directly from the driveway, the convenience of which will be appreciated by anyone responsible for a large weekly shop for a family.
Also on the ground floor are a study, guest lavatory and two large double bedrooms which share a recently renovated Jack and Jill bathroom. Upstairs, there are three large bedrooms, all en-suite. The master bedroom has a walk-in wardrobe and a south-facing balcony with views out towards the Dublin Mountains.
To the back of the house there is a large decked patio with a seating area overlooking a lawn surrounded by well-planted borders.
Oak Lodge is very much a family house, and there are primary and secondary schools in the area, including Holy Child Killiney and St Joseph of Cluny, both within walking distance. The DART station at Killiney gives access to a further choice of schools, including Blackrock College and St Andrews, while the nearest shops are at the Ballybrack and Killiney Shopping Centres. The M50 is easily accessible at Cherrywood.
Recreationally, Killiney golf course is within walking distance, and Killiney Castle Hotel has a popular swimming pool and other leisure facilities. The villages of Sandycove and Dalkey have a host of restaurants, including Cavistons, Rasam, the Cookbook Cafe and 64 Wine in the former, and DeVilles and Jaipur in the latter.
Violet Hill, Church Road
Killiney, Co Dublin
Asking price: €1.375m
Agent: Savills, (01) 2885011