Friday 23 August 2019

Duke of Wellington Victorian period house for €1.6m

An 1850s terrace home in D4 has privacy and character

The front of the Victorian period home at 17 Wellington Place.
The front of the Victorian period home at 17 Wellington Place.
The front door and hall leading into the opulent interior
The interlinking sitting room and dining room.
The traditionally styled modern kitchen offers plenty of storage.
The serene master bedroom ensuite.
Mark Keenan

Mark Keenan

Being born in a stable doesn't make one a horse!" Thus Wellington was famously alleged to have retorted after someone dared describe him as "Irish."

Ranked in a BBC poll at 15th among "The 100 Greatest Britons," the Iron Duke was twice British prime minister, the man who invented wellington boots (by having a pair of Hessian cavalry versions modified) and of course, most famously of all, he was Napoleon's grand nemesis at the Battle of Waterloo,.

Most likely the "stable" he was born in was Merrion Street in Dublin in what is now The Merrion Hotel, one of the capital's plushest. It's probably because of that infamous quote that few Dubliners ever acknowledge him as one of their own.

But historians agree that Wellington never said it. They believe it was manufactured as black propaganda cultivated against the then influential British statesman by Irish nationalists and dissipated at "monster meetings" through the 1830's and 1840's to take from his appeal.

So popular was Dublin's other Arthur across the pond that when he died in 1852, the British authorities funded a state funeral of a magnitude never seen for a non royal. The event became an industry in its own right - the newspapers of the day advertising Duke of Wellington Funeral Wine and Duke of Wellington Funeral Cake.

But the Duke's stock never fell among Dublin's merchant classes and when he died in September 1852, the sentiment wave saw a spate of contemporary new developments named after him. Today we have Wellington Road, Waterloo Road and Waterloo Place. One of the grand houses built to commemorate Wellington is this revised period semi detached property at 17 Wellington Place which was taken over in poor condition by its current owners back in 2002.

The house shares a front garden with its neighbouring equivalent. From that year it underwent a sympathetic but comprehensive refurbishment from head to toe which included rewiring, replumbing and replastering.

The floors were examined and boards replaced where required. More recently the roof was completely redone.

So while it may need a bit more light decorating today, the heavy lifting work required to get this house through another 150 years has already been paid for.

Inside the styling is clean and simple - ideal to show off the original polished wide plank floorboards and the intricate cornicing and ceiling work of the early Victorian period.

Most of the fireplaces are original, as are the doors, sash windows and foldaway shutters, the ingenious and effective curtains of the Georgians and Victorians.

In an unorthodox but perhaps practical move for a family that wants privacy, each of the three bedrooms are located on a different floor. The owners have converted the entire top level into a large bedroom suite by taking the fourth bedroom and converting it into two rooms - a brightly lit ensuite bathroom with a freestanding clawfoot tub as well as a walk in dressingroom.

Overall the house spans 2,380 sq ft, just over twice the size of an average semi. The site is accessed at the front through a set of electronic gates shared, along with the front garden, with the adjoining property. From the entrance hall to the left are two interconnecting receptions: the drawing room and the dining room both come with original marble surround fireplaces. On the return is a double bedroom. The garden level has a separate front entrance and there's a traditional kitchen here with a tiled floor and hand painted units, a living room and a conservatory. The last double bedroom is located here with its ensuite. The owners seek €1.6m.

17 Wellington Place

Ballsbridge, Dublin 4

Asking price: €1.6m

Agent: Felicity Fox (01) 6334431

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