Sunday 17 December 2017

Dun Laoghaire period home has been renovated into roomy four-bedroom abode fit for a family

Period home has been altered to create four double bedrooms

Rumley retains many of its period details and has been extended at the rear
Rumley retains many of its period details and has been extended at the rear
One of the bedrooms
The drawing room
The front door
The landing
The living room
The kitchen
The bar and music room
The garden with water feature

Katy McGuinness

In 1911, there were seven people living at No. 5 Mulgrave Terrace: a Mr and Mrs Patrick O'Brien, their boarder, Mary Flynn, and four Church of Ireland ladies of mature years, each describing herself as 'Head of Family', although one of these entries shows the original entry 'Lodger' was crossed out before the form-filler settled on this status.

The property must have been a boarding house of sorts, and one can only imagine what life inside it must have been like. There was probably a novel in it.

Later, the Cusack family of actors - Cyril, Sinead, Sorcha, Niamh, Catherine and Paul - lived on the street for many years.

The current owners of Rumley (so named because, until 1856 when it was re-christened Mulgrave Terrace after the Earl of Mulgrave, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland from 1835-39, it was called Rumley Avenue) have lived here for 38 years, and are now downsizing. They will take with them packing cases full of happy memories from a busy and sociable family home.

One of the bedrooms
One of the bedrooms

Rumley is well set back from the road, and the gravelled area to the front of the house has off-street parking for three or four cars - handy on a street that has a single yellow line on one side and a double on the other.

The house is handsome, and retains many period features including decorative cornicing and working shutters.

To the right of the entrance hall is a pair of interconnecting reception rooms, currently arranged with a drawing room to the front and dining room to the rear.

The latter in turns leads on to a modern glass-roofed extension on one side of the original central return, which is used as a bar and music room; together the three rooms make for excellent entertaining space with patio doors that lead out to the rear garden.

On the opposite side of the house, the room to the front is a family sitting room, the second room is the kitchen, fitted with a green Rangemaster cooker, and the breakfast room is in the extension, from where there is access to the garden.

The original return houses a small study, a guest lavatory and shower, and the utility room.

The drawing room
The drawing room

The garden has water features and three different areas for sitting, including a raised deck at the end that catches the evening sun. Rumley was on the market for a while in 2015, but did not sell. The agents said viewers had difficulty imagining a reconfiguration of the bedroom floor to allow for four double bedrooms, with the master en suite and a family bathroom.

So, instead, the vendors took the house off the market and employed a builder to do the work, turning a very large bathroom into a double bedroom, converting a tiny nursery into an en suite, and a spacious walk-in hot press into a compact family bathroom.

Now there are four fine double bedrooms.

Mulgrave Terrace lies at the upper end of Mulgrave Street, the road that leads down to the front of Dun Laoghaire Shopping Centre. It's a genteel stretch of well-maintained Victorian houses, some single storey villas, and others, two-storey houses such as No. 5.

It's a great location for those who prefer to live in the centre of things, within a five-minute walk of the shops and other amenities, including, of course, the town's two granite piers, either side of the harbour. A daily constitutional down one or the other - East for the meet and greet, or West for a sneaky off-lead romp for the dog - is responsible for the rosy cheeks and trim physiques of many of the local residents.

Dun Laoghaire also has one of the best and most architecturally distinctive libraries in the country, designed by Carr Cotter & Naessens, and in which the local community has belatedly developed a warranted sense of pride. The library is the hub of the successful Mountains to the Sea literary festival, and a fine programme of year-round cultural events, as well as where every Leaving Cert student in the borough holes up to study in the run-up to June.

The living room
The living room

The town also has a theatre, a multiplex cinema and cohort of decent places to eat, chief amongst them being the ever-popular Hartley's restaurant, and Oliveto in the Haddington Hotel.

An appetite-whetting stroll along the coast to Glasthule adds Rasam, Cavistons, The Cookbook Café, Carluccio's and 64 Wine to the range of options, while in the other direction Monkstown offers Salt at Avoca, and new favourite, Lobstar.

For families, there is a good choice of primary schools in the area, including the Harold, Dalkey School Project and Castle Park, while the DART line makes a wide selection of secondary schools such as Holy Child Killiney, Loreto Dalkey, Blackrock College and St. Andrew's easily accessible.

Proximity to the sea and the town's four sailing clubs and the Irish National Sailing School is a godsend; each puts on summer courses guaranteed to tire out children and teenagers.


Mulgrave Terrace, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin

Asking price: €1.175m

Agent: Sherry FitzGerald Dun Laoghaire (01) 2844422

Indo Property

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