Five-bed Edwardian home in Glasnevin on the market for €925k
Five-bed Edwardian home given a recent makeover
In 1905 Einstein was busy perfecting his theory of relativity, the Wright Brother’s were honing the first practical fixed wing aircraft and James Joyce was fine tuning his book Dubliners.
Over on the north side of the city Alexander Strain, an artist in building, was constructing some of his most luxurious homes to date and they were creating a big stir.
If this sounds strange, consider that Strain’s homes — with their fine craftsmanship and elegant designs — were at the time, at the forefront of the Edwardian stir in craft-led construction in a time when home building had become a major component of the Arts and Crafts movement. In fact Alexander Strain’s houses were so well put together and finely proportioned that he decided to move into Number 8 Iona Drive when it was finished.
Ruth McManus, who is head of the Geography Department at St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra has written about Strain in her book Dublin 1910-1940: shaping the city and suburbs.
Her research showed that there was a lot of affection for him, a compassionate Presbyterian, who not only had a reputation for impeccable work and craftsmanship, but was also noted for a generous and altruistic streak that involved him with the local Dublin community.
She told the Independent: “If a worker was ill and unable to work he would have compassion. If somebody was falling behind on their repayments, he would give them a bit of a dig out.
“He was a speculative builder, he was in it to make money, but he built to a very high standard. The building materials are top quality.”
Strain, who was known as Alec, was the eldest son of builder Robert Strain, Markethill, Co Armagh who moved to Rathmines in 1893 where he worked as a timber traveller. He moved to Drumcondra in 1902, where he spent the rest of his life, retiring on the Cremore estate.
During his working life, he moved with his family wherever he was building and according to census records between 1908 and 1912 Strain, who was then in his mid-30s, had at least three different addresses in the Iona area — 2 Iona Park, 8 Iona Drive and 76 Iona Road. Before he died in 1943 he had built more homes in Cremore, Lindsay and Mobhi Road.
A lot has changed around Dublin 9 since Strain built here but most of his homes still look like new more than 110 years later. Two doors up from Alec’s own house at number 6, the owners are trading down with the family flown the nest, but not before completing a complete restoration.
Most of all, they have moved the attic water tanks into the garden where they are now utilised via a pumping system. This unlocked one of the few problems with Strain abodes — the difficulty converting the attics. It meant that the owners could add an additional bedroom, bringing the total to five — re a half floor return and mezzanine which also, festooned with skylight windows, floods far more light into the centre well of the house and ensures this Strain is brighter than many.
The owners have provided a warm timber framed and tiled conservatory. The last big addition is at the end of the garden in the form of a Shomera accommodated home gym which is included in the sale price of €925,000.
The house has all the original Strain features, the elegant double height bay window column, the artistic brick tile flourishes near the rooflines, the puffed granite sills, the recessed porches, panelled front doors with stained glass work detail. Inside you have the high ceilings, and the original Strain installed fireplaces. Accommodation includes the entrance hall, always a feature of a Strain house with dappled coloured lighting playing from the stained glass and the livingroom with doors leading through to the dining room. There’s the kitchen which comes with a Neff double oven, a microwave, dishwasher and a dryer as well as an Ariston four ring gas hob and extractor. Double doors open to the conservatory.
Upstairs the master bedroom has its original fireplace and an en suite bathroom. There are two other double bedrooms on this floor and the fifth upstairs attic bedroom has its own en suite which contains a tower. The house has gas-fired heating.
6 Iona Drive
Glasnevin, Dublin 9
Asking price: €925,000
Agent: DNG (01) 8300989