Head for the hill
Family home in plush Killiney enjoys panoramic views and offers space for entertaining
Earlier this week, the views from Ronella - which sits on an elevated site off Killiney Avenue - were truly spectacular. Thanks to the meeting of the Beast from the East and Storm Emma, the Dublin and Wicklow Mountains were still covered in snow, and the Leadmines Tower on Carrickgollogan clearly visible.
Built in 1807, when a seam of lead was discovered in Ballycorus, the tower is the only one left in Ireland and, even after underground mining ceased in 1863, continued to process ore brought from Wicklow, Wexford, Donegal and as far away as the Isle of Man until its closure in 1913. Its flue chimney is a landmark for miles around.
The design of Ronella, a substantial family house with 229 sq m of living space conveniently arranged on one level, maximises these magnificent views, with some rooms looking south towards the Sugarloaf, and others west in the direction of the Dublin Mountains.
The current owners have lived here for 38 years and are now downsizing, with some reluctance. They say that they will miss the peace and quiet that they get here up high on the hill, the sunshine in the garden all day long, the sound of birdsong and the sea-spray that is sometimes blown in from Killiney Bay on a stormy night.
Ronella was built in the 1970s, at the end of a cul de sac in the Killiney Heath development of large detached homes, many of them bungalows, set far apart from one another on large sites. There is a slightly American feel, and a sense that the residents keep to themselves behind their electric gates.
The entrance hall is located in the centre of the house, with the living accommodation to the left and the bedrooms to the right.
Immediately off the hall are the kitchen and breakfast room, while to the back of the house are the dining room/drawing room, leading on to the sun room, added by the current owners some years ago.
This is a great space for entertaining, say the vendors, one that has seen plenty of parties over the years. At one stage, there was a hatch from the kitchen to the dining area but they blocked this up.
French doors lead from the drawing room to the garden, which features a number of patio areas, one of which, tucked away at the top of the garden behind some hedging, the owners say is their favourite for an early evening glass of wine while admiring the views. There is also a water feature babbling away, although it is currently not stocked with fish as there are occasional visits from a heron in search of a snack.
Immediately opposite the front door is a family room made cosy by a stove in the winter. In the summer, say the owners, they leave open the doors from here into the garden.
To the right of the hall is a guest lavatory and four double bedrooms. The master, with its views of the Sugarloaf and Little Sugarloaf, has an ensuite shower-room and there is also a family bathroom.
The sloping nature of the site means that the garage and store-room are positioned beneath the living space. The former is currently used to house the owners' rather lovely classic Lancia, while the latter could be re-purposed as a games or cinema room, if the floor were to be lowered.
A large attic could be converted, and here is also room to extend to the side of the house, subject to planning permission. The current owners gave consideration to this at one point and say that they were advised that there was no engineering impediment to this in terms of building the foundations that would be required.
Killiney Heath lies just off Killiney Avenue, which climbs to link Church Road to Killiney Hill Road. It is close to the coast - the Dart station at Killiney is a 15-minute walk away - but the sea is not visible from the house. In the other direction, the proximity of the N11 and M50 make the location a good one for those needing to access the national road network, while the Luas is also convenient.
Secondary schools for girls nearby include Holy Child Killiney on Military Road, and St Joseph of Cluny on Avondale Road. Both are within walking and cycling distance, although a good set of gears will be required to get up the hill without dismounting. Other options along the Dart line include Blackrock College, CBC Monkstown, Loreto Dalkey and the mixed St Andrew's.
The nearest shops are in Ballybrack and at Killiney Shopping Centre, while Killiney Hill and Killiney Beach are where the lucky local dogs get their morning constitutional. Killiney Golf Course is also close by.
11 Killiney Heath, Killiney, Co Dublin
Asking price: €1.495m
Agent: DNG (01) 230 1616