In Pictures: Period home built to impress hits the market in Monkstown for €1.495m
Richmond Park House, Richmond Park, Monkstown, Co Dublin €1.495m
There's good value to be found at the upper end of the period house market in Dublin these days, with Richmond Park House in Monkstown being a prime example.
The property went on the market earlier this year at €1.75m, but houses at this budget level are taking their time to sell in the current climate and the price has now been reduced to an enticing €1.495m.
Richmond Park House was built in around 1874 by one Sydenham Davis of Thomastown, Co Kilkenny, an established Kilkenny landlord and a Taxing Master of the Supreme Court, who practiced as a solicitor prior to that appointment. A later owner is believed to have been a merchant who may have added the distinctive viewing tower so that he could, literally, watch his ships coming in. The views from the tower are magnificent, across Dublin Bay to Howth.
"It's a little nook to which I like to escape with a good book," says current owner, Mirette Slattery, who hopes to down-size to a smaller house in the area. "I just love Monkstown; I wouldn't want to live anywhere else."
Originally, the house was set in secluded grounds, approached by a winding avenue leading up from Monkstown Village, with another avenue planted with lime trees giving access to Monkstown Avenue.
In around 1980, a Mrs Mary Briscoe left the house and its land to the Cheshire Home. Since then, much of the original estate has been developed for housing, but Richmond Park House retains a quarter of an acre of secluded, south-facing garden. The current owners bought the house in 1991, after it had been upgraded and refurbished by the developers. "We didn't have to do any structural work," says Mirette, "although we did add the stained glass around the inner hall door. The artist designed it to pick up the motif in the original floor tiles."
Externally, the Italianate-style two-storey house - inspired perhaps by the design of Queen Victoria's own summer residence, Osborne House on the Isle of White - has an abundance of Victorian decorative features, including a bow window with a copper roof and a pretty timber porch to the side of the house, leading out to the garden. The facade stucco details even merit the attention of Peter Pearson's authoritative work on Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County, Between the Mountains and the Sea.
Inside, Richmond Park House is a house that manages to combine an impressive elegance with the sense of a well-loved family home. A plethora of original period features, including working shutters and intricate plasterwork, remains.
The outer hall has an attractive Victorian-pattern tiled floor and leads through double doors to a grand reception hall with period cornicing. To the right is a very large dual aspect dining room, painted a deep terracotta, that has the look of a room that has seen its share of late nights, Christmas dinners, Sunday lunches and red wine. There's a working marble fireplace to add to the ambience. To the left of the entrance hall is the bay-windowed drawing room, which is also dual aspect, and has some fine plasterwork and another large marble chimney piece with open fire.
To the rear of the house there is a kitchen/breakfast room with a separate utility room, bathroom and cloakroom, as well as a study/family room. New owners may wish to reconfigure these rooms, or even to move the kitchen to where the dining room is currently situated, although there is no immediate need to do so. The house is a protected structure, so any such changes are likely to require planning permission.
An elegant staircase leads to the marble-colonnaded gallery landing that links the first floor return with the main first floor. There are two double bedrooms (one currently used as a cosy television room) and a family bathroom on the return, while the front section of the house has three spacious bedrooms, of which two are dual aspect. The master bedroom has built-in wardrobes and views over the rooftops of Monkstown towards the sea, while the second bedroom is another large dual aspect room with a spacious en-suite, located directly beneath the campanile tower.
There is off-street parking for several cars, and a handy lane leads directly down to Monkstown Village. "I just love being able to walk down to the village in a couple of minutes," says Mirette. One of the main attractions is, of course, an outpost of Avoca, home to Salt Café and James Whelan Butchers. The bustling village also has George's Fish Shop, Searson's Wine Merchants, a pharmacy, post office, and two florists, as well as several smart boutiques and interiors shops.
Richmond Park House is within walking distance of the DART station at Salthill, and several bus routes. There's an excellent choice of schools - CBC Monkstown is a five-minute walk - and easy access to the four sailing clubs of Dun Laoghaire.
Agent: Hunters (01) 275 1640
Viewing: Strictly by appointment