Thursday 23 January 2020

Peek inside this Blackrock cottage to die which could be yours for €975k

Charming family home epitomises turnkey condition

Ashleigh Cottage has parking for several cars.
Ashleigh Cottage has parking for several cars.
The living room features a marble fireplace.
The hallway of Ashleigh Cottage.
The kitchen/breakfast room with island unit.
The master bedroom with bay window
Katy McGuinness

Katy McGuinness

'Wouldn't you just die to live here?" says the woman viewing Ashleigh Cottage on a bright Saturday spring morning. All around her, heads are nodding. Life would be perfect, they reckon, if only they could live in a house such as this.

Estate agents often describe properties on their books as being in turnkey condition, but usually that means they have been staged for sale, decked out in hired finery. Number 24 Stillorgan Park is different in that it is clearly a much-loved family home that has been pampered and cosseted to within an inch of its life since its owners purchased it 30 years ago.

Its charm is home-grown rather than off the shelf. It's a lesson in how to present a house for sale - clean and shiny, smelling of polish yet lived-in to the extent there's a half-finished bottle of wine in the kitchen, and the sense the owners will be there to finish it off that evening once the viewers are gone.

Now that they have outgrown Ashleigh Cottage's 1882 sq ft of living space, its owners are upsizing to a larger property in South County Dublin.

The house will be of interest both to those downsizing from larger period houses in the area and to those ready to make the move from smaller three and four-bed semis to a detached house that's not on an estate.

The original Stillorgan Park House and its demesne, with the gardens laid out "in the Dutch style" (according to Peter Pearson's Between The Mountains And The Sea), occupied a swathe of land extending from Stillorgan Village across to Newtownpark Avenue and down to Blackrock.

In the mid 18th century, the entire estate was surveyed and depicted on a coloured map that is now in the National Library. The map shows the obelisk built in 1727 by Lord Allen, Earl of Carysfort, as a tribute to his late wife, the formal avenues and carriage drives, and three rectangular fish ponds located close to what is now the St John of God hospital.

The Stillorgan Park house and estate have long vanished - the house is thought to have been demolished around 1887 according to Weston St John Joyce's The Neighbourhood Of Dublin and the land was partly redeployed as a golf course in around 1908.

That lasted only nine years and it was in the 1920s that Ashleigh Cottage was built. It's tucked away at the end of what is now a cul-de-sac behind the cute three-teacher Church of Ireland All Saints National School on Carysfort Avenue.

Ashleigh Cottage is located behind sliding electronic gates and has off-street parking for several cars surrounded by manicured borders. Inside, there's a smart entrance hallway with black and white tiled floor.

The ceilings are high and to the left there's an elegant living room with a fireplace with marble surround, while the dining room is to the right. Cleverly concealed behind an antique mirror in the hall is the guest lavatory.

To the rear of the ground floor is the family room and a kitchen/breakfast room with the now de rigeur island unit, granite worktops, recessed lighting and a range of integrated appliances including a Bosch electric oven and an Electrolux microwave.

The bay window looks out over the back garden and there are sliding doors out the to the patio. There is also a utility area and a store room on the ground floor. Upstairs are four bedrooms - three doubles and a single.

The master bedroom has a walk-in wardrobe, while one of the bedrooms has an ensuite shower room. The family bathroom has a period-style roll-top bath and a separate shower enclosure.

Outside, the garden is as doll-house perfect as the house, south-facing with a weed-free lawn, mature planting and an attractive patio suitable for eating al fresco. A handy storage shed is well-placed to take care of any untoward mess. Stillorgan Park is within easy reach of a wide selection of good schools, including Holly Park, Willow Park and Blackrock College, St Andrew's and Loreto Foxrock.

It's a short walk from the N11 with its QBC into the city centre and UCD, while access to the M50 at Leopardstown is a few minutes' away, facilitating an airport commute. There is a Dart station in Blackrock.

The nearest shops are in Blackrock and Stillorgan. Blackrock has a village feel, with several bookshops, a branch of the Organic Supermarket and both SuperValu and Marks & Spencer. Popular local restaurants include Ouzo's and Heron & Grey in Blackrock Market, which is a draw for gourmands from all over the city.

Stillorgan has a cinema, plus Leisureplex with its indoor soft play area and bowling alley, as well as branches of Tesco and Lidl and the ever-busy Nimble Fingers, source of all good children's birthday presents.

Ashleigh Cottage

24 Stillorgan Park, Blackrock, Co Dublin

Asking price: €975,000

Agent: Sherry FitzGerald (01) 2880088

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