Prominent legal eagle is selling his Dublin 4 home - with wine cellar and lush garden
Former estate manager's house in Dublin 4 has three gardens attached
Amongst the vast sea of red brick in Ballsbridge it's nice to find a period home with a bit of dash. The house at 3 Ailesbury Gardens in Dublin 4 is one of twelve constructed in 1922 to an unusual look that has more than a little English Home Counties Village styling going on.
All come with brightly painted dash frontages. The houses at the Gardens, appropriately enough, also come with three of them - gardens, that is - a fact that stymied Saturday strollers stuck waiting for the train to pass over the rail crossing at Sydney Parade will have discovered if they happen to divert down this bucolic lane on their afternoon walk.
Once a closed private road, Ailesbury Gardens is said to have been built for managers of the once vast Pembroke Estate on which much of Dublin 4 was constructed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
So, across the road from Number 3's front garden is its "third garden", presumably provided so that original estate manager owners could grow their own vegetables. Today it means a bit of extra ground, plus there are no neighbours facing into your front room from the other side of the road.
If it seemed odd to retain managers when so little farm land remained in the Pembroke Estate by this time, then consider that the Herberts, Lords of Pembroke, who owned lands at Ballsbridge, Donnybrook, Sandymount, Irishtown and Ringsend, decreed that most of Dublin 4's then new homes were on long leases. Substantial rents were due to the estate each year when the homes were first built.
But of course inflation reduced the real value of the annual rent to peanuts and almost all of the ground rents in the area were bought out decades ago.
No3 Ailesbury Gardens was acquired back in 1987 by the current owners, a prominent legal eagle and his wife, who found it to be half the size it is today, run down and divided into flats, one of which was downstairs and one upstairs. Improvements were made early on in a comprehensive three-phase revamp which ultimately restored the existing interiors, reconfigured the accommodation slightly and extended it substantially to the rear and a little to the side.
Today this home measures 2,367 sq ft, more than twice the floor space of an average three-bed family home, with four reception rooms, four bedrooms and three bathrooms. Now just over 30 years on, with their family grown, they're trading down to an apartment in Killiney.
Enter No3 by the front door and you're looking straight at the stylised Gothic arched entrance into the wine cellar. State-of-the-art, and with full climate control functions, this is essential for the modern collector and connoisseur (the owner takes trips to France to stock up).
The front door and interior colour scheme in many of the main rooms is unashamedly red, thanks to a predilection for the vibrant tone by the lady of the house who definitely eschews the duller greys and mushrooms currently de rigueur.
The family room at the front comes with a painted original chimney piece, fitted shelving, a desk, a covered radiator and a bow window. Then there's a drawing room with a painted timber chimney piece and a slate hearth with a copper hood, again with windows overlooking the front.
There's an additional living room with a marble floor, and double doors to the garden room and dining room.
At the rear is a second family room with double folding doors to the garden, a solid fuel stove, and this room comes with a surround-sound music system.
There's also a downstairs WC.
The bright, lively kitchen is also in red (what else?) and comes equipped with an array of conveniences including an AEG function oven with sous vide facility, an AEG/Miele warming drawer, built-in pressure cooker and coffee machine, stainless steel work surface with a Salamander two-ring gas hob and two-ring induction hob, and a stainless steel extractor hood and built-in microwave, all of which are Miele.
There's a Quooker instant hot water tap and a Fisher Paykel two-drawer dishwasher.
A door leads from the kitchen to the rear garden.
Upstairs, the master bedroom with built-in sliding wardrobes has an en suite with a corner shower. There are three other bedrooms, one with a painted chimney piece and a stairs up to an attic mezzanine. The family bathroom has a large freestanding oval bath tub, marble tiled floor and walls, heated towel rail, WC, large pedestal wash hand basin, mirror-fronted medicine cabinet and corner shower.
Outside, at the end of the rear garden, is a contemporary Shomera housing a working home office facility with all functions.
Sandymount Village with its well known pubs and restaurants is a few minutes' stroll away along with the famous sandy strand and coastal walk.
3 Ailesbury Gardens
Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
Asking price: €1.9m
Agent: Lisney (01) 6624511