Riverside cottage on Liffey with private jetty for €675,000
Riverside cottages on the Liffey are few and far between, so when one set right next to the water with its own private jetty heaves into view, it's enough to float many a house-hunter's boat.
Such is the case with Weston Lodge, a four-bedroom bungalow in Lucan sitting on two-thirds of an acre of landscaped gardens with steps leading down to a sandstone terrace directly overlooking the river and a private jetty below.
Sheltered by trees on either side, the terrace is bound at the water's edge by an ornate stone balustrade that wouldn't look amiss in the grounds of an Italian villa. As entertaining spaces go, this one is hard to beat, but it's also the kind of spot that would set hearts racing among anglers or those who love to paddle their own canoe or kayak.
According to the current owners, the house was originally built as a worker's cottage by the Guinness family in 1760, the year after Arthur Guinness left his younger brother Richard to look after his Leixlip brewery while he went off to set up a much bigger one in St James's Gate. Weston Lodge was no humble labourer's cottage - this was a home fit for senior management. Set at the end of a driveway on its own grounds, the dwelling had plenty of space to accommodate a family and servants.
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The house was located close to the Salmon Leap waterfall, where in the late 19th and early 20th centuries Wookey's waterflock mills became Leixlip's largest employer with 50 staff who converted old textiles into stuffing for upholstery and bedding. Frederick Wookey and his wife Fanny lived in Weston Lodge - then listed as being in Leixlip - from 1884 until his death in 1918. On his death, Fanny decided to sell up and move back home to her family in Cheshire.
Today Weston Lodge - now with a postcode in Lucan - is likely to attract a trader-upper professional family in the area or a returning emigrant, according to the selling agent. It's close to Weston Airport where high-flying executives keep their private jets.
The cottage is in walk-in condition, having undergone a major renovation 10 years ago which included a €25,000 upgrade to the granite frames to the front windows and door.
Inside the owners brought the house up to date with a bespoke new kitchen and bathroom, but retained period features such as the original coving, fireplaces, floors and picture rails.
The entrance hallway is bright and elegantly understated with a feature arch and stripped-back solid wood floors, which were professionally cleaned and polished as part of the refurbishment.
Straight ahead, a door leads to one of the quirkiest features of this house. The selling agent calls it a "loo with a view". The guest WC is accessed via three steps that lift up to reveal the underfloor wine cellar.
The modern kitchen with its integrated appliances and breakfast island has great views over the Liffey.
Opposite the kitchen is the main bedroom with original wood floor, feature fireplace and wash-hand basin. There are three further double bedrooms, two with original fireplaces and one with a wash-hand basin.
The living room with dual aspect windows overlooks the gardens to the back. And the front dining room, also dual aspect, is dramatically decked out in resplendent red, with matching drapes for a theatrical flourish.
At 2,205 square feet, the historic house is twice the size of an average modern three-bed semi.
However, despite a modern boiler, Weston Lodge's energy rating gets a rather poor school report of G: must do better.
To bring it up a few grades, the selling agent recommends insulating the attic and replacing the original sash windows throughout, at an estimated cost of around €30,000.
Weston Lodge is one of three properties on a private cul-de-sac in Cooldrinagh, minutes from Lucan village and almost as close to Leixlip and Celbridge. To the front is a driveway with off-street parking for several cars.
It's a half hour's drive to Dublin on the N4 via Heuston Station.
Weston Lodge Cooldrinagh, Lucan, Co Dublin
Asking price: €675,000
Agent: Gearóid Comber, DNG Lucan 01 628 0400