Serving up a treat in a home beside Blackrock Tennis and Bowling Club
This home adjoins the Blackrock Tennis and Bowling Club
The village of Blackrock was said to mark the southerly limit of the jurisdiction of the Lord Mayor of Dublin and, according to Peter Pearson in his book, Between the Mountains and the Sea, tradition has it that once a year the Lord Mayor would 'ride the franchises' on horseback, a ritual by which the city enforced its claim to various outlying lands.
There are no newspaper reports to indicate that the current (and 348th) Lord Mayor of Dublin, Mícheál MacDonncha, has yet made such a visit by horse, but there are a few months left of his term of his office and he may surprise the village yet. He would do well to time any expedition carefully so as not to get his steed to get stuck in the rush-hour traffic heading south on the Rock Road, which can be brutal.
We tend to think of property booms as a modern phenomenon, and the talk these days is all about whether or not we are in the middle of another one. Prices in Dublin are currently in the region of 20pc off their 2007 peak. But, of course, nothing is ever really new, and Blackrock saw another property boom back in the 1930s, with the opening of Blackrock Railway Station, on the existing railway line between the city centre and Dun Laoghaire, in 1931.
Oreen dates from 1912, and it's safe to assume that its value has increased many times over since then, the first major leap no doubt coinciding with the opening of the station. This upward trajectory can only be guessed at as this is the first time that the house has come on the open market since it was built, having remained in the ownership of the same family ever since.
Unusually for a property of its age, Oreen has never been extended and - happily for prospective purchasers - is unlisted, which will make the job of turning it into a contemporary family home a less challenging business than if the strictures of working with a protected structure applied. It is, therefore, although already a comfortable home, a property that is likely to be viewed by new owners as a blank canvas.
The semi-detached house has 2,081 sq ft of living space, with plenty of room to extend to the back, subject to planning permission. Parking is off-street, and residents' permits allow for parking in other streets in the area also.
Oreen retains many period features, but the windows are not amongst these and new owners will probably wish to replace the existing modern windows with something more in keeping with what would have been in place originally.
Several rooms, including the entrance hall and drawing room, have stained glass windows, and ceiling coving and roses, while the drawing room and dining room have original cast-iron fireplaces. The kitchen has views out over the back garden, and there is a handy wet room on the ground floor.
Upstairs, there are four bedrooms and a family bathroom with a cast-iron bath. The bedrooms have cast-iron fireplaces, and the original wooden floorboards are exposed in one. Oreen's 93ft-long back garden adjoins the grounds of the Blackrock Tennis and Bowling Club, from which it is separated by a low granite wall. The club is open to new members and has active junior (and senior) programmes, with camps and tournaments during school holidays and plenty of healthily competitive league action throughout the year. The social side of the club has a great reputation too, and the new owners won't have to worry unduly about how they get home afterwards.
Blackrock's popularity with families owes much to its fine selection of schools. Within walking distance of Green Road is Carysfort National School, while Willow Park, Blackrock College, and St Andrews are also close by. For high-achieving gaeligors, Colaiste Eoin and Iosagain - which always perform brilliantly in the league tables, and are (blissfully for parents) non-fee-paying - are a cycle-ride away. For younger children, there are plenty of creches and Montessori schools in the area.
Parking at the two shopping centres on either side of the main road out of town is a bit of a nightmare at the moment, thanks to ongoing construction, but when the work is finished it will all be worth it, and there will be branches of no fewer than three supermarkets: SuperValu, M&S and Aldi.
The village itself is home to some great shops, including independent bookstore, Raven Books, upmarket boutique, Khan, Jane Carroll - a one stop shop for children's gifts and clothes, Triggerfish Cookshop (stocking all manner of kitchen equipment), The Organic Supermarket and Blackrock Cellar, a fine independent wine merchant.
And then of course there are the pubs and restaurants, including the Michelin-starred Heron & Grey and Indian gem, Three Leaves, both located in Blackrock Market, which is also the location of Spanish restaurant, El Celler. Dunne and Crescenzi in Blackrock Shopping Centre is another popular spot. Locals do not have to head into town to eat well, and if they fancy a bracing walk before dinner, they can head south along the coast road to Monkstown, where newcomer Bresson, offering a classic-French-with-a-twist-menu, is already a big hit.Blackrock Station is on the Dart line, with a frequent service into the city centre, and there are several bus routes that run along the Rock Road.
37 Green Road, Blackrock, Co Dublin
Asking price: €1.45m
Agent: Janet Carroll (01) 2882020