Spectacular Dalkey home is the stuff of Tudor fairytales for €3.5m
Diarmuid Gavin-designed gardens surround this six-bed Victorian home, writes Mark Keenan
Tudor House off Castle Street in Dalkey, County Dublin is thoroughly "un-Tudor" in the sense of what we Irish have become accustomed to - namely Edwardian recreations of the rustic English 16th-century cottage style.
You see, in pre-Cromwellian Tudor times, we Irish weren't even remotely close to being brought under the Sasanach cosh - so we didn't ever have the sort of full-on mighty Tudor era palaces that our British neighbours are so familiar with today. Back then, an English residence in Ireland tended to come with a spiked palisade garden wall and arrow slits rather than a maze and lush bay windows of diamond-leaded glaze.
So here, at Tudor House, there's no rustic timber beams spread hen-foot on white- washed gables, no high apex rooflines or jutting porch covers. This particular early-Victorian fairytale Tudor tribute is decidedly less Anne Hathaway's and totally full-on Hampton Court. It's a proper "big house" Tudor tribute.
Built in 1845 by the wealthy surgeon Richard Parkinson, it was constructed using stone from Wolverton Keep - one of Dalkey's seven historic castles, itself designed to keep the great un-coshed out of the Pale.
Having served some time as a school and more recently as a B&B, these days the six-bedroom property is owned by Danny and Eileen Durkan - he being the executive chairman of the Durkan construction group based in the UK. The floor space clocks in at 6,421 sq ft - almost six times the size of an average Dublin family home - and the grounds span around two-thirds of an acre.
As we would expect from a long-established building clan, the Durkans have given their Victorian dream home a comprehensive restoration, which will see it properly through another 170 years.
During its Durkan protectorate, Tudor House has been fully rewired, replumbed and refitted with bespoke kitchen units. Meanwhile, the floor space downstairs has been opened up with a huge Hampton style conservatory - as near to what Henry VIII himself might have ordered, had he gone in for orangeries.
They even let celebrity landscaper, Diarmuid Gavin, loose in the gardens.
Enter via the recessed Tudor arch to the hall, with Travertine marble floor, ornate cornicing and elaborate period radiators. From there, it's onwards to the dining room with limed oak flooring, more of the home's artful stucco work and a smart marble chimney piece. The Hampton's conservatory opens the floor up to the natural light with access to the lower ground floor and then on to the garden, which has its own irrigation system.
The study is fitted with bespoke bookshelves by the crew from leading Irish cabinetmaker, Brian Frew, who has also left his mark in the den, where he built the TV cabinets, and above in the bedroom, where he installed bespoke wardrobes.
The den comes with a solid wood-burning stove, while the kitchen is from Design House with a Neff dishwasher, a wine cooler, an open fire and its centrepiece, a Waterford Stanley range cooker with double electric oven and a six gas ring hob. Folding concertina doors open this room out to the deck.
There's a family room with limed oak floor, where the granite brickwork has been exposed and this room has its own wood-burning stove. As you would expect from an early Victorian, which once had hot and cold running servants, there's a warren of service rooms, including a wine cellar, a boot room, a cloak room, a comms room, a boiler room, guest wcs and a laundry.
Upstairs, the master bedroom has a ensuite with a cast-iron claw-foot bath tub and his and her wash hand basins. There's also a rain water shower. This room, along with many of the others, has sea views - one with its own balcony.
Finally, at the very top of the house, there's a floored attic room, currently used as a bedroom.
The house is accessed via electric gates and is two minute's from the centre of Dalkey Village, which still looks much as it did in Victorian times once the local burghers had finished rifling the medieval masonry to build their seaside palaces.
Dalkey is a heritage village with six pubs, 11 restaurants and some decent cafés. The local residents today include Neil Jordan, The Edge (when he's at home), and Van Morrison among others. There's also spectacular walks along the sea front and upwards to Dalkey Hill.
Meanwhile, word has it that the Durkans have been busy trading up to a home with bigger grounds, leaving Tudor House ready for a new generation.
Tudor House, Castle Street, Dalkey, Co Dublin
Asking price: €3.5m
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald 01 2751000