Saturday 7 December 2019

The Irish childhood home of Sky's Rachel Wyse is up for sale

Childhood home of Sky TV’s Rachel Wyse  was originally built for a canon

No 6 Glenart Avenue
Front door
A reception room
The rear of the property
Canon Stokes
Rachel Wyse

Gabrielle Monaghan

In All Saints' Church on Carysfort Avenue in Blackrock, there's an especially grand window, a magnificent three-light affair by Heaton, Butler and Bayne of London, which depicts three scenes - St Paul preaching in Athens, Christ blessing the children and St Patrick preaching to the masses in Ireland.

The involvement of over a score of frontline figures in crowd scenes makes this window something of an accomplishment in stained glass.

It was installed in 1898 - around three decades after the church itself was built to meet the needs of a growing Victorian seaside suburb - to commemorate the achievements of its very first vicar, Canon George Thomas Stokes.

And Stokes was no ordinary clergyman - he is regarded as one of Ireland's earliest professional historians. He was ordained after studying at what was then Queen's College in Galway and at Trinity College Dublin, and went on to become a professor of ecclesiastical history at Trinity, librarian of Marsh's Library, and a canon of Saint Patrick's Cathedral.

A reception room
A reception room

Many of the lectures given by the twice-married Stokes at Trinity found their way into book form, including 'Ireland and the Celtic Church: A History of Ireland from St Patrick to the English Conquest in 1172.

When he arrived at All Saints in Blackrock, a semi-detached redbrick home was built especially for him in 1869. This Victorian residence, which sits on a third of an acre, is now on the market. More recently it has been home to someone familiar with all those who worship sports, having been the childhood home of Sky Sports presenter Rachel Wyse. The house is being sold by Susan and James Wyse for €1.895m through Wyse, an estate agency set up by James's late brother Joe and current director Peter Wyse.

Susan and James have lived in the property since 1992 and are planning to downsize, having already raised their family, including daughter Rachel, now based in London, whose love of competitive show jumping was inspired by her father James, who served as a judge at the Dublin Horse Show.

The horse-loving family's two-storey-over-garden-level property spans 3,132 sq ft. From the gravelled driveway, a flight of granite steps flanked by elaborate cast-iron railings leads to a black front door framed by an embellished stucco arch and topped by a fanlight window.

The garden-level kitchen can be seen from the driveway - unlike their Georgian predecessors, the basements of Victorian houses were fully exposed at ground level, both to improve the living conditions of staff who were working in ever-closer proximity to their employers, but also to embrace the rear garden for kitchen use and to show passers-by that the owners were grand enough to afford live-in servants, according to the Dublin Civic Trust.

Other Victorian features abound throughout No. 6 Glenart Avenue, from high ceilings and sash windows to feature marble fireplaces, ornate plasterwork and cornicing, and the ground-level bay window and window seat that looks onto the front garden and its mature trees. The house includes three main reception rooms, five double bedrooms, and a detached garage to the side. There is a private walled garden to the rear with mature trees, shrubs, lawn and a patio area.Directly off the entrance hall are two interconnected reception rooms - each with a marble fireplace - as well as a guest WC and a carpeted study with an open fireplace that overlooks the back garden.

View at Dun Laoighaire harbour
View at Dun Laoighaire harbour

Downstairs, at the garden level, an open-plan kitchen and breakfast room is situated to the front of the home. This double-aspect room, which has separate access to the side, has floor-to-ceiling kitchen units, a breakfast counter, a tiled floor and a built-in double oven and hob. This space leads to the third reception room, namely a formal dining room that comes with an open fireplace, original cornicing, and double doors to the rear garden. The dual-aspect family room at the very back of this level also has doors leading to the patio and garden.

Upstairs, off the hall level return, is the first of the property's five bedrooms. There are three bedrooms with built-in wardrobes located on the first floor, including the master en suite, which comes with the added bonus of a window seat. Off the first-floor return, there is a fully tiled family bathroom and a bedroom with built-in wardrobes - ideal for hosting guests whilst ensuring privacy for the family.

The property has a D2 energy rating and is heated by an oil-fired central heating system and an Aga range in the kitchen. While the house is in great decorative order, the new owners may want to put their own stamp on it.

Glenart Avenue backs onto the exclusive Avoca Avenue, close to the UCD Smurfit Business School. The street is home to myriad house types, from period residences like No. 6 to the four large detached new-builds being constructed by Bartra Capital Property, led by veteran developer Richard Barrett. At No. 4 Glenart Avenue, an old bungalow was replaced with a two-storey, double-fronted new-build by another developer, selling for an estimated €2.6m last year. The street is within walking distance of Blackrock, from where there is a Dart line and a quality bus corridor to the city centre which is 8km away.

No. 6 Glenart Avenue is priced at €1.895m with Wyse, (01) 5688900.

6 Glenart Avenue

Blackrock, Co Dublin

Asking price: €1.895m

Agent: Wyse, (01) 5688900

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