The price of this Dublin home has just dropped by more than half a million euros
Monkstown Regency villa enjoys seclusion and privacy
St. Anne's is hidden from view behind high walls on Brighton Avenue, one of the roads that run perpendicular to the Monkstown Road, linking it to the coast road.
The detached Regency villa dates from the 1830s, when it was built as a holiday home for city residents able to take advantage of the newly opened Dublin to Kingstown railway line.
Sea bathing was as popular back then as it is today. And given their proximity to Seapoint, the new owners of St. Anne's will have no excuse but to join the hardy year-round swimmers who can be spotted, towels rolled up under their arms, making their chilly way down the lane to Seapoint when the tide is right, even in the depths of winter. Of course, in the summer it's another matter - everyone along the Gold Coast is a sea swimmer when the sun is shining, and the beach at Seapoint gets properly busy.
Unusually, St. Anne's sits in the centre of its corner site of almost half an acre, surrounded by wraparound gardens, and is completely private.
The house has been extended in recent years with the addition of a modern kitchen/breakfast room with views over the gardens to the side and rear of the property, but the house retains many of its original period features, including tall sash windows, working shutters, original floorboards, ceiling coving, picture rails and fireplaces.
St. Anne's has a total of 4,350 sq ft of living space arranged over two floors, with the main living rooms and master bedroom on the upper level, and the rest of the rooms below.
A flight of granite steps leads up to an 'orangery' entrance porch and to the front door with its leaded fanlight. The entrance hall has black and white tiled flooring and is framed by two archways.
To the right of the hall is the triple-aspect drawing room, with its original fireplace with cast iron inset and slate hearth. To the left of the hall is a dual-aspect library with fitted bookshelves and open fireplace, and at the end of the hall is the dining room, with a fine marble fireplace.
French doors open into the kitchen/breakfast room, designed by Timbercraft and fitted with grey high gloss wall and floor units and integrated appliances. Floor to ceiling bi-folding doors open out to bring the outside in; there is a safety glass balustrade and a flight of granite steps leads down to the garden.
The master bedroom has an en-suite shower room, and there is also a guest lavatory on this level.
Downstairs, there are four double bedrooms, all with views over the gardens, as well as a large family bathroom, utility room and games room with a bar area and separate lavatory.
St. Anne's is surrounded by its gardens, which have been carefully nurtured by the current owners for the past 30 years and are fully mature, laid mainly in lawn with plenty of trees, shrubs and flower borders designed to provide year-round colour and scent. If there is sun to be had it will be found somewhere in the garden; a west-facing patio is specifically placed to make the most of the evening rays. There is plenty of room for climbing frames, trampolines and goal posts and all manner of play equipment, as well as for growing fruit and vegetables.
The road works at Monkstown Village that were a source of dismay to locals until recently are now complete. The Avoca store acts as a high-class supermarket for many, and has its own butcher and a fine range of fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as all the high-class convenience foods and ready meals for which the Avoca brand is famous. George's Fish Shop has a fantastic selection of fresh fish.
Monkstown is known for its restaurants and cafes. The latest addition to the offering in the village, Bresson, is also the best, bringing classical French food with a twist back to South County Dublin. Chef Temple Garner says that some of his dishes at Bresson are inspired by those of Sean Kinsella's Mirabeau, another Gold Coast temple of gastronomy, one famously frequented by Charles Haughey.
Schools in the immediate area include Scoil Lorcain and CBC Monkstown, but many more are accessible via the DART line.
Sports facilities in the area include Monkstown Tennis Club and of course the sailing clubs of Dun Laoghaire, offering summer courses that are a rite of passage in this part of the world. A brisk march down either the East or West pier is a daily ritual for many locals and their dogs.
This house was initially placed on the market a year ago. Now in order to generate better interest, the owners have just dropped the price of their home by more than half a million euros.
While there is a shortage of more modestly priced family homes in Dublin, and they move quickly, large period homes always take longer to sell, tending to linger on estate agents' books for months and even years.
But for those with the deep pockets required not just for the initial purchase, but also for the ongoing maintenance that an old house requires, the daily pleasure to be derived from living in a beautiful period home is one that is hard to beat.
Brighton Avenue, Monkstown, Co Dublin
Asking price: €2.995m
Agent: Knight Frank, (01) 6342466