Until the construction of Dun Laoghaire Harbour along with the Dublin-Kingstown railway, there was little development in the area where Royal Terrace is now located. Ordnance Survey maps from 1816 show fields and open spaces.
But the demand for housing from city dwellers seeking holiday homes by the sea followed soon after the opening of the steam train line in the 1830s in particular. Wealthier Victorians had a big love affair with the seaside in an age when dangerous contagions prevailed in the city centre while it was believed that sea air and bathing had medicinal qualities.
Families were moved out for the entire summer to Dun Laoghaire, Blackrock and Sandycove and Dad came out on the train on the weekends.
Royal Terrace is composed of two uniform mid-19th century terraces, West and East, arranged on opposite sides of a four-acre railed park. The developer was Francis J Nugent, a prominent businessman and one-time member of the Kingstown Commissioners. He acquired rights to the land from lords Longford and De Vesci, and Royal Terrace West was completed between 1859 and 1861.
The square was laid out as a hockey pitch in 1922 and was the home ground of Monkstown Hockey Club until 1989 when the land was bought by the county council. These days the park is an amenity for local residents, somewhere for an impromptu game of rounders or football, or a place to throw balls for the dog.
A five-minute walk away, on the other side of Corrig Road, Clarinda Park has public tennis courts where there are summer camps for children. Number 30 is a couple of houses from the end of the terrace, furthest from Corrig Road, seeking €1.45m. The end house, No 32, was recently on the market, asking €1.05m and is now sale agreed, while No 22 is currently for sale, quoting €1.5m. Prospective purchasers will undoubtedly wish to view both.
The houses on the terrace are stucco-fronted, two-storey over garden level properties with a three-sided oriel canted bay window at first-floor level. In keeping with the Victorian tendency to embellish absolutely everything, even the drainpipe on the front of the house is decorated.
With just over 3,000 sq ft of accommodation, the house has four bedrooms and is configured for family living. It appears to have been refurbished relatively recently, and has been staged for sale by a decorator, which gives the property a smart though impersonal look.
A flight of granite steps leads up to the front door, and the outer entrance hall has some beautiful cornicing in excellent condition that has not suffered from the too-many-layers-of-paint that can sometimes diminish the details of these period features. The inner hall and many of the rooms in the house retain their original floorboards, which have been varnished and are in good condition.The inter-connecting drawing and dining rooms on the entrance level both have open fireplaces - marble in the front room, cast iron in the back, more fine cornicing and proper wooden sash windows.
The doors, which appear to be original, have been stripped. At the rear of the house, and with direct access to the deck overlooking the back garden, is a den or study. There is also a guest lavatory on this level.
Upstairs, at first-floor level, there are two double bedrooms and a large family bathroom, with a separate double shower and Jacuzzi bath. The master bedroom is a very spacious room spanning the width of the house; it is a gorgeous, light-filled room overlooking the street. On the first-floor return, looking out over the back garden, is a third double bedroom, with an ensuite shower room.
The fourth double bedroom is at garden level and it too is ensuite. The kitchen breakfast room is to the front of the house and has smart wooden units, a granite-topped island, and integrated Neff and Zanussi appliances. Two sash windows to the front make the room good and bright. Double glass-panelled doors lead to the family room, with a large exposed-brick hearth and direct access to the patio, where there is room for a decent-sized table for al fresco eating.
The garden extends to 87ft, is well-planted and has been the object of some expert tending over the years. There are clematis in full, abundant bloom, some mature trees and a charming stone bench.
At the end of the garden is a shed and rear access onto the mews lane that runs behind the terrace. Some of the other houses along the terrace have already sought and been granted planning permission to construct mews buildings along the lane and this may be a prospect of interest to potential purchasers. Beyond, what was the old Dun Laoghaire golf course is being cleared for housing development.
Dun Laoghaire town centre and the East Pier are less than ten minutes' walk away, and the seafront has some good family restaurants. There are four sailing clubs in the town, all with active junior sections.
Glasthule has boutiques, specialty food shops, cafes and restaurants (including a new branch of Carluccio's), while the People's Park has an outpost of Fallon & Byrne and a farmers' market each Sunday. There are primary schools within walking distance, and a good selection of secondary schools easily accessible via DART and bus.
30 Royal Terrace West
Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin
Asking price: €1.45m
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald (01) 2844422