Life Home & Garden

Thursday 12 December 2019

Look to the sky in Ranelagh

A double fronted home is one of Ranelagh's oldest

The imposing facade of the property in Ranelagh.
The imposing facade of the property in Ranelagh.
One of the double-bedrooms
The bathroom of the Ranelagh property.
the lounge area on the first floor.
The entrance hall of 5 Manders Terrace.
Mark Keenan

Mark Keenan

A flying cat from Ranelagh which travelled airborne across the Irish Sea in a hot air balloon was among the big media stories in Dublin in 1785.

The cause of this feline flight was one Richard Crosbie, a former Trinity student from Baltinglass who took to sticking his cat in a flying basket to gain some publicity for his plans to become the first Irishman to fly.

In front of a crowd in Ranelagh Gardens, Crosbie let the cat loose in a device he termed an "aeronautic chariot" - an ornate sailboat-shaped container attached to a hot air balloon filled with hydrogen.

The Dublin 6 moggy lifted off into the sky and was later spotted travelling over the west of Scotland. It apparently then changed course, being later spotted over the Isle of Man and was finally picked up in the Irish sea by a passing ship. Miraculously it survived.

And so thus instilled with confidence, Crosbie himself rose skywards from the same Ranelagh Gardens site on January 19, 1785 watched by a crowd reported at 35,000.

In a similarly elaborate 'sky boat' with statues of Minerva and Mercury and rudder and sails to 'steer', and wearing a leopard skin hat, it is asserted that Crosbie took off only to skite across the Liffey and descend on the Northside in Clontarf where he hopped out safe and sound. In July that year he attempted a channel crossing but was rescued after ditching in the sea off Dun Laoghaire.

Ironically, when the residents of Ranelagh attempted to commemorate the 225th anniversary with their own hot air balloon flight here in 2010, they couldn't get it off the ground.

Ranelagh has always featured colourful characters as a choice location for academics and various merchant classes - so little has changed today. Historically, it became one of the first estate areas outside Dublin's canals to become developed as the city grew and the wealthier classes took refuge from overcrowding within city limits in newer purpose-built homes in the 'country'.

Among the first homes to be developed were Mountpleasant Square (from the 1840s) and Manders Terrace (completed in the 1850s). Today Ranelagh has become sought after by the professional classes who are particularly eager to acquire larger yet manageable homes in this location, which is within walking distance of town and on the Luas.

Number 5 Manders Terrace has just been brought to market by Hunters. The four-bedroom double-fronted home which is laid out over three floors, spans 2,500 sq ft and is on offer for €1.2m. There's an entrance hall with original timber floors and cornicing leading to a dining room with an antique marble hearth. There's a drawing room, a kitchen and a breakfast room designed in the country-house style. This has a gas fired Aga at its centre.

There's a study overlooking the garden and this room, like many others here, includes its original timber folding shutters.

There's a family room and four good sized bedrooms with an ensuite off the main bedroom.

The main bathroom has a terracotta tiled floor and leads to a sun terrace and balcony.

There are also three allocated car parking spaces in communal railed gardens and an arch providing rear access.

With an area containing mature leafy gardens, the cats are safer.

5 Manders Terrace

Ranelagh, D6

Asking price: €1.2m

Agent: Hunters (01) 668 0008

Indo Property

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