Top let... Grand designs on the rental market
A mystery surrounds the unusual Regency-style stuccoed house at 17a Upper Leeson Street which, despite its address, actually has its main entrance on Dartmouth Road in Dublin 4.
Just one room wide and added like a small full stop to the terrace at Leeson Street, it seems certain that the original entrance was on the latter thoroughfare - which was first mapped out in the 1790s.
The original entrance gate is still there on the Leeson Street side and it seems that some pre-Victorian home owner decided to cash in on an unwieldy corner site by sticking a smaller house into it and flogging it on.
A rare Dublin photograph from the 1850s from the Irish Architectural Archive which was taken from the other end of Dartmouth Road shows that the smaller house was clearly there at this time; around the time the railway bridge was first built. Dartmouth Road is not there, Dartmouth Square is a field used for dumping, and the imposing Christ Church which today stands opposite the new entrance to 17a has yet to be built.
Having been completely refurbished recently, the house is now being offered to let charging €4,500 per month. But all is not what it seems.
The "little" house as it appears from the road is actually quite a big abode. It truly is what estate agents so love to call "deceptively spacious."
Once inside you'll find a hall with fine cornice detail and one side is the master bedroom with its ensuite, on the other the main reception room with its period fireplace, ornate cornice work and its bay window looking onto Leeson Street. But from the hall a stairs goes up and a stairs goes down. This is essentially a home of 1,800 sq ft laid out over three floors.
On the lower garden level is a magnificent modern kitchen extension with underfloor central heating and a dining area which opens up into a crisp professionally landscaped private garden and patio for quaffing cocktails and hosting barbeques on a summer's evening. Here too is a private garage with rear access - essentially safe and private car parking which is a gift around these parts.
Back inside and up the period staircase is the modern bathroom with bath tub and shower and two more bedrooms.
The agents say the house is being aimed at foreign-based executives on contract here. "It would best suit a UK-based business executive on contract here who wants a city-centre pad in the better parts and who wants to bring the family over on the occasion weekend.
"At the moment there is strong interest from foreign-born execs working in the IT sector who want an alternative to hotels or Irish apartments and perhaps somewhere they can entertain properly."
The location is within reach of the Luas on Dartmouth Road, within a stone's throw of classy eateries and nightlife and also within walking distance of the shops in the city centre.
Enquiries: The house is available on a 12-month contract through Colliers (01-6333700).