Life Home & Garden

Saturday 21 September 2019

Two vast neo-Georgian homes have come on the market in these well-heeled suburbs in Dublin

You can get a lot of mock Georgian in Dublin for over a million, writes Gabrielle Monaghan, citing examples in Malahide and Castleknock

The exterior of Park View
The exterior of Park View
The entrance hall and red-carpeted staircase
One of the reception rooms which features a pitched pine wood ceiling
One of the reception rooms at Ellismore Farm
The exterior of the Malahide house
Another reception room
One of the double bedrooms
The dining room

Throughout different periods of history, the popularity of architectural styles has ebbed and flowed, much like fashion - early 1990s trends like Dr Martens boots, baggy jeans and dungarees, mini backpacks, and denim jackets are now in vogue.

Georgian architecture, an all-encompassing name for a set of styles, was all the rage in Ireland during the reign of the four King Georges from 1714 to 1830.

Generally speaking it was characterised by homes with symmetrical proportions, pediment-topped pillars and multi-paned sash windows. The Georgian style practised in this period was itself a revival of Palladian architecture, which - in turn - was inspired by the formal temple architecture of the Ancient Greeks and Romans almost 2,000 years earlier.

But the new independent Ireland had little time for what was perceived as symbols of British rule and, throughout the middle of the 20th century, chunks of Georgian Dublin was demolished.

By the 1970s, the craze for neo-Georgian homes reappeared in some quarters, with the development of the Georgian Village estate in Castleknock for Dublin's moneyed classes.

The Georgian style was reimagined again in the 1980s and 1990s, in the form of one-off houses and residential schemes for the affluent.

More modest terraced estates also borrowed Georgian elements, sometimes offering poor hints at flanking door columns made of plastic panelling.

Larger versions simply deployed the window and door forms as well as the quoining to create impact when combined with red brick. Generally speaking the larger versions tended to carry it off better.

These days if you're spending over a million, you can buy a lot of mock Georgian for the money.

In two of Dublin's well-heeled suburbs, namely Castleknock and Malahide, a pair of vast neo-Georgian homes that have come on the market share characteristics such as fanlights and pillars to the front entrance doors, window dimensions resembling those of the 1700s, and redbrick façades enhanced by the patina of age.

At Myra Manor, a high-end gated scheme in Malahide that was built in the mid-Noughties, Ellismore Farm is a Georgian revival with Celtic Tiger-style flourishes such as a Jacuzzi and a cinema room. The seven-bed property, constructed in 2007, is a whopping 5,500 sq ft in size and sits on 0.3 acre on a south-facing plot.

Ellismore Farm has a rich red-brick exterior, with granite to the sills and surrounds of the white-framed, slide-and-tilt sash windows. Columns frame the black front door, which is flanked by multi-paned side glazing and topped by a fanlight. At the attic level, dormer windows peek over the front parapet.

Inside, its porcelain-tiled entrance hallway features a triple-height ceiling with a glass atrium. The hall leads to a living room and dining room, both of which have solid oak floors and ceiling coving, and to a family room. There is a marble fireplace to the living room, as well as double doors that lead to the sunny dining room. The latter space, in turn, has glazed doors out to the garden and a set of double doors opening onto the open-plan, dual-aspect kitchen/living/breakfast room.

The cream, hand-painted kitchen is fitted with granite countertops and a centre island with a Belfast sink. On the first floor, there are five double bedrooms - four of which are ensuite - and a family bathroom. The master ensuite with its walk-in wardrobe is situated on this floor.

The second floor is home to two further bedrooms, a bathroom, a cinema room with a projector, a storage room, and a study. Outside, a 800-sq ft, detached building with the same exterior finish as the main building houses a games room and gym on the ground floor and an office on the first floor.

The house at Ellismore Farm is on offer through DNG (01) 8331802 and with an asking price of €1.5m.

On the western side of Dublin, just outside the gates of the Phoenix Park in Castleknock, another large neo-Georgian home is for sale at the Park View estate. No 30 was built in the 1970s, but the vendors gave it a facelift about 10 years ago, adding redbrick and granite quoins to the façade, installing a new black front door and porch, and putting in new sash windows.

The result of the overhaul of the double-fronted five-bed detached house is a modern home resplendent with Georgian features, including granite steps to a front porch with a fanlight, black railings to a redbrick front boundary, and symmetrical proportions.

The Georgian theme continues throughout the interior of No 30.

There is panelling to the walls of the hallway, a central turning hardwood staircase, and decorative coving and ceiling roses to the reception rooms.

The entrance hall, which has polished porcelain floors with inlaid borders, leads to a drawing room with an antique fireplace set in a polished granite hearth. Double doors link this space to the more informal family room, which has a solid fuel stove on a raised hearth as its focal point. Solid red-oak timber flooring and French doors connect the family room to the single-storey sunroom extension. Arched windows and glazed doors in this room overlook the patio and the 75ft-long garden. However, the pitched pine-wood ceiling, which has two Velux windows and recessed lighting, is a little dated and the new owner might want to refresh some of the décor and upgrade the D1 BER.

There is a picture rail and decorative coving to the TV room, which could be used as a second reception room or as a games room. The kitchen is more contemporary in style than the rest of the house, thanks to the black high-gloss finish to the kitchen units and the black-and-white tiled floor. There is a utility room off the kitchen with a door to the back garden. The five double bedrooms are situated on the first floor.

The master bedroom has a wall of fitted wardrobes and a large, fully tiled four-piece ensuite.

The family bathroom, meanwhile, has marble throughout, as well as a cast-iron claw-legged bath.

No 30 Park View and its front granite cobble-locked driveway are set behind electric gates, which were added by the owners during their revamp.

Park View is just around the corner from the entrance to Chesterfield Avenue, which runs straight through the Phoenix Park, Europe's largest enclosed city park. The home is also just a few minutes' walk from Castleknock village and 8km from Dublin city centre.

The house at 30 Park View is asking €1.35m and the agents are Sherry FitzGerald (01) 820 1800.

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