Arts and Crafts house on Howth Road
Four-bedroom house with original features, including stained-glass windows and Art Nouveau fireplaces
178 Howth Road, Clontarf, Dublin 3
Description Four-bedroom house with original features, including stained-glass
Anyone who knows the Killester/Clontarf area will probably instantly recognise 178 Howth Road because of its distinctive facade on the busy stretch where the Howth Road meets Collins Avenue.
In the same family for 55 years, it undoubtedly needs a complete overhaul but even in its current tired state there is something fabulous about it.
It is one of a pair of Arts and Crafts semi-detached houses and whoever built it, just under a century ago, didn’t stint on the period features and the house itself is big at 205sq m (2,206sq ft). From the wooden porch to the Tudor-style peak and lashings of magnificent stained glass, it is a lovely example of Arts and Crafts.
The location of the house could provoke some debate. Some would say it’s in Killester – Killester Supervalu is across the road – but the agent Gunne, and the owners, say that maps show that the house, selling for €675,000, is in Clontarf.
For period-house nerds, this property is a treat. There is an entire window of the most vibrant amber, ruby and emerald stained glass in the entrance hall and there’s more above the panelled front door.
The reception hall is wide, almost a room in itself, with an Art Nouveau cast-iron fireplace. The original grey and white panelled doors with brass latches lead into reception rooms.
The main interconnecting reception rooms are well proportioned, with high ceilings, deep coving and period mahogany fireplaces. The one in the front living room has inset tiles with a delicate Art Nouveau design. The piece de resistance is a stained-glass panelled sliding door between the rooms.
The top panes of the bay window in the living room are of stained glass and hopefully any future owner replacing the old windows – which is probably inevitable – will retain this.
The rear dining room has French doors to a 67m (220ft) garden. From here you can’t see the full sweep of the long bluebell covered garden because some trees and foliage need to be cut back between the middle and the bottom of the garden (which backs onto the Dart line).
It is as if time forgot the breakfast room at the end of the hall, which is a smallish square room with servants’ bells. Off it is an old-style shelved pantry and a very dated kitchen with a Belfast sink.These three rooms could be knocked through to improve the space.
Upstairs, there’s yet more stained glass in the big window on the stairwell. There are four bedrooms off the main landing, all with pastel vanity sinks.
Three of the bedrooms are spacious doubles and the fourth is a big single with access to a narrow balcony with wrought-iron balustrade.
Steps lead down to three small rooms on the lower landing, a bathroom with a claw-foot bath, a study and a toilet.
There are two floored, but dark rooms at attic level in need of big Velux windows. A good sized lawn to the front of the house and a gravel drive help to set the house back from the busy road. Despite all of the period features, the house is not listed and the BER is G.