Period home with hints of history in Dún Laoghaire for €885,000
One of the oldest houses in this south Dublin suburb, Somerton retains many of its original features including a stunning formal drawing room, with high ceiling, marble fireplace, and a pair of enormous windows facing each other across the room
Built in the late 18th century on the old Rochestown Estate, Somerton is one of the oldest houses in Dún Laoghaire, and it’s full of hints of history. Once set on 37 sprawling acres, it is now to be found at the end of a quiet residential cul de sac midway between Killiney and Deansgrange.
The house was divided into two during the 1970s, and the current owners, William and Julie Bradshaw, who have lived there for 20 years, spent time and care restoring original features, including the lovely windows, shutters, alcoves and little secret cupboards to be found dotted around.
Somerton is a special house. The wide staircase leads up to a stunning formal drawing room, with a high ceiling, gorgeous marble fireplace, and a pair of enormous windows, facing each other across the room. One of these has an ironwork balcony, looking over the patio garden to the rear.
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Also on this floor are two of the four bedrooms and a bathroom. These bedrooms are less grand than the splendour of the drawing room might suggest, the most formal of the bedrooms in the original layout having gone with the other side of the house when it was divided. Back then Somerton was truly enormous. Now, at 292sq m (3,147sq ft), it’s still more than generous.
Downstairs, there is an ensuite bedroom, and the fourth bedroom, currently in use as a study. There’s also a family room with a lovely solid wood floor and an expansive bay window that looks onto the sheltered front garden. There is a bright kitchen, which is large enough for the family to eat around a big wooden table. Newly modernised, but to a classic design, the kitchen is welcoming but stylish, with marble worktops and discretely integrated appliances.
Outside, and through a separate gate, there is a mews house included in the sale. This has a large sitting room and smaller kitchenette downstairs, and a big double bedroom, and bathroom up a spiral staircase. Access from the main house has been closed off, but it could easily be reinstated.
An ironwork cross on the roof of the mews supports the local rumour that it was once the family chapel, although other local lore has it that Somerton was originally a coaching inn. The secluded back garden includes an old water pump, which might support the latter theory, but the original records for the house, which featured in Peter Pearson’s book, Between the Mountains and the Sea, have been long lost.
Even though the house is divided, you’re not particularly aware of your neighbours, although the view from the back garden gives a sense of how magnificent it must have been in its heyday. These days, Somerton is a family home full of welcome and character. For sale through Savills for €885,000, it’s easy to imagine a new family adding their own layers of history to its story.