Third time and still a charm on Herbert Park
Built to showcase the talents of some of the finest builders of the day, Milverton, with an AMV of €2.75 million, has seen plenty of drama on the market and could use another brush with flair but this house is about as stately and refined as they come
The exterior of Milverton at 34 Herbert Park Ballsbridge is sedate and timeless giving no indication of the fine Edwardian house’s turbulent recent history as a bellwether artifact of the Celtic Tiger.
It last sold in 2005, after auction, for a price believed to be €8 million – it had been withdrawn on the day when bidding reached €7.75 million. It was at that time in fantastic condition – more than a little dated certainly when it came to the bathrooms and the kitchen – but it had been beautifully maintained, updated and extended by its previous owners who had lived in what is one of Dublin 4’s finest houses for 30 years.
Then, just three years later, in 2008, Milverton came back on the market in exactly the same condition, for an eye watering €13.5 million. It didn’t sell – the market had collapsed and commentators were (optimistically) predicting that prices had slipped back to 2005 levels. Indeed just a few months later it was advertised for €8.5 million. Since then it’s been looking for a private treaty sale with ever increasing price drops finally falling to €3.5 million in late 2012.
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Now the receivers have stepped in and appointed Lisney to put Milverton to auction on October 16th with an AMV of €2.75 million.
It’s now in less than top condition. There are ominous looking damp stains in several rooms, possibly from gutters or some roof issue, and the bathrooms with their avocado and turquoise suites and the painted pine 1980s kitchen could do with a complete makeover. Its unfurnished, apart from a grand piano in the living room, so it’s not being seen at its best but even at that it’s likely to go higher than the AMV.
The solid D4 location of this fine detached red-brick (it’s beside Herbert Park) is a selling point but so is its size: it’s a five-bedroom house with 400 sq m (3,700 sq ft) of space on a third of an acre.
Milverton was built as a showhouse by the top builders of the day, Cramptons, to coincide with the 1907 Dublin International Trades Exhibition in adjacent Herbert Park and they used it as an opportunity to showcase their talents.
The rooms are beautifully proportioned, high-ceilinged and bright. There’s ornate plasterwork, oak parquet flooring and carved timber panelling, all of which are still intact. The previous owners extended at the back to make a bright eat-in kitchen area and to give better views of the garden as well as access to the curved patio area but, other than that, the layout is much as it was when originally built.
There’s the superb double drawingroom on one side of the wide hallway and a formal diningroom on the other side connecting to the kitchen via a useful butler’s pantry. The drawingrooms are particularly good with their matching Adams-style fireplaces and tall sash windows in bays at either end. Together these rooms are almost 17m (55ft) long, making them ideal for big parties, but tall dividing doors turn them neatly into separate rooms.
Upstairs, the first landing leads to a study with an open fireplace, and to the first of the bedrooms, a large tranquil room overlooking the back garden. The first floor has three further double bedrooms, including the main room with its large en suite bathroom. The fifth bedroom, with an en suite, is at the top of the house with access out onto a small roof terrace.
There is off-street parking for three cars.