Embassy style in Churchtown for €3.6m

This fully refurbished six-bed Georgian house on an acre of landscaped gardens feels like an upmarket country house hotel, but in a very suburban setting. Formerly the Dutch embassy residence it comes with a home gym, bar and its own generator

Thu, Oct 10, 2013, 00:00

Churchtown House is not your average Dublin suburban house, though the setting for the beautifully refurbished Georgian property is undeniably and distinctly suburban.

Its address is Weston Park and the back entrance opens out onto Sweetmount Avenue, so it’s surrounded by semi-detached houses that have been built over time, some most likely in its grounds. It’s a stunning home though, even more so now that the grand two-storey house, built in 1780, has been fully restored.

The six-bedroom house has 929sq m (10,000sq ft) and is on an acre of mature, landscaped gardens bordered by tall walls and screened from its neighbours. It’s for sale by Sherry Fitzgerald for €3.6 million.

Add another €100,000 and the buyer gets all the furniture – and it has been superbly and sympathetically furnished so it’s primed for a wealthy international buyer who wants the hassle-free purchase of a prestige home in walk-in condition.

There’s already been an attempt to lure that international buyer in. Churchtown House has had a busy recent sales history, having been on the market four times in just 16 years. Its most spectacular sale was after a heady bidding war in the auction rooms in 2006 when it sold for €10.5 million, €500,000 over its guide.

Sweeping driveway
The present owner bought it in 2011 for €2.15 million and did all the work to turn it into a comfortable, luxury home – it feels like a small, decidedly upmarket country house hotel complete with vast home gym, a top of the range security system, its own generator and refurbished outbuildings. The owner lived in it for some time, but earlier this year put it back on the market internationally through Sotheby’s. It was marketed in France and China for €4.5million and has its own website.

One of the prime attractions of Churchtown House are the perfect Georgian proportions of the rooms. Tall sash windows, 14ft-high ceilings, period details in the grand reception rooms and a layout that will appeal to families. The entrance is impressive – a portico with pillars at the end of a short, sweeping driveway.

Inside the bright stately hallway is wide, with large reception rooms on either side at the front. There are two more reception rooms – one kitted out as a home cinema with a small sunroom added on, the other a dining room that opens into a bar – not quite what the Georgians had in mind and the only lapse in an otherwise appealing fit-out. There are various utility and cloakrooms, and a door off the hall leads down to a wine cellar with a vaulted roof.

The contemporary fitted kitchen, featuring a vast granite-topped island and an Aga, is part of a family-friendly open-plan living space that incorporates a dining area and a seating area furnished with comfy sofas and a big screen TV. Also on this level is the enormous home gym with a sauna. There is access from the gym out onto a sandstone patio.

Upstairs, the layout is pleasantly rambling with six bedrooms, all double and two with en suites, as well as two additional bathrooms. The main bedroom also has a huge dressing room. An adjacent room on the other side of the hall is furnished as a living room, although new owners could easily turn this into bedroom number seven. There are two home offices, one off this living room, the other over the gym.

Outside, there are smartly refurbished outhouses and a garage, and once you drive in the gates of this house it’s hard to believe you are smack bang in Dublin 14. There’s even a small bell tower – and unusually the bell is still there.

For buyers the suburban location will be both a bonus – for schools, commuting and the rest – and a negative – turn left out of Weston Park and you’re facing the hideous rear of the old Dundrum shopping centre, not the most attractive vista.

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