Georgian gem in Dublin 14 for €750,000

Seven-bedroom mansion mentioned in ‘Ulysses’ needs complete restoration

Thu, Apr 10, 2014, 00:00


Of the 15 Georgian mansions in the Roebuck area, only two are still used as private houses and Roebuck Hill is one of them.

Dating the house has proved difficult, but David Griffin of the Irish Architectural Archive believes the plasterwork in the wings dates from the 1790s

JJ Jennings, the late property developer, purchased the property in 1962 for the sum of £13,000 and he and his wife Anne raised their 12 children in it.

Now the house will be auctioned on May 7th through estate agent REA Martin O’Donnell with an AMV of €750,000.

The 393sq m (4,230sq ft) house is a grand old rambling mansion with excellent symmetry and a range of Georgian elements, including perfectly preserved entablatured internal doors.

Of the three reception rooms, the drawing and dining rooms have swirling rococo plasterwork and blue veined marble fireplaces, which remarkably have survived for over two centuries.

In 1860, when Roebuck Hill was advertised to let as a gentleman’s residence in The Irish Times , it was stated that the house had four bedroom chambers rather than the seven bedrooms currently advertised.

This is due to the fact that most of the bedrooms are interconnecting pairs that each form a suite, and were more suited to single gentlemen than to a family.

James Joyce, in Ulysses , makes reference to the occupants of Roebuck Hill: “Mesdames Gerald and Stanislaus Moran of Roebuck” but why Joyce used feminine titles.

Another occupant of Roebuck Hill was John C Lyons, a world expert on orchids. The old conservatory, of which only the shell remains, had a heating system installed specifically for the cultivation of tropical plants in the early 1800s.

Roebuck Hill is immortalised in our literature and its Georgian craftsmanship can never be reproduced. Today the only creatures using the swimming pool are a couple of happy mallards.

To restore this historic property will be a labour of love and require deep pockets. The site on .85 of an acre, however, does have potential to be built on near the walls of the old garden, subject to the necessary planning requirements.

The house and its current occupants live in hope, that someone, somewhere can revive and restore Roebuck Hill for another century.

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