Hidden gem in Terenure for €2.25m
Fortfield Lodge is not the type of property you’d expect to find nestling in a quiet cul-de-sac in south County Dublin. Originally built as a dower house for Lord Avonmore’s youngest daughter, it is a quite grand Georgian property which also includes a two-bedroom self-contained apartment in the basement
A quiet cul-de-sac in the south Dublin suburb of Terenure that’s lined with 1960s bungalows isn’t where you’d expect to find a rather grand Georgian house, but when Fortfield Lodge was built – sometime between 1790 and 1810 – it fitted right in.
It was originally built as a dower house for Lord Avonmore’s youngest daughter Maria at the back entrance of the now long demolished Fortfield House. Another of the estate’s dower houses still exists near Templeogue village, which gives an idea of how extensive Lord Avonmore Barry Yelverton’s country seat was.
When the current owners bought the lodge on Hyde Park in the late 1990s, it was in a very dilapidated state, with many of its period features long gone as it had been carved up into a warren of flats for several decades.
They transformed it, over two years, into a three-bedroom family home with a two-bedroom self-contained apartment in the basement. It is for sale by Sherry FitzGerald for €2.25 million.
In the 1950s, Fortfield Lodge was owned by the Goffs who ran their bloodstock sales out of it and a decade later it was bought by the late PV Doyle, now best remembered as a hotelier, but who at the time was a very busy property developer in Dublin. He bought the property for the land and built houses on the road, doing little to maintain or improve the lodge. In theory it could have been demolished like many Dublin period houses at the time because, unlike now, it wasn’t listed as a protected structure.
While the fireplaces and shutters were gone when the current owners bought, it still had significant period features such as the three Wyatt windows, a projecting porch to the front and a carriage arch and screen wall to the side.
There was a two-storey stone-built stable to the rear and this has cleverly been incorporated into the house and reconfigured as a large, double-height eat-in kitchen with a wall of windows looking out on to the side garden and a mezzanine level used as a family room.
The bright, informal kitchen is ideal for a large family. It was fitted with bespoke painted country-style units topped with granite and there is a large island unit. A cream four-oven gas and electric Aga completes the country look.
The house was extended and changed during the Victorian era. Originally it would have been only one room deep and it now has 492sq m (5,300sq ft) and, in its current layout, more reception rooms than bedrooms.
There are three large reception rooms off the main hall, a diningroom to the left and two interconnecting reception rooms to the right.
Fortfield Lodge is on a third of an acre bordered at the back and side by tall granite walls. Outside the kitchen there is a patio-style garden, landscaped with a pond, a seating area and a small putting green.
On the other side of the house, accessed from the large utility room off the kitchen, from the side garden and from the front of the house through the carriage arch, is a large garden, now partly gravelled for parking.
The entrance to the two-bedroom apartment is also here, so it feels quite separate from the main house.
There is an old photo in the hallway of the house as it would have looked in the early part of the last century and it shows that there was parkland in front. Now, however, it is right on the road and looks out onto the back of a row of houses.