New Leeson life: Georgian townhouse for €1.4 million

No 42 has all the grandeur of original Georgian Dublin townhouses, as well as mews at the rear


In Georgian Dublin, Leeson Street was called Suesey Street. The thoroughfare was renamed, in 1728, after the Leeson brewing family who turned their hand to that favourite national pastime – property development. Later in the 18th century, the construction of the Grand Canal – Georgian engineering’s equivalent of the M50 – bisected the street.

Then along came the Victorians who invented postcodes. Leeson Street Lower, the stretch of road from the canal to St Stephen’s Green, is now mainly offices and schools and is in the Dublin 2 zone; Leeson Street Upper, which runs from the bridge to Donnybrook, is still largely residential and has a Dublin 4 postcode. And yes, the street is leafy.

No 42 Leeson Street Upper is for sale through Sherry FitzGerald with an asking price of €1.4 million. The house is postcard-perfect. The current owners bought it 36 years ago for the, then substantial, sum of £75,000. Now it’s time for another family to take it on and, while the price has appreciated considerably in four decades, five years ago it could easilly have been asking more than €3 million.

Original Georgian Dublin townhouses were grand edifices, and this is the real McCoy – a 278sq m (3,000sq ft) red-brickwith two storeys over garden level.

A long front garden leads to a flight of granite steps and a royal-blue, fanlit front door, which opens into an impressive hallway. Like other rooms in the house, it is adorned with original ceiling plasterwork.

The ground floor has a spacious diningroom to the front and a large kitchen to the rear. At garden level are a livingroom and two bedrooms. A magnificent drawingroom runs the entire width of the first floor and is ideal for musical soirees – a specialty of the departing family.

Two bedrooms on the second floor include a duplex master suite with the bedroom area on a mezzanine floor. The whole house is filled with light streaming in through sash windows.

The back garden has been cobbled to create a southwest-facing courtyard, with a Cecil King sculpture of the Children of Lir as a centrepiece.

A nonresidential mews building of 70sq m (725sq ft), once used by the Dublin Philharmonic for recitals, has potential as a children’s games area, a workshop or an artist’s studio. A garage offers vehicular access to the rear of the house onto Sibthorpe Lane, and full planning permission has been secured for off-street parking at the front of the house.

The commercial centre of Leeson Street “village”, less than 100m from the house, includes two well-known pubs – O’Brien’s and the Leeson Lounge – a Spar, cafes, a bookmaker’s, a drycleaner’s, a barber’s and the Louis Albrouze wine shop.

No 42 could be the perfect house for someone who, like Hugh Grant’s character William in Notting Hill, wishes to spend “days and years in this small village in the middle of a city in a house with a blue door”.

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