Orwellian utopia set in 1884 for €2.5 million
Well-preserved features such as a working service bell and glass panels that open behind filigree ironwork accent this fine house close to Rathgar village that grants a clear view of the Dublin Mountains from its secluded garden
On a sunny evening in early September, sitting in the bright, south-facing conservatory of 65 Orwell Park, it is difficult to imagine anyone ever wanting to leave such a relaxing spot. The owners, who have lived here for almost 30 years, agree, but with four children grown up and moved on, it’s time for something smaller.
And it’s fair to say there’s nothing small about this house, which is for sale through DNG. At approximately 318sq m (3430sq ft), with five bedrooms, and the option to extend into the garage for more, it’s a great family home. The owners say that when they told their grandson they were leaving, he said: “Can’t we just swap houses with you?”
The secluded back garden has a lawn that doubles as a tennis court, as well as a greenhouse complete with grapevines. It also has views across to Three Rock Mountain, so you feel as if you’re in the countryside, even though Rathgar is just down the road, and the Luas a brisk 10 minute walk (or 15 minute stroll) away.
Inside, the house is awash with period features, intact since it was built in 1884. There’s the mosaic-tiled entrance hall that the owners discovered when they pulled back an old carpet; solid wood floors with a gorgeous finish; matching fireplaces in the connecting drawing and diningrooms; an internal balcony from the very top floor; and glass panels that open behind filigree ironwork on the front door, so you can have a delicious breeze on sunny days.
There’s also a service bell that still rings in the kitchen, from the diningroom and TV room. “The grandchildren love them,” says the owner; but they could come in handy too, as, laid out over three floors, you can lose one another, especially from the top floor study, which could also serve as the fifth bedroom, which has lovely mountain views.
New owners might want to knock a wall through between the kitchen and breakfast room, and add an en suite to the bedroom on the first floor return, which currently has a second room adjacent to it that would be ideal for the purpose. There’s a compromise “en suite” in the second bedroom, where the wardrobe opens up to a shower and sink. Meanwhile, the high-ceilinged master bedroom has taken over what would have been a sixth bedroom as its own private bathroom.
For sale by private treaty for €2.5 million, the price is comparable to the €2.4 million achieved in April for number 51, a new-build to the same style as this house.