Regency home fit for a queen in Donnybrook for €2.95m
Dating back to the early days of Queen Victoria’s reign, Victoria Lodge, one of an adjoining pair of double-fronted Regency design houses in Donnybrook, has been sympathetically refurbished in the classic style of a bygone era
The clue to when the semi-detached houses at 3 and 4 Stillorgan Road were built is in their names. Victoria and Albert Lodges date back to the 1840s when Queen Victoria was new on the throne and she and her husband Albert were the most famous couple in Europe.
The pair of double-fronted houses were built in a grand Regency style and originally would have had matching coach houses at the back. The builders at the time must have been quite brave – this end of what is now the Stillorgan Road was beside the infamous Donnybrook Fair, so it was far from desirable although there had been considerable efforts to close the raucous troublesome event down and it ended in 1855.
The landmark in the area, Donnybrook church, had yet to be built when Victoria Lodge’s first occupants moved in – it opened its doors in 1866.
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The current owners of Victoria Lodge, at 4 Stillorgan Road, moved in less than 20 years ago after completing a top-to-bottom renovation. It’s now a fine 265sq m (2,850sq ft) four-bedroom house, and is for sale by Sherry FitzGerald for €2.95 million.
The surprise in this house is that it is single-room deep, so the drawingroom on the left off a classically-proportioned, circular entrance hall, runs from front to back. Some of the original fireplaces were gone when the current owners bought but they replaced them while they were reinstating sash windows and shutters and restoring decorative plasterwork.
On the left of the outer hall is a formal diningroom with vibrant red and white striped hand-painted Regency-inspired wallpaper. A covered side passage provides a shortcut to the kitchen from this dining room without going back into the hallway.
Builders in the mid-19th century tended to spend a lot of time getting the front of the house right, but they left the back, the preserve of servants, a jumble of rooms. The current owners reworked these rooms to create a large eat-in kitchen, a family room and utility room with large windows for maximum appreciation of the mature garden.
An elegant curved staircase is in the inner hall and upstairs there are four double bedrooms, three with large en suites. Throughout the house there are lovely period details such as the tall rounded window in the landing and display recesses in the hallways.
The gardens are important in this house – particularly the front garden which is 24m long so that the house is set well back, behind electric gates, from the busy Stillorgan Road. There is a large grassy area as well as a wide gravelled driveway and parking for six cars.
The mature rear garden is larger at 31m long and even this week, when the rain teemed down, it was easy to see how beautifully it has been planted and laid out with curved pathways, seating areas, lawn and flowerbeds.
The style, classical appeal and condition of the house will be what attracts buyers who are looking at this top end of the market. Also the way the owners have decorated and furnished the bright, atmospheric house shows it at its best. The Donnybrook location is a short walk to the village and it’s close to the city centre.
Victoria Lodge is the sort of house that a diplomatic mission looking for an impressive period residence would immediately appreciate. But its location on the Stillorgan Road, one of the busiest roads in to the city, may also deter some buyers.