Views to inspire a Dalkey scribe for €1.65m
Maeve Binchy grew up next door to this Victorian villa in Dalkey with sweeping views of the sea. It went on sale for €3.55 million in 2007, and it’s back on the market again, this time with a 54 per cent price drop
In spring 2007 Eastmount Two, a lovely semi-detached Victorian villa on Knocknacree road, arrived on the market with an asking price of €3.55 million. Within six months the price had dropped €600,000 to €2.95 million, a cut of 17 per cent.
Fast forward seven long years and the house, which is set high above Dalkey village and close to the Dart line, is back on the market, through agents DNG, with an arguably more realistic price tag of €1.65 million, 54 per cent down on the original asking price.
The villa-style property sits on the side of Dalkey Hill and from its granite front steps there are 180-degree views of the sea you could drink in forever. With so much sky above and the somnolent ebb and flow of the distant horizon, the view must be a constant distraction.
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This inspiring vista may well have influenced novelist Maeve Binchy, who grew up in the adjoining house, a similar double-bay fronted villa called Eastmount One. Binchy described her own childhood as being “very happy”. While this may have been, as she said herself, “unsuitable if you were going to be an Irish writer”, it suited Binchy the storyteller, who characterised herself as “an escapist sort of writer”.
When many years ago a newspaper mistakenly listed Eastmount Two as Binchy’s childhood home, she wrote the owners, Peter and Noo Wallis, a “beautiful letter” apologising for the mix-up.
Number Two dates from 1844 and isn’t listed. It is a well-loved home, with kooky nooks and crannies, and has been home to the Wallises since 1976.
A steep set of granite steps lead through to a simple hall and into the property’s formal sitting-room, a bright room with shuttered windows on three of its four sides.
A doorway leads through to the master bedroom, a space with his-and-hers corner windows. It has an adjacent bathroom. This bedroom is in a two-storey extension that was built before the owners bought the house.
There are two more double bedrooms at hall level and a bathroom to the rear that doubles as a utility room. It has its own back door leading straight from washing machine to washing line.
Downstairs, the family bathroom overlooks a rockery to the rear of the house. It has a free-standing bath, with the toilet and sink on a raised platform.
The property’s fourth bedroom is to the front and commands great sea views. Across the hall is the kitchen, complete with an old cream Aga “that cooks beautifully”. It is set into a redbrick surround.
The family room, a bright space with a multi-fuel burning stove and French doors out to the garden, is where the couple spend a lot of their time. The property covers 205sq m (2,200sq ft) and has a surprisingly high C3 energy rating.
Dalkey Hill granite
The well-planted sloping garden is east-facing to the front and enjoys a southerly aspect to the side.
Huge slabs of Dalkey Hill granite pepper the ground like spring flowers. The house has gates to the front with off- street parking for several cars.
The Wallises are wise enough not to be saying goodbye to the view or the hill. Their new perspective, from the picture windows of a newly built house on a plot of land in the corner of the garden, is veiled behind a Portuguese laurel hedge. Their home away from home was designed by architect Robin Mandal, recently appointed president of the RIAI.