Be right beside Bray seafront on Joycean terrace for €975,000

Rockfield one of eight houses on Martello Terrace where James Joyce spent teens

  • Address: Rockfield 8 Martello Terrace Bray Co Wicklow
  • Price: € 975,000
  • Agent: PJ Dwyer
 

With a yacht club to the rear, views of Bray Head to the front and a stretch of beach to one side, Martello Terrace in Bray is one of the most recognisable and indeed elegant of all the terraces on Bray seafront. The eight listed buildings define the northern end of the seafront, and at this end things are much quieter than the bustling promenade towards Bray Head.

The Murphy family moved here in 1976, but when they first saw the 200sq m (2,153sq ft) three-storey house, “you could see the sky when you came in the front door” recalls Sheila Murphy, whose late mother Ann died at the age of 95 having lived here for half a century. “Her first words when she saw the views of the sea from the veranda were: ‘What a beautiful place to bring the kids up’.”

With no roof, Ann with husband Sean and their family moved in to the property where they all shared a downstairs sittingroom with two double beds, a single bed, a sofa and cooker as Sean began to do the place up. “Dad was a labourer with the council, so he was very handy and knew exactly how to get it in order, but at the time my friends would all remark ‘are you all completely mad?’.”

Unlike its peers, the property which is BER-exempt, has its front door to the side which allows for three rooms to the front – two of which have verandas. As with many terraced houses on the seafront in the Co Wicklow town, all the garden space is to the front – to maximise the views – and at Martello Terrace it is a communal garden that the eight houses share.

The livingroom
The livingroom
The livingroom
Second livingroom
The rear garden
The rear garden

Two of the herbaceous borders today are known as Mrs Murphy’s flower beds, as Ann planted them 50 years ago, and they have been added to over the years to give a lovely verdant spot at the edge of the beach. For families it is ideal as children do not have to cross the road or contend with traffic to get to the long stretch of shingle and sand.

While the property has four bedrooms, it could be reconfigured to have six in exchange for some of the reception rooms so it is all a bit of a moveable feast.

Over the years the terrace has been home to a number of illustrious residents including James Joyce, who spent his teens here, noted architect Rudolf Maximilian Butler, writer Peter Somerville-Large and politician Liz McManus, along with Ann Murphy, who was a very popular resident in the seaside town. Her former home is now on the market seeking €975,000 through PJ O’Dwyer and Company. 

Martello Terrace, boasts beautiful views
Martello Terrace from a distance 
Martello Terrace, Bray, with the harbour to its rear and promenade to the front
Martello Terrace, Bray, with the harbour to its rear and promenade to the front