€2.5m Blackrock villa in a world of its own

What seems a strong asking price for an ivy-clad Regency villa will be an interesting test of where prices are going in South Dublin


Estate agents sometimes use the word “charming” a bit too liberally but if ever there was a house worthy of the description it’s Springfield off Sydney Avenue in Blackrock, Co Dublin, an ivy-clad Regency villa built in 1840.

Near the top of a narrow lane of detached houses, Springfield is set on nearly three-quarters of an acre of the most magical gardens and there are two entrances to the property, one narrow one to the front and another to the side .

The house has that Tardis-like quality that villas sometimes have of looking quite bijou from the front but being spacious inside – 250sq m (2,692sq ft). The rear of the property is two-storey and the accommodation includes five bedrooms, three reception rooms, two bathrooms and an en suite and a good-sized kitchen and utility.

One part of the garden is to the rear and the other to the side of the house, and most rooms have views of either through large sash windows.

The house will be auctioned on May 22nd with an AMV of €2.5 million through Lisney, which seems a very strong asking price but will be an interesting test of where prices are going in south Dublin. While it currently lies in a very appealing state of faded splendour, realistically whoever buys it will want to update it, which will require further investment.

Gilt mirrors
The house has been in the same family for 50 years and is very olde-worlde with gilt mirrors, old fireplaces and paintings and photos of distinguished looking ancestors in reception rooms and bedrooms. The reception rooms include a smallish one to the front with a two-tone black and grey marble mantelpiece with a brass grate.

The drawing room is a long dual-aspect room with ceiling coving, centre rose and a white marble fireplace. There are steps down to a dining room with parquet lino, a slightly odd looking low ceiling at one end and patio doors to the cobbled patio in the garden.

There’s also a 1970s green and white kitchen that retro enthusiasts would drool over given its pristine condition. It even has a serving hatch and lino on the floor. Off it is a very big utility room and a downstairs toilet. Other rooms at this level include a study and family bathroom.

There are five bedrooms, two singles and three double rooms on the upper level, two of which are on the first floor return. One of the big double rooms is set as a twin with chipboard wallpaper and nice views of the side garden. The main bedroom has been downsized to accommodate an en suite with a retro bathroom suite that is the most startling shade of yellow-green.

The gardens feel private even though you can see the tops of tall buildings on Mount Merrion Avenue through the trees. There’s a meandering gravelled pathway around the rear garden which has a pond in the middle and is fringed by tall trees.

Gates lead out to a gravelled yard with a boathouse, outhouses and a storage shed that looks like a little cottage. The side lawn is also very pretty with a sundial and tall trees.

Springfield is scheduled for an open viewing soon and it will be interesting to see how the agent manages the logistics of multiple viewers accessing the narrow lane up to the house.