Restrained grandeur in Glenageary for €1.85m

Once the home of the founder of the Medical Missionaries of Mary, this Victorian house in Glenageary has been expertly renovated by its current owners to make it a luxurious home and an enviable setting for entertaining

This gracious property on the sleepy Marlborough Road in Glenageary stands at over 371 sq m (4,000 sq ft) and is in perfect decorative order. Situated right beside the DART station the property is on three floors with two returns.

Built in 1882, 20 Marlborough Road was home to Sr Mary Martin, founder of the Medical Missionaries of Mary, who lived here with her parents and 11 siblings. Today the property is home to John Maguire and his wife Ricky, who bought the property in 1997 after returning from Zambia, where John ran a battery company supplying the local copper mines.

The property, when purchased, was in a state of disrepair and the Maguires had builders and specialists in Victorian renovation flown in from the UK who worked with local architect Peadar Nolan in restoring the house .

“All that remained was the cornicing” says Ricky with a smirk “even the joists in the drawing room floor were damaged; so the kitchen ceiling had to be removed.” The result is a beautiful, perfectly proportioned home with a restrained grandeur throughout.


The basement of the property, which in the past was all bedrooms, now houses a large light filled kitchen by Dalkey Design in solid pine. The three clocks at different times indicate the couple’s children scattered throughout the world.

Also in the basement is a television room which leads onto a large cedar conservatory which the Maguires use for casual dining and parties. A loo, large utility and storage room complete the basement. Upstairs on the first floor lies the drawingroom, diningroom and study.

Serene environment
The drawingroom is spectacular, with its high ceilings and intricate coving and ceiling roses. Painted in Farrow and Ball's Sudbury Yellow, the room is swathed with light from its dual aspect windows which catch the restored pine floors. The large original white marble fireplace is the focal point and the sash windows overlooking the mature trees in the front garden bring a sense of serenity to the room.

Next door, the diningroom overlooks the back garden. A well sized study in dark hues replaces what once was the original kitchen and could also be used as another bedroom. The architraves in the reception hall are colossal and give a sense of splendour to this lovely home.

Upstairs, on the first return is what can be best described as a ladies boudoir. The rose papered pink walls adorn what was in the past a small bedroom. Today a large freestanding bath dominates the room which has the added bonus of a fireplace for long winter soaks. The master and two main bedrooms lie on the next floor and are again light filled with high ceilings and fully functioning fireplaces.

The highlight of this floor is the shower room, where an old pub snug has been transformed into a shower enclosure giving an old world feel in keeping with the house’s heritage. Upstairs on the final return is a cosy smaller bedroom and bathroom with views of Dublin Bay, which in days gone by would have been home to servants.

The mature gardens, although not large, are well maintained and are divided into what John describes as “one for the kids and one for us” and have a large storeroom and potting shed. The proximity to the DART would lead one to think that there would be noise outside but only the low hum of the train pulling out of the station makes one aware of its presence.

The Maguires are leaving as all their children have left the lovely nest that it is 20 Marlborough Road and it is on the market through Lisney asking €1.85 million. They have enjoyed many years of entertaining and want to downsize and start a new project. The couple, when asked if they will miss their home after 16 years, reply “yes of course, but not as much as our friends will.”