Summer house at the high end in Monkstown

Exquisite cornice work and ceiling roses of a standard normally reserved for stately piles


Thormanby is one of six identical detached houses on Queen’s Park, Monkstown, Co Dublin, that are believed to have been built as summer houses for the Victorian gentry. As summer houses go, these were at the higher end of the spectrum. Whoever built them in 1870 was looking to attract a select buyer with a very high spec.

In those days a high spec property had to have lashings of ornate plasterwork and Thormanby doesn’t disappoint. The exquisite cornice work and ceiling roses in the entrance hall and main reception rooms are of a standard more often reserved for a stately pile.

The rooms are gracious and well-proportioned with high ceilings, multiple sash windows and fine marble mantlepieces. An essential requirement in those days would have been a garden level to house the servants.

The current owners of all six houses have kept them looking suitably summery and Thormanby, which is painted lemon yellow, is asking €2.5 million through DNG.

Reasonably close to the sea (Seapoint is less than 10 minutes on foot), Queen’s Park, a quiet road of period houses and apartments, is off the Monkstown Road.

The ground floor is what you’d expect of a grand period house. It has a number of formal reception rooms, including a drawing room, a beautiful dual aspect room with a white marble fireplace and a bay of sash windows to the front.

The dining room is a more sombre affair, with a dark grey marble fireplace, while the library is brighter and less fusty than the average library – some of the neighbours use this room, which is at the front of the house, as a morning room.

Even the downstairs bathroom is quite splendid, painted blue and with high ceilings, it also serves as a family picture gallery.

The only detraction from the general fabulousness of this floor are the carpets – mostly blue – that add a dated note to what is otherwise a sophisticated look.

The fact that the kitchen is at garden level might also put off anyone with aspirations to entertain in the formal dining room as it would involve a l ot of running up and down stairs.

Once the servants’ quarters, the garden level is not as ornate as other floors but has a lot of very practical rooms, including a utility, fifth bedroom and a grey and white bathroom with a bath and circular shower.The kitchen/dining room has a cool grey and white colour scheme and the view from the dining area up to the front garden gives this space a cosseted feel.

The kitchen units are white and perfectly serviceable but a new owner might want to update.There’s also a TV room and a toilet at this level.

At first floor level there are four spacious double bedrooms off the landing. They all have grey marble fireplaces and built in wardrobes and the main bedroom has a soothing cream colour scheme and en suite.

There are steps up to a family bathroom with the original standalone bath. There’s Stira access to an attic from this room.

For such a large house (385sq m), the back garden is quite bijou, with a patio area and small lawn. There might be scope to knock the double car port to the side of the house to add to this space. There’s also another patio to the side of the house that the current owners have used for summer barbecues.