Affluent, leafy and home to many of the country's top movers and shakers for over a century, Foxrock has a greater variety of…

Affluent, leafy and home to many of the country's top movers and shakers for over a century, Foxrock has a greater variety of house-styles behind its tall hedgerows than any other Dublin suburb. Side by side on the same road are gracious Edwardian mansions, post-war bungalows, Art Deco homes and big solid family houses built in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. They blend curiously well because of the large well-planted gardens attached to most Foxrock properties. Big gardens, often well over an acre, are a special feature of Old Foxrock and add to the rural feel of the area. The old part is west of the dual-carriageway, around the village centre at the junction of Brighton Road and Westminster Road. At the traffic lights here you will see more top-of-the-range cars than anywhere else in Dublin. Because everyone wants a Foxrock address, the boundaries are difficult to define without offending people living on the periphery. The postal address stretches from Leopardstown Road on the northern side to a little way down Brennanstown Road and behind Foxrock church and Newtownpark Avenue across the dual-carriageway.

Old Foxrock is the most sought-after and extremely pricey, with million pound houses on almost every road. The avenues on the Deans Grange side and at the top of Newtownpark Avenue are an ideal entry point for Foxrock, with family properties selling from around the £300,000 mark. The small ex-council estate behind St Brigid's primary school - a surprising find in affluent Foxrock - is very pretty and would be an excellent first-time buyers choice, should one come on the market under £200,000. Since it was first developed from open farmland in the 1860s, Foxrock has been regarded as a place to live for the professional classes. To this day, the area is a symbol of wealth and status. In the early years, aristocrats, wealthy merchants and many creative people put down roots here. Among the most famous were Samuel Beckett who was born and grew up in Cooldrinagh, a striking house on the corner of Brighton Road and Kerrymount Avenue, and artist Lady Glenavy of the Elvery family.

Cooldrinagh is a classic Edwardian half-timbered house designed by Hicks in 1903. Beckett's father was a quantity surveyor and had connections with a well-known building firm of that name. Builders have played a large part in Foxrock's development. They gambled that Dublin's wealthy set would be attracted out from Ballsbridge and Ranelagh by the new railway station which opened in 1862.

Grand detached houses of distinction were built in the early days, starting with the Bray Road frontage and moving inland up Westminster Road. One of the first developers, W W Bentley, placed an advertisement in The Irish Times in 1862 for "beautiful building sites for mansions and pretty villas". By 1876, about 50 detached villas were listed in Thoms Directory. The village grew around the railway station and as villages go, it's small. The tudor-clad building at the crossroads, now offices, was once Alexander Findlater's grocery store. Now it has everything but a coffee shop.


There is an upmarket greengrocers, wine shop, butcher, hairdresser, estate agent, chemist, a bistro and a couple of high class boutiques. It is generally agreed that Foxrock Golf Club is the heart of the old village area. Unique among Dublin's south suburbs, Foxrock still has a large supply of period houses on an acre or more. Over the years, owners have sold off sections of much larger gardens for development, resulting in an unusual mix of modern and old on the same roads. Many of the houses are "placed" quietly by agents before they arrive on the open market.

The best roads are undisputedly Brighton Road, Westminster Road, Torquay Road and Hainault Road. Very leafy side roads such as The Birches, Kerrymount Avenue, Kilteragh and Gordon Avenue follow close behind. Very large modern houses in The Birches development or Brennanstown Vale can make over £1.5 million. Knocksinna, a small cul-de-sac off Stillorgan Road is also highly sought-after.

Strong prices have been achieved in the past year on these roads. Aviemore, a Victorian house on very large gardens on Kerrymount Avenue fetched "substantially in excess of £2 million" with Daphne L Kaye's Foxrock-based agency last November. Lisney sold Hollybrook on Brighton Road last June for £8.3 million. With over three acres of garden, this price reflected the property's development potential and a planning application has since been lodged for an apartment development.

Glencrow, a large Art Deco house on Knocksinna, was sold by Hamilton Osborne last June for £1.3 million. Daphne L Kaye is quoting £1.5mplus fo ra Nendrum detached five-bedroom house on Knocksinna, which goes to auction on April 19th. Down one of the laneways off Westminster Road, Sherry FitzGerald sold a five-bedroom detached house on half an acre for £900,000. The same agency achieved well over £800,000 for one of the large modern houses on Mount Sandel, off Brighton Road.

Gunne Residential is currently selling Kinloch, a detached four-bedroom house with 1/3 acre on Gordon Avenue, guiding £700,000 plus. Last May the same agent sold Woodview on Gordon Avenue last May for £885,000 and a detached house on an acre in 1993 for £440,000 - a top price at that time. One of the US-style Kilteragh Pines bungalows, built in the grounds of the mansion of Sir Horace Plunkett - Unionist MP in the early years of the last century - is for sale with Hamilton Osborne King, quoting £800,000. Brand new millionaire houses hit the headlines last year when Hamilton Osborne King launched a scheme of detached houses and apartments off Brennanstown Road within sight of the junction with Brighton Road. The showhouse on onethird of an acre gardens at Carrickmines Wood is currently for sale with a price tag of £1.2 million and there is still one fourbed apartment at £710,000. Two further blocks of apartments are also in the pipeline.

Small infill developments, many of them built by the McInerney family who are longterm residents of the village, are often designed in the style of a typical Foxrock house and blend in well. One of the five-bedroom McInerney houses beside Carrickmines Croquet and Lawn Tennis club is to be auctioned next May by Daphne L Kaye, guiding in excess of £800,000. Lisney is selling a five-bedroom house on Carrickmines Little, a small cul-de-sac off Brighton Road, guiding £550,000 plus.

Despite the exclusive postmark, there are still reasonably affordable family houses to be found on the edges of Foxrock. Houses off Leopardstown Road "fly out the door" according to one agent. Douglas Newman Good sold two four-bedroom semis on Leopardstown avenue recently for in excess of £330,000. Gunne has agreed the sale of one of the Sorohan-built Tudor Lawns houses for in excess of £350,000. One of these was sold by Gunne in 1993 for just over £99,000.

Still in this area, a detached bungalow on Leopardstown Road is for sale with Hamilton Osborne King, quoting £750,000 plus. Daphne L Kaye is selling a very pretty three-bedroom terraced house on Sir Ivor Mall in The Chase development for £285,000. The same agency is quoting £280,000 for a four-bedroom semi on Birchdale beside Loreto school. Across the dual carriageway, Sherry FitzGerald is currently selling a four-bedroom detached house on Beech Park Drive, asking £405,000. Off Knocksinna Park. Douglas Newman Good is guiding £450,000 for a four-bedroom "quirky" dormer house overlooking a green.