Make a move to Milltown and take a view from the bridge

Well conected neighbourhood has plenty of choice in housing and schools but could do with some cafe culture

Nine Arches bridge which crosses the river Dodder at Milltown, Dublin. Photograph:  Crispin Rodwell

Nine Arches bridge which crosses the river Dodder at Milltown, Dublin. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

 

What’s so good about it?

The southside suburb has a brilliantly mixed population: older established residents live alongside a younger cohort of denizens who prefer apartment living. Trinity College’s student halls sit on Dartry Road, with the buzz of Rathmines accessible nearby.

Milltown is also known for a fine selection of fee-paying schools. The river Dodder, with its Nine Arches bridge, makes for a nice neighbourhood stroll, and this sort of quietude is what draws people to the area. Plenty of green spaces and playgrounds also make it a family-friendly spot. Locals have made note of how safe they feel there. Milltown is not as hectic as Rathmines, nor is it packed with restaurants or bars like nearby Ranelagh. There’s also Clonskeagh, Belfield and Dundrum to the south, which makes it a particularly handy neighbourhood for a number of reasons.

What’s not so good?

Milltown,which is part Dublin 6, part Dublin 14, does have a centre, but it’s less of a village and more of a handful of shops on either side of the road that leads down towards the Dropping Well pub. There are plenty of amenities (among them a Spar, two creches, dry cleaners and two pharmacies) but isn’t particularly cohesive, and locals say they’d like to have a few more eateries on their doorsteps. House prices are high. In 2018 a disused chimney, Shanagarry Chimney, sold at auction for €136,000. Yes, a chimney. Despite the wealth of fee-paying schools, non-fee-paying primary schools are in short supply in the immediate area.

A rhinoceros statue in the river Dodder at Temple Park, Milltown. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell
A rhinoceros statue in the river Dodder at Temple Park, Milltown. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

Where and what to buy?

The area is teeming with high-end apartments, just like this one at 23 Cowper Hall, Mount St Anne’s (€570,000, via Owen Reilly). With two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a B2 BER rating, this apartment looks over Mount St Anne’s grounds.

With an asking price of €274,950, the compact one-bed apartment 2 Milltown Hill (via David Ross) offers an opportunity for a first-time buyer to get on the property ladder, or a city bolt-hole for a professional.

In the market for a family home? 18 Ramleh Park (€695,000, via Felicity Fox) is a three-bed terraced house with a sizeable southwest-facing garden.

Elsewhere, there’s plenty of living space for a growing family in the nicely located 10 Merton Walk, Mount Saint Anne’s. This four-bed, three-bath terraced house is spread out over three floors. It’s in turnkey condition, although it has a price tag to match (€850,000, via Young’s Estate Agents).

The Dropping Well bar and restaurant, in Milltown. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell
The Dropping Well bar and restaurant, in Milltown. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

Where and what to rent?

High-end apartments come onto the market regularly, but expect to pay €1,700-€2,000 per month for a one-bedroom unit, or €2,500 for a two-bed. Three-bedroom apartments have been seen online in the €2,700-€3,000 price range, but a similarly sized showstopper can cost €4,500-€5,000 a month.

Where to eat and drink?

Wilde & Green (Milltown Road) is something of a local landmark, serving up upmarket deli favourites (naturally, it’s packed on the weekends). Black Sheep Coffee (7a Olivemount Terrace) is near Steps of Rome – technically it’s in Dublin 14 but the joint is beloved of Milltowners. Alternatively, there’s the nearby 105 Café (Clonskeagh Road), a great neighbourhood hangout.

The Dropping Well (Milltown Road), located on the banks of the Dodder, is another popular Milltown spot, and seriously comes into its own during the summer months with barbecues and live music. Ashton’s Gastro-pub (Unit 11 Vergemount) is a homely spot too.

Who lives there?

MyHome.ie’s research reveals that almost a third of locals are lone dwellers. Some 14 per cent of those living in Milltown are under 16; 42 per cent are aged between 16 and 34; 20 per cent fall into the 35-49 bracket, 11 per cent are aged between 50 and 65, and 13 per cent are over 65.

Good for families?

It’s fairly sedate, which is probably a draw for young families. Locals tend to choose from the following schools in or around Milltown: Alexandra College Junior School (Church of Ireland, girls), Kildare Place National School (Church of Ireland, mixed), Stratford National School (multidenominational, mixed), Rathgar National School (Methodist, mixed), or Our Lady’s Grove National School (Catholic, mixed).

Secondary school-wise, choose from Alexandra College (Church Of Ireland, girls), Stratford College (multidenominational, mixed), The High School (Church of Ireland, mixed), St Mary’s College (Catholic, mixed), Sandford Park School (multidenominational, mixed) and Gonzaga College (Catholic, boys). Muckross Park College (Catholic, girls) is a short commute in Donnybrook.

Churchfields in Milltown, Dublin. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell
Churchfields in Milltown, Dublin. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

Getting there and getting around

Thanks to the Luas you can be at St Stephen’s Green in 15 minutes or Dundrum in five. Milltown is six stops away from the city centre. Dublin Bus routes 61, 44 and 11 are pretty regular, and you’ll be in the city in about 15 minutes. If you prefer to make the journey on foot, 50 minutes will get you from the city centre to Milltown.

What do locals say?

“In terms of community, there is a great parish centre, an active retirement group, art classes, bridge club, and an ICA annual fun-day for children in September. The centre recently hosted a local history exhibition to mark the 200-year anniversary of the local church. Many second-generation Milltowners are moving back into the area. There’s a great mix of residents, and many old houses preserved extremely well. Milltown still has its village appeal. Despite a large number of residences it still has a strong community vibe.” – Mark Gleeson, retired.

Do you live in Shankill, Co Dublin? If so please tell us what it’s like to live there. Do you have a favourite place or a pet peeve in the neighbourhood? Email homeanddesign@irishtimes.com

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