A dog’s life in Killiney for €4.85m

Killiney House, one of the oldest in the vicinity of the Co Dublin village, was once the home of Jim Kerr and Patsy Kensit. It has an extensive secluded garden and sea views

The biggest attraction of Killiney House for the owners when they moved here six years ago was the vast rambling grounds. Standing on 1.75 acres, it was ideal for their six dogs to roam safely.

Situated on a sloping landscaped site with sweeping views to Killiney Bay, and within a stone’s throw of that other doggy haven, Killiney Hill Park, they had hit on pooch paradise.

As its name suggests, Killiney House lays claim to one of the finer sites close to Killiney village. Dating from the late 18th century, it is one of the oldest houses in the area.

It has, however, had a couple of modern makeovers. Before its purchase in 2008 (for about €9 million), it was owned by telecoms millionaire Michael Maye, who bought the property for £3 million in 1999 from Jim Kerr, lead singer with rock group Simple Minds, and his former partner, Patsy Kensit.

For many years before that it had a far lower-key existence as the home of Killiney GP Dr Michael Millerick.

Stone terraces

During Maye’s tenure, his father, Peter, a master stone mason from Mayo, spent months building walkways and creating beautiful dry stone wall terraces, and arches of Cong limestone in the grounds. There are five tiers to the garden, and the upper lawned levels provide the best views to the bay.

The current owners, with the expertise of a near full-time gardener, have put a lot of work into carefully planting the grounds. On a sunny September morning, anemone, hydrangea, lavender, fuchsia and a variety of potentilla combine in a riot of colour. The herbaceous display gives a secluded country feel to the ivy-clad house. Fruit trees blossom over the high garden wall in the small forest walkway.

Original proportions

The four-bedroom house, which is selling through Ganly Walters for €4.85 million, is arranged over a substantial 4,400sq ft, and though the current owners have upgraded the house in places, they made few major structural changes.

This means it remains a very traditional family home and all of the original proportions in the front-facing reception rooms, and double bedrooms upstairs have been retained, including beautiful bay windows on both floors that maximise the sea views.

The entrance porch leads through two sets of double doors to the long inner hallway, divided by an archway to the rear. To the right and left are the drawingroom and livingroom, each with original bay windows and matching salvaged brown marble gas fireplaces.

The southeasterly aspect floods both rooms with warm autumn sunlight.

Underfoot, the unusual Panga Panga hardwood parquet floors are a subtle (and luxurious) nod to the vendors’ flooring distribution business.

Further off the main hall is a small study and sizeable family room. The kitchen has dual access from the diningroom and off the rear hall.

The cream Blackrock fitted kitchen is nicely finished with light coloured granite countertops and high-end Neff and Liebherr appliances. There’s a cleverly designed open pantry to the rear, and off it a decked breakfast terrace.

Velux double windows pour light on to the dining area, with glazed concertina doors opening expansively to a large patio area and the courtyard beyond.

Expansion potential

The story goes that in days of yore Killiney House was one of the last coachhorse stops before visitors to the capital hit Dublin’s Shelbourne Hotel.

True or not, the coach houses remain, and here there is strong potential for conversion to further guest/staff accommodation. Not least because the upper level of the long outhouses have fine sea views that deserve to be maximised, and separate side access is possible.

When the current owners bought Killiney House it had planning permission for a 845sq m (9,000sq ft) extension that has since lapsed. But it’s possible similar planning could be readily reinstated.

Meanwhile, there’s a roomy one-bed cottage to the right of the enclosed courtyard, with a modern kitchen/living area, separate patio and a double bedroom – ideal for grown up kids.

Last October, a small distance away, Paddock Wood, the former home of tech entrepreneur, John Nagle, sold at auction for €4 million. The 8,000sq ft super-modern Miami-style home had uninterrupted views to the sea from each of its three storeys, but it required complete refurbishment.

The buyer of Killiney House will purchase a property in walk-in condition.

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