Arts and crafts home with culinary connections for €2.15m

Zion Road house by Howard Cooke extended by owners with Irish agency for Aga

  • Address: Glencar 36 Zion Road Rathgar Dublin 6
  • Price: € 2,150,000
  • Agent: Sherry FitzGerald

Quite a number of the houses on Zion Road – dating from the early part of the 20th century – were designed by Howard Cooke, the English-born architect who in 1910, was appointed as assistant architect to the Commissioners of Public Works. His legacy is remembered in the reconstruction of the Four Courts, the Customs House and the Law Library, and also his art deco design for the post office in Rathmines.

For private homes, his signature style was influenced by the arts and crafts movement – and many of these survive on Zion Road, where he also resided.

Glencar, at number 36 was originally built for a member of the Weir jewellery family, and it stands on what was the Danum estate, the residence and 30-acre farm owned by the Bewley family. The remainder of the estate was purchased in 1955 by The High School – who moved to the site in 1971 – and the co-educational school continues to operate just two doors down.

Glencar has been home to David and Geraldine Cooke (no relation to the architect Howard Cooke) for the past 36 years.

When they moved in, a neighbour called by with the original plans of Glencar which had been unearthed in the attic of her own home because it had been Howard Cooke’s residence. The plans now hang in the upstairs study of this 257sq m five-bedroom house, and they indicate that the estimated build cost of the house was £1,462 in 1921.

Over the years the Cooke’s added two extensions to this fine home. Firstly and seamlessly was a two-storey build which added two bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs, with a dining room and second drawing room at hall level.


The second addition, a Norman Pratt conservatory located to the rear of the kitchen was added 20 years ago. It is an ideal room for entertaining in warm weather as it opens out to a dining area in the garden.

Norman Pratt conservatory
Norman Pratt conservatory

The kitchen in solid pine, is centred around a very large Aga. David Cooke was managing director of Campbell and Cooke, the Irish agency for Aga cookers until his recent retirement. The Aga caters for both winter and summer cooking; with two gas ovens for winter and two electric ovens for summer use, in addition to four electric plates in a modular unit, sitting beside the two Aga plates.

Drawing room
Drawing room

“It really comes into its own at Christmas – when the four ovens are in full swing,” says Cooke.

The property has three large reception rooms – two drawing rooms and a dining room, in addition to a music room. The main drawing room features a particularly impressive period marble fireplace which was valued at €20,000 by Antique Fireplace Restoration on Francis Street.

The kitchen is flanked by a small living room at one end – and the conservatory on the other.

Upstairs, a bedroom was changed into a study – as it now leads into the two bedrooms which were added in the extension. “It was an ideal place for the kids when they were teenagers as they had their own space to hang out with their pals,” says Cooke.

There are still five bedrooms upstairs, and the attic area is accessible via a set of narrow steps providing an abundance of additional storage.

Rear of 36 ZIon Road Rathgar Dublin 6
Rear of 36 ZIon Road Rathgar Dublin 6

The gardens extend to almost a third of an acre, and were once part of an orchard on the Danum estate, where Jersey cattle roamed a century ago. While neatly laid out with herbaceous borders, this is an uncommonly large garden in this area and there is ample scope to develop it further.

Houses on Zion Road tend to be homes for life, and asking prices reflect this. Next door, number 34, an executor’s sale of a home in need of renovation in 2014 went for €1.605 million, and has since essentially been rebuilt from scratch. Number 32, at 250sq m (2,691sq ft) with an exceptional garden, sold in 2018 for €2.15 million.

The Cookes are downsizing and have placed their home on the market through Sherry FitzGerald with an asking price of €2.15 million.