Victorian houses were built to last through all kinds of changes and one that has just come on the market in Dublin 4 is a good example. A house on Pembroke Park was built in 1899 by J&W Beckett, Samuel Beckett’s grandfather’s building company. When its current owners bought it 20 years ago, the house was divided into eight or nine bedsits: they immediately set about restoring it and now the house in the heart of Ballsbridge is a single family home again.
It was rewired, replumbed and has many of its original features – wooden floors, sash windows, ceiling coving. Now 21 Pembroke Park, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, a 269sq m (2,900sq ft) five-bed is for sale through Lisney for €2,450,000. It has an E1 BER rating.
“We’ve loved living here,” says the owner, “it’s very much a workable family home. We use all the rooms, there’s no floor we don’t use.” But children grown, he and his wife are downsizing, hoping to stay in the area. The house doesn’t have a large garden for children to play in, but Herbert Park is just around the corner from Pembroke Park, which runs from Clyde Road to Herbert Park Road.
The layout of the house is simple: the front door opens into a porch with its original terracotta tiled floor, from where a hall door with a stained glass window opens into a large front hall. On the left are the interconnecting reception rooms: the drawing room has an arch over the wide and deep bay window and a white timber fireplace with pale green tiles inset. There are sliding pocket doors in the arch connecting it to the dining room, which has a matching fireplace. Both rooms are painted a vivid deep pink and have original wooden floorboards.
A few steps at the end of the hall – where there’s a toilet next to the front door – lead down past a hall cupboard to the L-shaped kitchen breakfast room. It’s floored with beige tiles and has solid timber cream units and polished black granite countertops. The stove in the breakfast room space has been removed and fitted with smart storage units; in the kitchen area there’s a cream Aga inset into another chimneybreast. Three short steps lead up from the kitchen to the dining room; a double-glazed door opens into the back garden.
Original stairs with a mahogany handrail lead up to a first return where there’s a large family bathroom and a room fitted out as a good-sized study which could also be a single bedroom. More stairs lead up to the first floor where there are two double bedrooms. The main bedroom is over the drawing room and has the same wide bay window. Off it is a good-sized en suite with a bath and shower. The other bedroom has an en-suite shower.
There are two bedrooms on the second-floor return: one is a small double with a window overlooking the side passage. The other is an attic bedroom with a box bay window, a white-painted cast-iron fireplace and some inbuilt shelves neatly displaying an array of children’s toys.
The small back garden is very sheltered, “an absolute suntrap; we spend a lot of time in the back”, says the owner. New owners may decide to relandscape the space, replacing the mostly concrete surface. There’s a storage shed in the garden and a door opening into Morehampton Lane, a cul-de-sac off Herbert Park Road lined with mews houses built behind large houses on Morehampton Road. There is also good room to park several cars in the gravelled front garden.