In the early 1700s Mount Merrion Avenue started life as a private road as part of a large landscaping plan for the seat of the Fitzwilliam family at their residence Mount Merrion House, a vast pile that stood on 100 acres. At the early part of the last century, one of the residents of the estate – which began to be sold off to property developers after the first World War – was a young girl, Guendolen Wilkinson, who claimed she had seen a fairy running under the roots of a tree in a wood near her home.
Her father, Sir Nevile Wilkinson, was so taken with his daughter's story that he commissioned master cabinet makers James Hicks and Sons in Dublin to create a miniature castle, as it was said that Guendolen felt sorry for the elves who she thought were destined to live in caves.
Today that piece of work, based on the young girls' wanderings in the woodlands of Mount Merrion is exhibited in Denmark, having been purchased by Legoland during a bidding war at a Christie's sale in 1978. It is now on permanent display at Egeskov Castle, and Titania's Palace as it is known continues to beguile viewers since it was officially opened by Queen Mary in London in 1922.
That sense of a secret garden where Guendolen Wilkinson would have felt the magic a century ago is still in existence at Melmore, 132 Mount Merrion Avenue.
From the roadside, the house cannot be seen, as it is completely sheltered by towering mature trees, and this great sense of privacy is what will really attract new owners.
The site is also considerable – given its location as one of the most desirable suburbs in south Co Dublin. It extends to half an acre and again has privacy in the form of superb deciduous trees and mature shrubs on all sides.
At first glance the roadside facade looks a bit plain, but when you go to the rear of the house it all makes sense. The entire property was constructed to take advantage of the south-facing rear garden, with a conservatory, kitchen and part of the drawing room all benefitting from lots of light flooding into the rooms. Two balconies, one off the main bedroom and another accessed from a bedroom in a later extension, also take advantage of the aspect.
With 300sq m (3,229sq ft) and five bedrooms it has lots of potential as it is a little dated. The Ber is F. "For this location, the fact that it cannot be seen from the road is all part of its charm," according to estate agent Stephen Day of Lisney, who expects much interest in the property.
The current owners, who have called Melmore home since 1971, placed their home on the market in 2010 when it was seeking €2.35 million. The secluded spot framed by captivating trees is now on the market through Lisney seeking €2.25 million.