Churchtown mansion with hidden depth seeking €2.85m

Former embassy Churchtown House has a theatre and scope to reinstate swimming pool

  • Address: Churchtown House Weston Park Churchtown Dublin 14
  • Price: € 2,850,000
  • Agent: DNG
This article is 4 months old
 

Churchtown House in Dublin has been on quite a property rollercoaster ride for the past two decades. The elegant Georgian house dating from 1780 in the eponymous south Co Dublin suburb was purchased by the government of the Netherlands from a religious order prior to the property boom of the early 2000s for about £120,000. It was the seat of the Embassy of the Netherlands until 1997, when it was sold to businessman Michael Whelan for £1.5 million.

At the time the property stood on two acres, and subsequently eight houses were constructed, reducing the site to just one acre.

At the height of the property boom Whelan sold the house for €10.5 million to a holistic entrepreneur. Then when the economy bubble dramatically burst, Churchtown appeared back on the market as a receiver sale seeking €3 million, and eventually selling for €2.15 million.

After a €150,000 upgrade it appeared again, through various agents with prices ranging from €4.5 million, until it sold to the current owners in 2015 for €2.3 million.

It is now on the market again, this time through selling agent DNG seeking €2.85 million, as the current owners’ future plans involve more time abroad.

Legal profession

The only record of previous owners of this elegant 883sq m (9,500sq ft) seven-bedroom property appear to be that of David Richard Pigot, a former master of the Court of Exchequer, and later master of the Court of King’s Bench. He is interred in nearby St Nahi’s churchyard in Dundrum and immortalised in his robes on the walls of King’s Inns in Dublin. His father and namesake was also in the legal profession, and his brother John Edward played a key role in the foundation of the National Gallery of Ireland.

The vast accommodation includes a host of reception rooms and a lovely conservatory overlooking the rear garden. In a previous incarnation it had a swimming pool over which the then residents installed flooring in order to use the room as a gym. Now this space has been turned into a theatre which the owners used to run the Blue Diamond Drama Academy, a charity for adults with learning disabilities. It also works as a substantial private cinema, but could easily be returned to a swimming pool, as the plumbing and structure are in situ – albeit under the floor.

A remarkable feature, besides the perfect Georgian proportions, tall sash windows and 14ft-high ceilings, is the wine cellar that sits hidden beneath the property. It has lovely vaulted ceilings and would happily accommodate enough favourite tipples to get through many a lockdown.

Structural renovation

As much of the work and structural renovation had been completed by previous owners, the current residents simply changed the decor. The interiors might benefit from more furnishings in keeping with its era to do it proper justice.

With seven bedrooms and a stately hallway, it almost feels like a country house hotel despite its location. It is close to an abundance of schools and lies within a handy commute to the city.

The grounds – though reduced in size – still retain an acre of manicured gardens, allowing total privacy from both Weston Park and neighbouring properties. There is dual access from both Sweetmount Avenue and Weston Park behind electric gates, and further accommodation lies in a detached 44sq m (473sq ft) studio with storage in several redbrick outhouses.

From a price point of view, going by recently sold neighbouring houses – which are primarily semi-detached – the last three properties appearing on the Property Price Register, houses in the area work out as costing in the region of €5,678 per sq m. Churchtown House, at 883sq m, equates to €3,227 per sq m at its listed price of €2.85 million.