Dublin 6 Victorian with diplomatic credentials for €2.95m

Large Highfield Road four-bed served as an official residence for the Mexican embassy

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Address: 22 Highfield Road, Rathgar, Dublin 6
Price: €2,950,000
Agent: Mullery O'Gara
View this property on MyHome.ie

Writing in The Irish Times some years ago about her early schooling in a local kindergarten called Miss Carr's on Highfield Road, author Mary Morrissy recalled the large red-brick Victorian house that was also Miss Carr's home, and in particular one of the teachers "who specialised in pert suits, cherry lipstick, heart-shaped spectacles and exquisite red shoes with high heels". That snippet of glamour was from the 1960s, and when the school closed some years later the property's new owners, helped no doubt by, as Morrissy says, the fact that "It never acquired the institutional feel of school" easily converted the two-storey over-garden-level house back into a family home.

That’s how its present owner found No 22 Highfield Road 26 years ago when she and her late husband bought and moved in with their three small children; she has fond memories of the youngest mastering the tall flight of granite steps leading to the distinctive high-Victorian covered porch and the front door.

Despite the house’s size, she says “it never felt enormous” – until the children grew up, at which point she moved out and rented the four-bedroom house for the past six years to the Mexican embassy as an official residence.

Embassies tend to be very particular about their rentals – always opting for prestige locations – and have specific requirements, most notably elegant space to entertain. No 22 has at hall level undeniably grand interconnecting reception rooms, a smaller room (probably originally the butler’s pantry) that could be used as a bar (or a study or fifth bedroom) and a bathroom. And that’s not counting the large family room also on this level to the front of the house off the wide bright hall.


To the side off this level is a flight of granite steps – an unusual feature in these style houses – accessed by a covered-in, orangery-style passage that leads down to the rear garden – perfect for keeping the party going on summer nights without going through the rest of the house.

One of the changes asked for by the tenants was the removal of the Aga in the Noel Kinsella-designed timber and marble bespoke kitchen and its replacement with a more practical catering-friendly stove.

Many other improvements had been made to the semi-detached property by the current owner before that, not least restoring ceilings and other period details, and most strikingly building a two-car garage to the side, detached and finished in cut-stone granite, with a slated, pitched roof reminiscent of an old coach house. As it seems wasted on cars – and there is ample parking for several to the front of the house – new owners might consider converting this lovely little building for other uses, a home office maybe, studio or guest accommodation, subject to planning.

Upstairs there are three very large bedrooms – the fourth bedroom is down at garden level – as well as a shower room and a separate bathroom. While new owners might consider the addition of an en suite, the proportions of the rooms with their period features are lovely left intact. High ceilings are a feature of this house on all three levels.

Down at garden level, where a conservatory was added to the rear, the kitchen opens into a small dining area, while there is a large family room to the front. A bathroom is adjacent to the fourth bedroom and there is guest toilet and plenty of storage.

The house sits on a wide plot, set well back from the road, and the rear garden is 36m long. It is mature and private and has been professionally maintained for several years. As it is south-facing, it was one of the features that most appealed to the owner a quarter of a century ago.

No 22 Highfield Road is on the market through Mullery O’Gara seeking €2.95 million.

Bernice Harrison

Bernice Harrison

Bernice Harrison is an Irish Times journalist and cohost of In the News podcast