Echoes of Lloyd Wright in Howth house for €2.5m

Shielmartin Cottage sits on 1.1 acres and has superb sea views

Shielmartin Cottage is a bit of a misnomer, as the property extends to more than 269sq m (2,895sq ft). It was constructed in the 1960s by architect Andrew Devane, for a Commander Bradshaw, who was downsizing from his family home nearby.

Devane, who designed an array of public buildings including the Irish Life Centre, Gonzaga College chapel and AIB Bankcentre in Ballsbridge, was awarded the Taliesin Fellowship, which saw him mentored by one of the founding fathers of modern architecture – Frank Lloyd Wright.

Shielmartin echoes many of Lloyd Wright’s influences of organic architecture, in which houses are integrated into the landscape. The flat roofs, dramatic horizontal lines, windows grouped in horizontal bands and internal craftsmanship are testament to designs by Lloyd Wright, of whom Devane said he had never seen “anyone with a greater sense of mastery of form and space”.

The property, which is home to psychiatrist and art historian Dr Tony O’Flaherty, is inverted – the living areas are on the upper floor to maximise the sea views. While new owners may want to update the property, it retains superb mahogany parquet flooring in places, in addition to a vast mahogany spiral staircase which leads to a minstrel gallery landing.


The gardens, which include many secret pockets and are perfect for the ultimate game of hide and seek, were designed by the late David Robinson. Director of horticultural research at Kinsealy and a fellow of the American Society of Agricultural Sciences, Prof Robinson imported plants from all around the world for the gardens. Most striking is the giant eucalyptus tree, the dappled bark of which appears as if it is hand-painted.

With the house standing on a site of 1.1 acres with spectacular sea views, there could be an option to extend or indeed build a further property on the site, subject to planning.

What Shielmartin Cottage offers, besides glorious views and lots of room to extend, are links to the one of the greatest architects of all time and to one of Ireland’s most eminent horticulturalists.

The property is for sale through selling agent Gallagher Quigley for €2.5 million.