Foxrock classic with ample road frontage

Backing onto Foxrock Golf Club, Ardenza has been in the same family for 100 years

  • Address: Ardenza, Torquay Road, Foxrock, Dublin 18
  • Price: € 1,950,000
  • Agent: Lisney
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One of the many hilarious interludes on a recent episode of First Dates on RTÉ was when nurse Tara attempted to explain the concept of “road frontage” to the maitre d’, smooth Croatian Mateo. She had a date with Laois man Eoin, and so there was every possibility the subject just might come up on that all-important first meeting.

The term isn’t usually applied to Dublin suburban properties – unless there’s some obvious development potential – although Foxrock tends to be the exception. And for Ardenza, a detached Victorian on one of the suburb’s prime roads, Torquay Road, estate agent Lisney notes that the house on 0.7 acre has “36 metres of road frontage”.

In other areas that might suggest the only likely buyer will be one with plans for an infill site on the land but in this southside suburb there is a strong market for very large family houses set well back from the road with substantial gardens wrapping around the property.

Ardenza is one of six similar houses built in the 1880s when the suburb was coming into its own as an enclave for the growing professional class, within easy commute of the city on the new railway line. What’s unusual is that this is the first time in 100 years it has come on the market.

Ardenza, Torquay Road, Foxrock, Dublin 18
Ardenza, Torquay Road, Foxrock, Dublin 18

Protected structure

While Ardenza was extended several decades age – bringing it to 270sq m (2,895sq ft) – by the addition of a two-storey extension at the rear, new owners are likely to do a considerable amount of renovation including possibly extending again, all subject to planning permission as this is a protected structure.

It’s a handsome house with sash-windowed bays, and decorative timber roof trim and entrance porch. The layout of the main part of the house will probably remain much the same no matter what work is done – two nicely proportioned, dual-aspect reception rooms on either side of the wide hallway. Upstairs, over these rooms, are three bedrooms.

There are several rooms in the original return and the extension. The kitchen is in its original configuration of pantry, store and breakfast room and so new plans will probably concentrate on reconfiguring this area as well as the other rooms at the rear.

The garden, which wraps around the house, is substantial, bordered by granite walls, hedging and mature trees. It backs on to Foxrock golf club.

The nearest comparison to Ardenza is next door. Glenshee sold in 2015 for €2.05 million (just over its asking price). It, incidentally has road frontage of 34m – which its new owners used to create a fine landscaped front garden, a driveway and parking as well as a modern kitchen to the side. Unless new owners seek to develop the rear garden, something similar will probably happen at Ardenza, which is asking €1.95million.