Foxrock house on the market for the first time in 50 years

Verona on Kerrymount Avenue is for sale asking €2.5m

  • Address: Verona, Kerrymount Avenue Foxrock Dublin 18
  • Price: € 2,500,000
  • Agent: Lisney
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Foxrock’s residential cachet is no accident. The south Dublin suburb was custom designed to attract prestige and wealth, a dream child of the brothers Bentley and Fox who began developing their “affluent garden suburb” in 1859.

Advertising “beautiful building sites for mansions and pretty villas” in The Irish Times, they promised “magnificent” scenery, “undulating land” and, of course, access to the newly opened railway station.

But the developer brothers did not live to see their dream of a wealthy suburb become fact: sales were initially slow and they became bankrupt. Foxrock didn’t really take off until the early 20th century when golf, the motor car and a fashion for country living became popular. The great, the good and the wealthy have been making their way to Foxrock since, creating homes and gardens behind its leafy lanes and hedgerows.

Some Foxrock roads are leafier and more appreciated than others. Kerrymount Avenue is one such, its homes discreetly set back from the road where the trees are high and secluding. Apart from the sale of Sanabria late last year for €4 million, houses rarely come for sale on this thoroughfare; the last to sell was Innisfallen in 2010 for €2.25 million. Before that, in 2008, Charton – a 1960s house on three quarters of an acre – sold for around €4 million.

This week sees the arrival of two Kerrymount Avenue houses to the market.

Heather Lodge and Verona have much in common but are also uniquely different. Both are large and graceful and were built in the 1890s. Both are surrounded by well-tended gardens and both are on the market for the first time in 50 years. Heather Lodge sold for £9,250 in 1967. Verona, on a much larger site (a portion was sold off many years ago), was purchased for £15,000 in 1968. Neither house is a protected structure.

Orpen-style

The three-storeyed Verona is on the southern side of Kerrymount Avenue and the closest of the two to Foxrock Village. Built in Orpen-style with a two-storey bay-window front, there is light, height, space and a great deal of accessibility in its 276sq m (2,965sq ft). The gardens and grounds cover 0.45 of an acre. Lisney is looking after the executor sale and quoting €2.5 million.

 Much used for entertaining, Verona’s design and origins were appreciated by an owner who changed little and retained original features throughout. A front-facing veranda gives an immediate feel of its time, as do panelled doors, 3.2m high ceilings, fireplaces in most rooms and a wide staircase. Verona has five bedrooms (plus two small staff bedrooms over the kitchen), three reception rooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, breakfastroom and sundry small rooms to the rear.

Verona, Kerrymount Avenue,  Foxrock
Verona, Kerrymount Avenue,  Foxrock

This rear area definitely needs work; a new owner will most likely redesign and rebuild. A lofted coach house to the side could convert to a garage.

Verona, Kerrymount Avenue,  Foxrock
Verona, Kerrymount Avenue,  Foxrock

The formal diningroom is particularly elegant, with sash windows and a feature mahogany fireplace with inset tiles and display shelf. The front facing drawingroom has an even more elaborate fireplace in mahogany with shelving, display niches and small glass cabinet. There are cast-iron fireplaces in most bedrooms and a bathroom with an old skylight on the third level.

Verona, Kerrymount Avenue,  Foxrock
Verona, Kerrymount Avenue,  Foxrock

To the side of the rear lawned garden a large and lovely Mimosa tree is coming into bloom. Elsewhere there are rhododendrons, cordyline, camellia and laurels. The agent is of the view that there is no development potential on the Verona site and that it will be bought as a family home.