Georgian grace, modern finish and sweeping sea views in Dalkey for €7.25m

The Nerano Sailor peers from the gardens of this beautifully restored home on 1½ acres

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Address: Nerano House, Nerano Road, Dalkey, Co Dublin
Price: €7,250,000
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald

The beauty of a Georgian house, hidden away on 1½ acres overlooking the sea in Dalkey, is that "you wouldn't know it's there", says Sherry FitzGerald agent Rosie Mulvany. Many people may know the colourful 8ft statue of the "Nerano Sailor" that stands in Nerano's gardens – but it's not possible to see the house from the road or the lane next to them.

So buyers looking for privacy, along with panoramic sea views from the gardens and most rooms in the house, may be interested in the property, a detached 384sq m (4,133sq ft) four-bed that comes with a refurbished coach house and gate lodge. Nerano House, on Nerano Road, Dalkey, Co Dublin, is a protected structure built circa the 1830s. It has been extensively renovated and extended since its current owners bought it for €3.3 million in 2015: it is now for sale for more than twice the price, €7.25 million.

The property, on one of the largest sites in Dalkey, also has potential for development: the front garden falls sharply down to Coliemore Road, nearly opposite Dillon’s Park, and it’s possible that several houses could be built on the grounds without interfering with Nerano’s views.

It looks as if little money was spared in the revamp: conservation architects and interior designers guided the project, which included rewiring, replumbing and reroofing the house, restoring period joinery in windows and doors and completely revamping the back of the house.


The principal change is the addition, to the side, of a bright new high-ceilinged Hampton Conservatories open-plan orangery, dining room and kitchen, which runs from the front to the back of the house. Opening off the drawing room in the original part of the house, it has two long rooflights and floor-to-ceiling windows on two sides, with mostly uninterrupted views of the sea. A wide arch to the rear opens into the Dalkey Design kitchen, which has a marble-topped island unit, countertops and splashback and a Lacanche Citeaux gas cooker. The whole area, floored with tiles, has underfloor heating. A door from the orangery opens to a patio at the side.

The original house – described as a “a plain house of the late Georgian type” by historian Peter Pearson – has a simple layout; most of the rooms upstairs and down are dual aspect, giving most of them sea views. On the right of the entrance hall – which has panelling and wide-plank, dark timber floors – are a study and a TV room and, on the left, a drawing room/dining room running from the front to the back of the house. The study and drawing room both have box bay windows; period features throughout include simple coving, sash windows and marble fireplaces.

Interior design is by Abington Design, whose fittings include built-in bookshelves in the TV room as well as fitted TV and storage units in the orangery. The decor overall is strong on a period look, with heavy drapes and period furniture, shown most strongly in the three double bedrooms on the top floor. But the main bedroom has a modern walk-in wardrobe and an en suite, with shower and toilet concealed behind a marble-topped sink unit. The claw-foot bath in the family bathroom is next to a tall window looking out to sea.

The revamp included building a corridor downstairs at the back of the house linking the kitchen to a courtyard outside; upstairs, a short corridor leads from the first return landing to a pretty children’s bedroom. It has fitted bunk beds, a play area and an en suite shower room. A door from here opens to a patio and a raised garden that slopes up steeply from the side of the house: this spot has the very best sea views.

Downstairs there are a toilet and a utility room off the corridor from the kitchen, which opens into a courtyard bordered by a very high stone wall. A steep spiral staircase on the other side of the yard leads up to guest accommodation – consisting of a living room, bathroom and bedroom – on the top floor of the revamped 87sq m (936sq ft) coach house. The downstairs of the coach house – not connected to the upstairs – is fitted out as a gym and playroom.

Beside the coach house is a large double garage, and at the entrance to the driveway, next to Nerano Road, is the revamped 34sq m (366sq ft) one-bed gate lodge.

The gardens are huge: the Nerano Sailor – erected by the McAnaspie family, who had an ornamental plaster business in Dublin when they built Nerano in the early 19th century – stands on a granite outcrop near the end of the driveway that leads from Nerano Road to the house. There are steps leading from the gravelled area at the front of the house down to the large, steep lawn.

There’s another large lawned area on the right of the front driveway: this is next to the lane that leads off Nerano Road, past Beacon Hill, and ends at gates to Mount Alverno, the very large modern neighbouring house currently for sale through Sherry FitzGerald for €6.9 million. The same agency is also selling Sorrento, on the other side of Nerano Road, for €7.2 million.

Frances O'Rourke

Frances O'Rourke

Frances O'Rourke, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about homes and property