When it comes to original period features, Brookvale has them all. This is an elegant detached house on three floors with bay timber frame windows, thick walls, shutters, a nice curve as the staircase turns, open fires with marble surrounds, hardwood floors, panelling and plasterwork. But there’s something else here too, something priceless. Brookvale has a lovely atmosphere.
“It had been a priest’s house when we bought it,” the owner says, showing me a room that had housed pews and an altar, but is now a cosy sittingroom with cream coloured walls, a soft thick carpet and a deeply recessed window looking out to the blossom trees and lawns.
We go upstairs to discover a wide, glassed-in gallery, where a pair of deeply comfortable armchairs are drawn up to a table.
“This is what sold it to me when we first came to see the house,” says the owner. The view is across the back garden, where a small putting green is surrounded by more lawn, and high walls and mature planting protect you from the outside world. “I’ve had more than my share of use out of it too,” she says, recalling evenings sitting sipping gin and tonics, while the children played downstairs and out in the garden.
Before Brookvale housed priests, it was a family home. Local history puts it on the old coach road, and records show that it was originally known as the Brewery House, implying it was once part of the large brewery in this area. The property is actually two houses, connected by an inner hall downstairs and the gallery on the first floor, one being the classic Georgian house, and the other perhaps a large barn conversion, at one point back in time.
The current owners bought the house in 1968, and completely revamped it, putting in central heating, restoring the wooden floors and, in the intervening years, extending the kitchen, adding a family/playroom and luxurious en suites.
Now at 416sq m (4,484sq ft) there’s lots of space for a growing family. At the top level are two large bedrooms, both with en suites and study areas, perfect for teenagers and students at home. The three bedrooms on the first floor are spacious and two have dual aspect with lovely light. Two have dressing rooms and are also en suite. Downstairs there’s a study, drawingroom, diningroom, livingroom and familyroom, and a kitchen/breakfastroom, as well as a utility room and a boot room. The garden is large but, the owner says, “deceptively low maintenance”.
"We've spent our lives here," she says, "our children were born and grew up here. Selling will be a great wrench. But we want to move while we can do it with enthusiasm."
Warm and charming
Inside the house, it's calm and quiet, "functional and comfortable," the owner says, although that feels like a cold way of describing such a warm and charming house.
The tall garden walls screen off the main Dublin road, and though proximity might seem like a disadvantage, the owners look at it differently. She says older offspring can be independent here, “the 46A is like a private bus service.”
The Luas is a 10-minute walk away, there is a range of schools and shops in Stillorgan and Blackrock, and Foxrock village is close by.
“It’s also right beside Belfield, where our children went to college.”
Brookfield is for sale by private treaty with Ganly Walters asking €2.85 million.
If walls could speak, the walls of Brookfield would speak of family dinners, quiet evenings and big celebrations, children growing up, generations of lives lived.
Leaving will be difficult, says the owner, but it’s time for the next generation to make it their own.