Gothic gem with magical gardens on Howth terrace for €1.2m

11 Nashville Park offers a Victorian house by the sea with 220sq m of space

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Address: 11 Nashville Park Howth Co Dublin
Price: €1,200,000
Agent: DNG
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In an 1893 essay entitled Village Ghosts, WB Yeats, a believer in the supernatural, gave a meticulous account of the ghosts of Howth.

Of Hospital Lane (now Cowbooter Lane), he said “there is a faeries path, whereon a great colony of otherworld creatures travel nightly from the hill to the sea”.

Yeats had lived here in the late 1880s just as Nashville Park – which connects to Cowbooter Lane – was constructed.

If there was ever a location for Yeats’s fairies to reside, it would be in the 0.3 acres of overgrown walled gardens that accompany 11 Nashville Park, with its hidden sunken pond, and meandering pathways through the towering Echium.

The gardens lie opposite the terrace of houses constructed at the same time Yeats penned his short story.

For some reason these magical gardens are in the ownership of Number 11 and are indeed the selling point, and what distinguishes the property from its neighbours along the Victorian Gothic row.

Gated community

The terrace perched high above the village and harbour in Howth was an old-style gated community until the 1970s, and was originally constructed for military men by Scottish builder Robert Nash, alongside the standalone house of the same style – St Elmo.

The house itself, which extends to 220sq m (2,368sq ft), has been in the same family for the past few decades.

Though in need of upgrading, beneath its floral carpets and wallpaper, the bones of a wonderful Victorian house lie.

A drawing and dining room flank each side of the hallway, both of which have original fireplaces. Ceilings which soar to 13ft are quite smothered by the colour scheme and patterns from the 1970s, and this is also the case for the two bedrooms on the upper floor, as a simpler colour palette would allow these details to shine in their own right.

What are the most remarkable rooms in the house are the three bedrooms on the upper floor.

Island views

Though the vistas from the reception rooms at hall level are impressive, the birds-eye views from the top floor are superb and take in Ireland’s Eye and Lambay Island as well as the fishing and pleasure boats mulling in and out of the harbour.

Indeed one of these rooms could be used as an additional reception room for cosy winter evenings, and the property would still retain four bedrooms.

Two more bedrooms lie on the return adjacent to the family bathroom. Again ceiling heights are high, and their shape adds much interest to these good sized-rooms.

While the kitchen needs upgrading, new owners may well want to amalgamate it with an adjacent small living room and conservatory to give a very spacious open-plan kitchen and living area.

A good architect will transform the house into a more contemporary-style house for modern living, but it is the magical gardens across the road that make 11 Nashville Park truly special. The property is seeking €1.2 million through DNG.

Elizabeth Birdthistle

Elizabeth Birdthistle

Elizabeth Birdthistle, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about property, fine arts, antiques and collectables