Gothic Revival mansion: Dublin’s latest ‘most expensive home’
Asking €10.5m, Inniscorrig is one of the most striking properties in south Dublin
A castellated mansion in Dalkey, Co Dublin is on sale with an asking price of €10.5 million. Inniscorrig now takes up the mantle of “Dublin’s most expensive home” after 1 Sorrento Terrace nearby sold in recent weeks to a US buyer for €10 million.
The Victorian property is a local landmark as it was built in 1847 on Coliemore Road to a very unique and romantic Gothic Revival style. Unusually for the period Inniscorrig takes full advantage of its spectacular coastal setting looking west across the bay to Howth, Dalkey Island and The Muglins. It also embraces its marine location with a fully operational harbour.
It was originally built as a summer bolthole for prominent Dublin physician Sir Dominic Corrigan. He clearly had ambitious social leanings, as Inniscorrig played host to King Edward VII and King George V of England. A crown and star set in pebbles on either side of the front door commemorate the visits, while the spot above the front door features a granite bust of the host himself.
Inniscorrig has had a series of owners since Corrigan, including some high-flying financiers of their day. William Harvey du Cros, who lived there in the early 20th century and carried out many structural improvements, was a co-founder of the Dunlop tyre company. In the 1970s businessman Dermot Smurfit lived there with his wife Caroline and their children, including actor Victoria Smurfit.
In 2000 the castle was withdrawn from auction but was believed to have sold afterwards for about £4.5 million; three years later it was resold for a sum of around €5 million. Now it’s for sale for €10.5million through joint agents Thom Burke Kennedy of BK Earley and David Ashmore of Sherry FitzGerald through the Christie’s International brand.
Imposing designThe solid granite structure makes it one of the most striking and authentic castellated properties in the Dalkey/Killiney area, but such an imposing design style doesn’t always make for a comfortable home. Dark panelled walls, heavy carved wooded staircases and narrow arrowhead windows don’t sit so well with modern demands for contemporary light-filled designs.
To this end current owner Linda Ryan has succeeded in transforming the 536sq m/ 5,773sq ft property into a beautiful and very livable family home, while retaining and celebrating the original features.
The dark timber panelling of the hall, study and corridors has been dispatched with a heavy coating of warm white paint. In fact the entire interior is bathed in creamy hues that bounce all of the light from the easterly sea-facing side through the property. Ryan has maximised the coastal setting with most rooms in the three-storey house overlooking the harbour terrace and swimming area below.
A timber deck terrace with glazed wall spans the sea-facing side of the house at ground level; there is access to it through two sets of raised French windows in the large double drawingroom. Matching original marble fireplaces and impeccable – but restrained – plasterwork play supporting roles only to the showstopping sea views.
The front door with its original leaded glass fanlight and side windows opens to the bright reception hall, which features a pair of very striking cast-iron corner radiators. It leads to the drawingroom, study and inner stair hall where the carved mahogany original staircase is lit by four Gothic windows.
ConservatoryOff the stair hall Ryan has broken through the original dining room to the walnut Dalkey Design kitchen, and a most impressive Hampton conservatory with bright, limed oak floors and double French windows leading to the exterior timber walkway.
Upstairs there are four bedrooms including a vast master suite with dual-aspect bedroom, a cleverly configured dressingroom and a bathroom with a spectacularly appointed bath taking in those glorious sea views.
A fifth bedroom occupies the turret above and leads up to a sheltered roof terrace with impressive 360 degree views of the surrounding area.
At lower ground level there are a family room, home office, bathroom and a handy wet room/plant room off double doors leading straight out to the lower terrace and harbour. This floor could work well as separate staff/family accommodation. Of course there’s also a separate granite one bed lodge inside the entrance gates.
The Italianate gardens make the most of the 0.75 acre site, and Gothic arches flanking the house double as sheltered suntraps to capture all day sun.
The vast timber-decked harbour terrace is protected from westerly winds and would make a great summer entertaining space. A boathouse alongside could provide basic catering/bar facilities.
Comparisons may be odious, but who can resist? Inniscorrig is no Sorrento House, which presented in showhouse condition as it was only occasionally lived in. Every room in Sorrento is also flooded with light, as it benefits from a total south- and east-facing orientation.
Inniscorrig, however, is a unique gem that has been very cleverly re-imagined as a functioning family home. It is easy to envisage a (fabulously wealthy) family moving in and enjoying this idyllic maritime setting.