Life on the water's edge in Monkstown for €1.9 million

Number 9 Brighton Vale is a 4-bed Victorian villa with the water’s edge almost at its doorstep

  • Address: 9 Brighton Vale, Monkstown, Co Dublin
  • Price: € 1,900,000
  • Agent: Sherry FitzGerald
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  Back when the Dublin-Kingstown railway line opened in the 1800s, linking the city to its southern coastal towns and villages, an enterprising developer also built a set of holiday homes. The elegant Victorian terrace that runs along Brighton Vale from the Martello tower at the top is a row of large, bright villas, designed by architect John Skipton Mulvaney, who designed some of Dún Laoghaire’s yacht clubs.

The drawingroom at Number 9 Brighton Vale could be turned into another bedroom
The drawingroom at Number 9 Brighton Vale could be turned into another bedroom

At one time the inhabitants of Dublin’s Georgian squares would have taken the train out to spend days by the sea. The current occupants of No 9 are quite taken by beachfront living too. The particular trick of the way the railway line winds along the coast means that Brighton Vale is almost unique in having just a narrow road separating it from the water’s edge. “I can step across every morning in the summer and swim, then come home for a nice hot shower,” says the owner. “And when the children were small, we’d spend all day at the beach, whatever the weather.” That’s had its effect, and you can see surf boards and paddle boards leaning against walls ready for action again.

Out in the garden, there’s a little patio, perfectly positioned for reading the papers in the sunshine
Out in the garden, there’s a little patio, perfectly positioned for reading the papers in the sunshine

Rejigged

The house itself, which is for sale with Sherry FitzGerald for €1.9 million, has 214sq m (2,300sq ft) of living space, laid out over two floors. When the owners bought it, back in 1995, they rewired, replumbed, and rejigged – which included moving the kitchen upstairs, to avail of a wonderful front-to-back space, with a country-style kitchen at one end, and a gorgeous family room at the front, where you can gaze out at the changing tides.

 Double-fronted, an identical pair of rooms stand opposite, currently in use as a drawingroom and study, though a buyer might want to bring a bedroom back upstairs to facilitate waking up to the sight of the sea. The owners also built a sun room onto the back, so even though the sea is north-east, you still get a sun-soaked garden, with the Dart whispering (surprisingly quietly) by behind (it’s just 14 minutes by train to town).

The kitchen has been moved upstairs to avail of a wonderful front-to-back space
The kitchen has been moved upstairs to avail of a wonderful front-to-back space

Starck bath

Downstairs, the bedrooms are all quite large. Two are ensuite, and there’s also a utility room , and a very nice, recently redone family bathroom complete with Philippe Starck bath. Out in the garden, there’s a little patio, perfectly positioned for reading the papers in the sunshine. “We sit in the sunroom on winter days. When the sun is shining, it heats up and warms the house too,” the owner says.

 Another warming option is the Lohberger wood-burning stove in the kitchen, where the owner says the family spend a lot of their time – when they’re not out on the beach, or on the water itself.

The family room at the front, where you can gaze out at the changing tides
The family room at the front, where you can gaze out at the changing tides

“It’s been a great family home,” says the owner, whose children are now grown up. “The houses are flexible, and it’s so quiet. We have absolutely loved it.”