One of Sandymount’s finest, updated with care, for €1.95 million
Four-bedroom family home comes with a self-contained one-bedroom apartment
The terrace of 10 houses facing the Star of the Sea Church in Sandymount was built in the early 1860s. The developer, William Leahy, gave the terrace its name and he built number 1 for himself, so, not surprisingly, it’s the finest of them all. It’s also the biggest, with a side entrance hall and a two-storey addition to the side. Originally, it would have had an extensive orchard to the side and rear.
Over time, the house came into the ownership of the church, and for decades was the parish priest’s residence. But in 2002 a pragmatic decision was taken to sell up. Funds were needed for a new church roof and the house needed expensive modernising, so selling it off made sense.
The buyer, conservation architect Goretti Foreau and her family, saw the potential, not least because while the two-storey-over-garden-level house clearly needed major updating, many of its original features were intact.
The work to bring the 316sq m (3,400sq ft) house up to date took almost two years, with the garden level – a warren of rooms used by the parish for meetings and classes – the last to be transformed. It’s now a four-bedroom family house, renovated with great care, which comes with a self-contained one-bedroom apartment to the side. It’s for sale through Sherry FitzGerald for €1.95 million.
The original layout is slightly unusual for a Victorian house. Leahy clearly didn’t like the idea of being able to see the staircase as soon as you walked in the front door, so, in the hall, one door opens into the beautifully proportioned front room with its two tall sash windows and period fireplace, which in turn opens into the rear reception room to make a terrific light-filled space.
Another door opens into an inner hall where the staircase is located. Also at this level are two more rooms at the rear and side of the house, which have been knocked through to make a large family-friendly eat-in kitchen. The painted timber units are topped with a granite worktop. A half barn door gives access to a timber terrace and on down to the rear garden.
These grand houses have more living spaces than bedrooms, and when the current owner bought this, there were just two bedrooms upstairs. Foreau divided into two the one at the front, which runs the width of the house, so the main bedroom, with its en suite wet room, is at the back. There’s also a bright, well-designed family bathroom.
Downstairs at garden level, the largest room is to the front – French windows open on to the front garden – and is used as a bedroom. There’s a bathroom nearby and a kitchen used by the owners when entertaining in the back garden.
The one-bedroom apartment is to the side, separate from the main house, although access into it could easily be constructed from the hallway at garden level.
There is off-street parking to the front for a couple of cars.