Prominent Ailesbury Road home on a pivotal south Dublin site for €3.25m
Deep pockets needed for any potential renovations of Victorian building 0.3 acre plot
- Address: Rockville House, 1A Ailesbury Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
- Price: € 3,250,000
- Agent: Sherry FitzGerald
Number 1A Rockville is a prominent Victorian property on an unusual triangular site where the shorter, Sandymount side of Ailesbury Road intersects with Sydney Parade Avenue.
Turreted to one side and with generous frontage, the stately redbrick dwarfs its neighbours along this stretch.
When built it stood on substantial grounds, but that was before the march of commerce and progress.
The original grounds were hived off in the 1990s when developer Paddy Kelly, purchased Rockville and substantially developed new homes at the rear of the property.
He then sold the main house to the late Naomi Kidney who moved here when downsizing nearly 40 years ago.
Mrs Kidney’s down trading requirements were quite different from the norm given that she was mother to 12 children (a good portion of whom were grown, but were still coming and going) and she was moving on from arguably one of the best houses on neighbouring Shrewsbury Road, Fintragh.
Mrs Kidney and her late husband Dr Bill had lived there in the mid 1960s, and were a prominent family on the road, not least for being the first to have a heated swimming pool.
Fintragh sold most recently (by a later owner) for €8.45 million.
Mrs Kidney lived for many happy years at Rockville until her death last year. Her daughter Barbara says it was a great house for entertaining where countless family occasions and bridge parties were hosted.
There is a lovely feel to the 300 sq m (3,228 sq ft) property from the moment you walk in the front door, which is unusually located to the side.
Off the bright entrance hall to the right is what has to be one of the grandest guest toilets in Dublin.
Occupying the ground floor of the turret with tiled floor and dual aspect sash windows, it’s possible this may have been the original entrance to the property.
Also at ground floor is a bright bay windowed study and across the hall is another discrete living room with bright windows on to the front and a feature marble fireplace.
The interconnecting drawing/dining room is located to the rear of the house, and it’s a lovely bright space with no less than five tall sash windows – including a bay – throwing light into the nicely proportioned rooms.
From here there is access via French windows to the large conservatory and double doors lead down to the kitchen.
Along with a top to bottom upgrade it is in this part of the house that prospective buyers will particularly want to turn their attention.
The kitchen is disproportionately small for a property of this size, but the vast conservatory offers lots of scope for conversion to a bright kitchen living area more in keeping with contemporary family needs.
The aspect takes in a nice south westerly sweep, though the outside space is bounded quite tightly here by a small patio and the rear wall of the property.
The option may well be to open the kitchen out to the side of the property, where there is currently a lawn and large timber shed.
Upstairs are five bright, generously proportioned bedrooms, with a small but charming sixth bedroom located on the top floor of the turret.
This could make a lovely sunny study or studio.
Again there is scope to reconfigure the bedrooms, two on one side of the house could be broken through to make a large and private bedroom suite.
From the main bedroom and turret room there are clear views of the not infrequent comings and goings of both traffic and pedestrians along busy Ailesbury Road and Sydney Parade Avenue.
St Michael’s secondary school is less than a three minute walk, while Sydney Parade Dart station and its barrier are in clear view of the house.
Sherry FitzGerald selling agent Simon Ensor, who is seeking €3.25million for Rockville, believes better use could be made of the property on 0.3 of an acre by adjusting its orientation.
A pedestrian gate on to Sydney Parade Avenue could become the main entrance, leaving ample room to the front (currently the side) for cars.
Strategic planting and screening around the front boundary would allow for greater privacy and open up use of the sizeable garden.
Clearly Rockville’s next owner will need deep pockets to fund a substantial refurbishment, but done well they are likely to be rewarded with a very fine family home.