There is a surreal quality to Mandeville, on Torquay Road, Foxrock, that invites a visualisation of the lives and times it has seen since the 1860s.
Everything, from the leafy, rambling close-to-an-acre of gardens to the equally rambling ghostly rooms, marble fireplaces and hairily scowling decorative plaster heads, stirs the imagination. If houses could talk.
The property needs modernising and refurbishment, but features of Mandeville’s beginnings as a one-off, and surprisingly ornate, farmhouse are intact, notably in the gloriously florid plaster arches to be found over the front windows and door.
A deep bay window curving around the side of the house is part of a later addition, as are the stolidly flamboyant ground- and first-floor verandas with wooden rails.
Sherry FitzGerald is quoting €2.75 million for the house in what is a private-treaty executor’s sale. The property has four bedrooms and three reception rooms in a floor area of 194sq m (2,100sq ft), with one-time stables, a fuel shed and more in an enclosed yard to the rear.
The current owners, who bought Mandeville in 1956, have been avid gardeners as well as careful nurturers of the original features and style of the house. Mandeville is a protected structure, so new owners will be obliged to refurbish with regard to the building’s integrity.
The extensive lands – the site measures 3,640sq m/0.9acres – have development potential, however, subject to planning permission.
The drawingroom, part of an addition to the original house, has a delicately ornate Adams-style fireplace and the light and ambience offered by the deep sweep of bay window, complete with seating.
An arched window makes for atmosphere in the small diningroom and the 1950s kitchen has a clothes rail, Aga cooker and walk-in larder.
The main bedroom, on the first floor, mirrors the drawingroom beneath, surrounded as it is by a veranda, and is ensuite. Two more bedrooms are on this floor, while the fourth is off a first-floor return.
The gardens are coming to springtime life, with hydrangea, clematis and rose bushes, magnolia, apple and holly trees all bursting into bloom. There are high old trees everywhere, and Jerusalem artichokes in a designated kitchen garden.