Refurbished Howth home with a dark past back on market for €2m

Tansy Lodge has been transformed since it was Rowan Hill, the former Howth home of Celine Cawley and husband Eamonn Lillis, convicted of her manslaughter in 2010

  • Address: Tansy Lodge Windgate Road Howth Co Dublin
  • Price: € 2,000,000
  • Agent: Lisney
This article is over 1 year old

Set on an acre of mature gardens, Tansy Lodge on Windgate Road in Howth is quite a remarkable conversion of an older property which was completely overhauled and extended in 2013.

The original house, formerly named Rowan Hill, sold in 2012 for €850,000, a considerably discounted sum for a property on an acre in this area, even when the recession is factored in. The house had achieved notoriety as the home of businesswoman Celine Cawley and husband Eamonn Lillis – he subsequently served over five years in jail having been found guilty of her manslaughter at the house. Lillis was then involved in an acrimonious legal dispute with his late wife’s family following the sale of the family home.

Today the house is almost unrecognisable from the property that rose to prominence in 2008. Under the guidance of architect Dermot Nolan, the property was extended to add three further reception rooms; a living room, television room and family room which now provides 306sq m (3,300 ft) of accommodation over two floors.

The entrance hall was also extended with the addition of generous storage, while the inclusion of new roof lights, porthole windows and vaulted ceilings throughout adds much light to the property which has sea views of Dublin Bay.

The interiors were reconfigured to such an extent that the property feels brand new, despite being completed six years ago. The current owner is now downsizing due to an empty nest.

Attention to detail here is remarkable and the décor is simply stunning, making Tansy Lodge probably one of the nicest properties on the market in the popular Howth area. The fit-out of the utility and pantry alone gives an indication to the level of thought and detail that went into every element of the interior design.

Tansy Lodge Windgate Road Howth Co Dublin
Tansy Lodge Windgate Road Howth Co Dublin

The property has four bedrooms, all of which are good-sized doubles but it is the principal bedroom – and its proportions – that really stands out. Accessed through large patio doors it is the only room on the upper floor – set in a cedar-clad wing, extending to 30sq m (323sq ft) and has a 21 sq m (226sq ft) cedar sun terrace with sea views.

Tansy Lodge Windgate Road Howth Co Dublin
Tansy Lodge Windgate Road Howth Co Dublin

On the ground floor a spacious family room with a curved bay window and an open fire flows out onto a wraparound travertine terrace. To the rear of the kitchen is the television room, which is dual aspect and warmed by a stove.

 A further reception room with vaulted ceilings sits off the dining area in the kitchen, and is currently used by the owner for pre-dinner drinks. A fourth and formal reception room sits off the main hallway, this too has access to the gardens through French windows.

Aerial view of Tansy Lodge.
Aerial view of Tansy Lodge.

The gardens are quite magical and benefit from a mixture of older trees and new plantings and also include a stable and paddock.

Howth sales

Recent sales at the upper end of the market in Howth have been Hilltop House on Windgate Road, a 446sq m (5,000 sq ft) property on 3.3 acres which sold for €2.1 million this year, and Cobblers Bank in Baily, a 475sq m (5,000sq ft) house on 1.3 acres which sold for €2.9 million in 2017.

Tansy Lodge Windgate Road Howth Co Dublin
Tansy Lodge Windgate Road Howth Co Dublin

There are quite a number of properties currently for sale in this price bracket in the area: Bayview, developer Gerry Gannon’s family home which extends to 824sq m (8,867sq ft) on 1.25 acres and in need of updating, is seeking €2.95 million. Quichon, on Ceanchor Road, 460sq m (4,950sq ft) on 1.5 acres is asking €4.5 million, and Silver Springs on Kitestown Road at 375sqm (4,036sq ft) is seeking €1.975million. Glenview on 1.2 acres and extending to 300sq m (3,229sq ft) and in need of upgrading is seeking €2.75 million, and Brackenhurst on Cowbooter Lane, 225sq m (2,422sq ft) on 8 acres in need of refurbishment, is on the market for €3 million, and finally Pine Lodge at 687sq m (7,395sq ft) on 1.78 acres, parts of which would benefit from upgrading, is on the market for €2.985 million.

Tansy Lodge at 306sq m (3,300sq ft) on an acre of gardens is in pristine condition and for sale through agent Lisney with an asking price of €2 million.