Sea views to fall for at Stephenson’s Dalkey home seeking €4.85m

Reception rooms of five-bed house take in vista from Howth to Dalkey Island

  • Address: Bartra Cove Harbour Road Dalkey
  • Price: € 4,850,000
  • Agent: Sherry FitzGerald
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The late Helen Stephenson didn’t have far to move when she downsized from Bartra, the waterside period pile perched on the craggy shores of Dalkey coastline where she and her late husband Noel raised their five children.

Helen engaged her architect daughter Simone to build her a more manageable house on the grounds of Bartra in 1998. “She loved her homes and being a hostess, so this house is a bit of a culmination of all the things she liked from all her houses,” recalls Simone, who is the niece of the late celebrated architect Sam Stephenson.

The two main reception rooms were designed around Helen’s furniture, particularly the two fireplaces, a Bossi and an Adams which have been a feature in all Helen Stephenson’s houses since she married insurance mogul Noel Stephenson.

In addition the formal rooms were designed to perfectly accommodate Helen’s collection of Boulle furniture. Each reception room has remarkable views of the sea, taking in the vista all the way from Dollymount to Howth and Dalkey Island.

What is special about the house is the direct water access at the bottom of the garden as it tumbles down to the sea. In the brochure, Sherry FitzGerald – who are handling the sale – estimate that there are just 58 properties in Dublin with direct water access, And this is reflected in Bartra Cove’s €4.85m asking price.

Maritime vistas

The property has five bedrooms over the top two floors, with rooms to the front enjoying wonderful maritime vistas. An attractive feature is the two balconies off the top-floor bedrooms, which also make perfect suntraps for sunbathing, once the summer decides to show up.

Quite a lot of blue is used throughout the house, from the powder blue and Wedgewood exterior, to the electric blue of the Poggenpohl kitchen which houses a very large cobalt blue Aga, next to a seat where Helen always sat.

In addition, the conservatory, which is used as a further dining room, is so warm it would happily entertain tropical plants, along with the bank of white geranium and basil which are currently blooming.

The house is incredibly bright thanks to large picture windows, roof lights and the conservatory. One of the nicest features of the property is to sit in the little pergola near the water’s edge and enjoy a morning coffee while watching the sail boats go by in Dublin Bay.

Boulders of Dalkey granite act as a barrier between the sea and the garden and are where Helen’s daughter Nicole and her husband fish for pollack and mackerel in the summer months. Nicole is currently building a contemporary home on the site, while still leaving 0.5 of an acre for the gardens of Bartra Cove.

When the Stephensons sold their original home next door, Bartra, to Gavin O’Reilly and Alison Doody in the late 1990s, a covenant was placed in the deeds that a piece of land, essentially a green space between Bartra and Bartra Cove, could never be built upon, ensuring that the views here will always have a great expanse.

The five-bedroom property extends to 395sq m (4,251sq ft) and is in turn-key condition, but it will be the views that the next buyer will really fall for.