The Victorian houses on Longford Terrace were definitely built to impress. Lofty proportions, huge windows, imposing living spaces: no wonder the terrace was once described as "an aristocratic and commanding pile". Add some fine literary history to the mix in number 27, and you have the makings of a home to conjure with. Author Sebastian Barry – two time winner of the Costa Book award – grew up here, he mentions the house in A Christmas Tale, commissioned by An Post.
Writing an evocative and beautiful short story about his relationship with his great-aunt Annie Dunne, he says: "It was only when I got back to Ireland, when I was about nine . . . she in Longford Place and myself in Longford Terrace – we were neighbours, and I could go and see her as often as I liked . . ."
Barry's father, the architect Francis Barry owned the house, later selling it to the current owners, who have since used it as offices. They've kept it in good condition, and all the original features are intact, including a gorgeous arched window on the first floor return. Nevertheless, there is work still to be done to convert it back to a proper private residence; its legacy as offices means there's a small utilitarian kitchen, and an abundance of phone and power points.
The whole thing extends to 441sq m (4,746sq ft), and currently there’s a very nice two-bedroom apartment on the top floor. Two rooms on the first floor have been styled to give a sense of how lovely it could all be once the refurb is finished, but the huge bright basement area needs work – a wonderful family kitchen would sit well here.
Currently the basement and ground floor are zoned for commercial use, so there are options to operate a business from home. It’s a typical three-storey-over-basement house, with a sweet west-facing rear garden and a fantastic location. The Dart is right outside, the sea is visible from the drawing room, and Monkstown Crescent, with its shops, cafes and restaurants, is just behind.
Recent sales on Longford Terrace include next door, number 28, which sold, requiring work, in 2015 for €1.6 million, and more recently number 18 sold for €2.37 million. Beirne & Wise are handling the sale and seeking €1.75 million.