Sleeping beauty on Ailesbury Road for a princely price

Grand Victorian semi comes with a valuable mews to the rear

  • Address: 15 Ailesbury Road, Donnybrook, Dublin 4
  • Price: € 5,900,000
  • Agent: Sherry FitzGerald
 

Houses on Ailesbury Road in Dublin’s embassy belt have seen many changes over the past few decades, with huge fluctuations in selling prices before and after the property boom and many undergoing massive renovations.

Now a large house that was home to one family for nearly 50 years is for sale and it’s likely that new owners will give it a major facelift. Potential buyers can view the property, for sale through Sherry FitzGerald, online in the current coronavirus crisis. 

Number 15 Ailesbury Road, Donnybrook, Dublin 4, a two-storey over garden level semi-detached house of 450sq m (4,844sq ft) with a 93sq m (1,000sq ft) mews house is for sale for €5.9 million. The mews, which is currently valued at around €1 million, is included in the asking price.

Built in 1875, number 15 was the family home of the late John Blake, a medical consultant who bought the house in the 1970s. The property had previously been the Nigerian embassy.

The five/six-bedroom house appears – from an online look at pictures of the property – to be in good, if dated, condition, with intact period details like the elaborate coving, cornicing, centre rose and original marble fireplaces in three main interconnecting reception rooms.

Hallway and staircase
Hallway and staircase
Reception room
Reception room
Kitchen
Kitchen

But new owners will almost certainly completely refurbish the house, a protected structure; that could cost at least another €1 million or more, according to agents handling sales on Ailesbury.

The three main interconnecting reception rooms, to the left of the front hall, are the grand feature of the house; sliding doors connect the drawingroom and diningroom at the front of the house, with more sliding doors opening into another large reception room overlooking the back garden and the playing fields of nearby St Michael’s College.

These rooms were their father’s consulting rooms when they were growing up in the house, explains one of the vendors, one of five children. 

The house holds many happy memories for the family. There was lots of space and it was a hub of many parties and gatherings, encouraged by their late mother, who was very hospitable, says one of the owners. 

Accommodation in the house consists of the three reception rooms, a two-storey extension at the end of the front hall, and a conservatory at the back of the house. There’s a relatively modern kitchen/breakfastroom and sittingroom at garden level and upstairs, five bedrooms, one en suite, and a bedroom at hall level with an en suite.

The two-bedroom mews house off the end of the back garden has separate access off a lane running behind houses at this end of Ailesbury Road. The 90ft-long back garden is mainly in lawn, bordered by mature bushes.

Agent Simon Ensor is upbeat about bringing a house like this to market in the middle of the economic uncertainty triggered by the coronavirus crisis, although he agrees it’s uncharted territory for such a sale.

The 90ft-long back garden is mainly in lawn, bordered by mature bushes.
The 90ft-long back garden is mainly in lawn, bordered by mature bushes.
Mews, 15 Ailesbury Road, Donnybrook, Dublin 4
Mews, 15 Ailesbury Road, Donnybrook, Dublin 4
Mews, 15 Ailesbury Road, Donnybrook, Dublin 4
Mews, 15 Ailesbury Road, Donnybrook, Dublin 4

There are, he says, only a limited number of buyers at the best of times for the grand houses on Ailesbury – but “there are one or two people for whom this will tick the right boxes and who will take a 10 or 15-year view that it will be worth it”.

Ailesbury Road has seen a lot of sales and major renovations over the past 15 to 20 years. Commercial property agent Pat Gunne bought 17 Ailesbury Road for €13 million at the height of the property boom in 2006.

Number 25 sold for €4 million in 2018. Number 9 Ailesbury Road, a house very similar in style to number 15, was extended and refurbished after being sold in 2012 for €2.5 million. It went on sale in June 2019 for €5.75 million (without a separate mews) through Lisney and is still on the market.