Tayto founder’s elegant former Glenageary home with swimming pool for €4.25m

Six-bedroom Co Dublin house has seamless additions and lots of space for garden parties

  • Address: Annacreevy Adelaide Road Glenageary Co Dublin
  • Price: € 4,250,000
  • Agent: Sherry FitzGerald
 

It is difficult, without succumbing to too many superlatives, to describe Annacreevy, an elegant period home on Adelaide Road in Glenageary, Co Dublin. In many ways – if budget allows – it is the perfect family home. Set in delightful gardens, with plenty of room for staff, guests and entertaining on a large scale, it also has something that most children on the island would give their eye teeth for – an outdoor heated swimming pool.

 The main house has six bedrooms set in two wings – each with remarkable staircases – and the property has changed and grown along with the families who have lived here over the past 100 years.

A previous owner, the late entrepreneur Joe “Spud” Murphy, who established our national snack, Tayto crisps, added a sun room along the length of the property when he and his family lived here. It sits off the formal elegant reception rooms to the front, and has a rather unique bar at one end. In his book Clearing the Hurdles, Joe McGowan, of builders Brennan and McGowan – who were at one stage the biggest housebuilders in Dublin – recounts being invited to Christmas parties here, describing it as a “magnificent property” and “without doubt the hottest invite during the Christmas and New Year celebrations”.

The bar at the end of the sunroom
The bar at the end of the sunroom
Reception room opening into sunroom
Reception room opening into sunroom

The current owners also celebrated here, holding a drinks reception for a family wedding, followed by dinner and dancing in a marquee in the garden. Above this lovely sun room lies a veranda accessed from the two principal bedroom suites upstairs.

A further extension – undertaken by the current owners – added more bedrooms, which gives six in total in the main house. This was executed in such a seamless fashion it is difficult to tell where the old property ends and the new part begins. Architraves around the windows and doors are a perfect match, as are the decorative motifs on the soffit that surrounds the 568sq m (6,113 sq ft) main residence. The sourcing of an antique portico to sit at this secondary entrance is an indication of the thought that went into the design, in which the owners were heavily involved.

Reception room
Reception room
Gate lodge
Gate lodge

About 20 years ago they constructed a gate lodge and coach house on the grounds. Situated at the entrance to the meandering gravelled driveway is a one bedroom, 41sq m (441sq ft), gate lodge which would work for a member of staff, an au pair or as an office.

Adjacent to the main residence is a superb cut-stone coach house of 98sq m (1,055sq ft), which like the extension, is so sympathetic in its design you’d swear it was there forever. At garden level lies a huge games room, with a one bedroom self-contained apartment upstairs.

Coach house
Coach house
The gardens cover 0.7 of an acre
The gardens cover 0.7 of an acre

The gardens now measure 0.7 of an acre, somewhat reduced from their original size, as the owners have built their new home in what is now next door – and where a tennis court used to stand. It has all been very well planned, as tall hedging forms the boundary for privacy between the two properties.

Like the house, the gardens are quite remarkable, with specimen trees and swathes of colour from blue agapanthus until late summer followed by fiery tones from Acer palmatum in autumn. Designed and maintained by landscaper Philip Brightling, his formal training at the National Botanic Gardens is evident in their immaculate layout and year-round colour.

Sometimes swimming pools can look completely out of place and quite austere in Irish gardens, but here it is reminiscent of an Italianate manor setting, with warm coloured paving, a quaint pool house and lots of mature planting. For children, the swimming pool will be the real selling point. Installed by previous residents, the owner says they didn’t intend to keep it, but when her children saw it for the first time they had no other option. Instead it was upgraded with the addition of a safety cover, which also helps retain the heat, and is remotely controlled from a button in the kitchen.

For those who prefer to bathe in saltwater, the rocky outcrop of the Forty Foot, below the Martello tower where the opening chapter of Ulysses is set, lies just down the road. But considering Joyce described the waters here as “the scrotumtightening sea”, new owners may well be glad of their heated alternative.

In the past few years Glenageary has produced some of the capital’s highest price sales results. Last year a neighbouring property, Rathmore, achieved €6.5 million and this year it emerged that Fareham on nearby Silchester Road had sold for €4.8 million. Both sales were handled off-market by Michael Grehan of Sherry FitzGerald, who has launched Annacreevy to the market, seeking €4.25m.