The Earl of Howth’s Sutton pad for €1.5m

While the Earl of Howth renovated Howth Castle in 1840 he had two houses built down the hill in Sutton. One of them, for sale at €1.5m, has been given a boom-time renovation

Around 1840 when the Earl of Howth commissioned two houses on what is now Station Road, Sutton, he also had the builders in at his rambling Howth Castle. Though that wasn't unusual, several architects, including Richard Morrison, James Pain and Francis Bindon, did work on the castle in the early 1800s.

Morrison added Gothic touches to the castle, including the impressive gateway and the stables, and so maybe he was involved in the design of the striking looking semi-detached houses in nearby Sutton.

What the Earl of Howth wanted with the pair of (relatively) modest houses is also not clear.

Although, given their highly decorative details, which includes fine fireplaces and plasterwork, and the design, which incorporates an elaborate staircase as well as large well-proportioned rooms, suggest that these were not for servants, and were perhaps intended for impoverished distant relatives or visitors. One of them St Lawrence’s Lodge, Station Road, with 313sq m (3,369sq ft)is now for sale, for €1.5 million through auctioneer JB Kelly.

Tigerish refurbishment

The house has changed hands twice in the past 10 years. The first time when it went to auction in 2004 and was withdrawn at €1.8 million. It sold later for a higher undisclosed price and was bought by local developer Denis Finn who built two large houses in its side garden, sold them and then sold on the main house to its current owner.

At the time, the five-bedroom house was in need of renovation and this was completed in spectacular style turning the house into a comfortable family home with all the Tigerish elements popular in high-end renovations in the noughties – ranging from the French limestone floor in the kitchen and rain sensor motorised rooflights in the extension to the Cat5 cabling throughout and the Philippe Starck fittings in the bathrooms.

As well as extending, they carried out a sympathetic restoration, bringing back the floorboards, the sash windows and shutters to top condition.

The layout of St Lawrence’s Lodge is unusual for a Victorian house and indicate this was a house originally built for someone with several servants. There is a small internal porch which opens into an inner hall with curved staircase. Off the hall, to the front, is a grand drawing room.

Well designed

Another room off the hall would have been a back parlour and this is now a play room that opens directly, down a couple of limestone steps, into the impressive, large and bright kitchen extension. It’s a really well designed space. There is a marble-topped, custom-built kitchen on one side, complete with Aga and a large island unit and an open-plan space that includes a dining area, living area with a wood-burning stove and separate utility room fitted with Miele appliances. There is underfloor heating beneath the limestone floor tiles throughout the new extension and this extends out on to the patio.

Unusual layout

The house is two storey to the front with a three-storey return. The unusual layout of the bedrooms may limit the pool of potential buyers to smaller families. There is a stunning main bedroom, to the front, over the drawing room and mirroring its scale and design with its large fireplace and attractive plasterwork. The owners gave it a vast ensuite, tiled in black marble with a free-standing bath and walk-in rain shower.

The other bedrooms are on two levels in the return with two bedrooms and a very smart shared ensuite on each level.

An arrangement whereby you have to walk through one bedroom to get to another will not suit everyone.

The back garden is small relative to the size of the house but its nicely landscaped. There is parking to the front for a couple of cars.

Read More