Vastly extended Dublin hunting lodge with pool, gym and its own lift for €3m

Ballinascorney House comprises a restored original house and enormous added wing

  • Address: Ballinascorney House Ballinascorney Co Dublin
  • Price: € 3,000,000
  • Agent: McPeake Auctioneers
 

Set in a sleepy hollow in the Dublin mountains, Ballinascorney House sits on 65 acres of old woodlands, accessed via a winding country lane flanked by walls of mature rhododendron.

The grounds are simply magical with wild deer dotted along the banks of the river which runs through the property. It feels miles from anywhere yet is just a 10-minute spin to the M50.

Known as Dillon Lodge when it was constructed in 1800 as a hunting lodge for the Dillon family of Belgard Castle, its most famous resident was Robert Emmet, who hid out here during his failed rebellion attempt in 1803.

At that time Ballinascorney was occupied by Rose Bagnall, who hid Emmet for an evening while he and his compatriots were on the run. It was here that a man named Doyle, later known as “the Stag” – who worked near the lodge – informed on Emmet.

He was later captured in Harold’s Cross and was hanged, drawn and quartered for high treason. While his severed head was taken to Kilmainham Gaol, the blood from his execution outside St Catherine’s Church on Thomas Street was lapped up by dogs on the street on September 20th, 1803, and Emmet was elevated to the republican pantheon.

Fire

The Georgian property was destroyed by a fire in 1987, and the ruin on 65 acres was purchased at auction in 2006 for a sum reported at the time to be €3.3 million, well over the opening guide price of €1.3 million.

As the old house is a protected structure, its renovation safeguarded the original external features, while a colossal modern addition was constructed to the side, now connected to the original via a glass corridor.

Designed by FitzGerald and Associates, it has quite a cryptic layout, as three sets of stairs – between the old and new structures – lead off to different bedroom areas. There are seven bedrooms in total along with 11 bathrooms.

The result leaves a lot of corridor space, while an expanse of marble flooring in the main foyer lends an almost commercial feel. What adds to this is that in the entire 700sq m (7,535sq ft) of this huge property, there are only two pictures hanging on the walls. It is screaming out for soft furnishings to soften it all down.

Three kitchens

That said, what is on offer is an extraordinarily large house, with three kitchens: one in the old part of the property which can work as a completely separate unit; one in the main house and a small kitchenette in a room upstairs called the art room.

A billiards room on the upper floor could also work as a further bedroom suite in the new build – where there are currently two main suites.

The basement of the limestone-clad extension houses a pool overlooked by a gymnasium, and is accessed by a lift.

Full-height windows throughout bring in the lovely panoramic views of the surrounding woodlands as well as an abundance of light, and many of the rooms have doors opening out to the gardens.

Of interest are the old stables in the rear courtyard, which have been salvaged, insulated and plumbed, and these, along with some outbuildings, have a plethora of potential uses should prospective buyers consider the property for a small hotel or private venue.

The grounds really make Ballinascorney a delight, and a lot of money has been spent on the upgrading of the original property, which is on the market through McPeake Auctioneers seeking €3 million.