Priced out of Killiney? Consider Shankill

The once rural south Dublin village now features low-density housing and apartments

Corbawn estate in Shankill. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Corbawn estate in Shankill. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons


Located in a pocket of land to the east of the junction of the M11 and the M50, Shankill is a small parcel of south County Dublin that lies between Killiney and Bray but has its own village centre and access to the city centre via Dart and mainline rail.

The town has a history of settlement as far back as the 13th century, with a number of notable fortified buildings – Shanganagh Castle and Shankill House among them – built as the town grew in size between 1400 and 1600.

By the 19th century Shankill began to be developed as a commuter town for Dublin, by Sir Charles Compton William Domvile, with plans for large-scale development. Domvile’s bankruptcy prevented these plans from coming to complete fruition.

At the turn of the 20th-century Shankill was still very much an agricultural area, its land divided into segments for tenant farmers, dotted with a number of large estates and period houses – including Shankill House and Shanganagh Castle. This began to change in the 1940s when the area experienced its first construction surge.

With a coastline running along its eastern border, Shankill boasts the same seaside feel as its more illustrious neighbours, but much of the housing stock is modern, with the 1980s Corbawn estate taking up a sprawling area between the village and the sea. A mix of three-, four- and five-bedroom houses, the estate was the main source of family homes in the area until the late 1990s when developers moved in on many of the large period homes in an around Shankill, filling in their grounds with houses and and apartments.

What’s the value like?

Property in Shankill is not particularly cheap, but it does offer some value compared to areas close by such as Killiney, Dalkey or Greystones to the south and its stock of late 20th century homes are built on a reasonably generous scale with off street parking and good sized gardens.

“For the price of a new three-bedroom house in Dun Laoghaire you can get a a four-bedroom home in in Shankill,” says Barbara Spollen, Sherry FitzGerald’s Bray branch manager.

“On River Lane, at the crossroads between Commons Road and Shanganagh Road, a site has been sold for the construction of four detached houses,” says David Dobbs, DNG’s Dun Laoghaire branch manager.

“Those four houses have been sold, for just short of €600k, the equivalent in Killiney would cost €800k or €900k.”

New developments to watch

There’s building in the village, most of it in infill schemes.

“Seaview Gate was built 18 months ago, which was a small infill development,” says Spollen. “Then there is also Woodbank, which is a large development of duplex apartments and three-story townhouses. And then there was also The Starlings last year, which are four-bedroom, three-story houses. Some of Woodbrook Golf Club has also been sold to make way for some social housing and also some private housing – about 180 homes in total.”

“A site has just been sold on Dorney Court, which currently has three-bed houses in the region of €400k. The new site will have two three-bed and two four-bed houses. The four beds will probably sell for €525k.” says Dobbs.

Who’s buying there?

What was traditionally an older community has seen an influx of younger buyers, who spotted the relative gap in the market the town offers. These buyers are predominantly Irish families with parents ranging from their late 20s to early 40s. The town also has two retirement villages, Rathmichael Park and Maryland House, which caters for downsizers in gated communities with targeted and age-specific facilities.

St Anne’s Church at the roundabout in Shankill. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons
St Anne’s Church at the roundabout in Shankill. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Getting there

Shankill, though it is on the border with Wicklow, is well connected to Dublin city. It’s right at the interchange for the M50 and the towns that motorway connects with, including the Dundrum Town Centre about 15 minutes away. The town is also connected by Dart , with the Shankill stop third last on the southern end of the line; two Dublin Bus lines and also the Aircoach run through the main artery of the town, while Cherrywood Luas stop is a ten minute drive away.

Village life

Despite the connectivity to Dublin city, and also the urban centre of Bray, which is a ten-minute drive south, Shankill feels remote – in a good way. Local resident, and RTÉ broadcaster, Des Cahill, wrote about the area in The Irish Times back in 2000, saying “You’d know everybody in Brady’s [pub]…Shankill has still kept the ‘village’ thing”.

And 17 years on that is still very much the case. The main street, the Dublin Road, is the beating heart of the town and feels very much like a rural village; only this village is surrounded by housing and motorway, as well as green space.

The main street in Shankill, the Dublin Road, is the beating heart of the town and feels very much like a rural village. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons
The main street in Shankill, the Dublin Road, is the beating heart of the town and feels very much like a rural village. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

The Brady’s that Cahill mentions is the town’s one and only pub – surely some sort of record in Ireland?

Serving up a carvery daily with sport on big screens, the Local Pub of the Year at the 2012 Sky Bar Awards is bustling daily with locals and blow-ins.

From that focal point the town spans out with a Chinese restaurant above the bar and Street Food Outlet serving a range of snack food and coffees just next door.

The other main commercial hub of the town is the confusingly titled Barbeque Centre, which doesn’t specialise in wood-fire grills and charcoal, but instead has a grouping of shops of various types, including the Village Bistro serving food and alcohol, and the superbly stocked Shankill Market Fresh with a range of artisan food products and fresh fruit and veg.

Lidl is planning to open a store on the Dublin Road and the old FAS centre on the Quinn’s Road is to be developed with a restaurant spanning the ground floor with apartments above.

Schools and Colleges

The town is served by a number of both primary and secondary schools in the town and also nearby in Bray. Woodbrook College is a state-of-the-art building, which completed construction in the summer of 2016. The highly regarded John Scottus secondary school also relocated to Rathmichael from Morehampton Road at the start of the current academic year.

Open spaces

The Dublin Mountains to the west, Wicklow Mountains to the south and Irish Sea to the east are the natural borders of the town, with further green space inside those borders in the form of Shanganagh Park. If you want outdoor space to enjoy on your doorstep then this is a decent spot. It’s also the starting point for the Dublin Mountains Way hike to The Scalp.

And the prices?

A one-bed apartment at The Bridge starts at €220k, jumping up to €295k for a two-bed apartment at Beechfield Haven. A two-bed bungalow at Marylands costs €340k. Three-beds start at €375k on Rathsallagh Drive. Four-bed house prices start at €495k on Corbawn Lane. A four-bed in the new Woodbank development starts at €610k. Period homes in the area go for €1 million upwards.

For sale

Two-bed, two-bath, apartment at 3 Osprey Court for €325k. Agent: Mullen Kelly.

Four-bed, three-bath, detached house at 6 Corbawn Grove for €575k. Agent: DNG.

Four bed semi-detached house at 41 Shanganagh Grove for €580k. Agent: Sherry FitzGerald.

Four bed semi-detached house at 41 Shanganagh Grove for €580k. Agent: Sherry FitzGerald
Four bed semi-detached house at 41 Shanganagh Grove for €580k. Agent: Sherry FitzGerald

For rent

Two-bed, one-bath townhouse at Castlefarm for €1,400 monthly. Agent: private.

Four-bed, two-bath, detached home at Corbawn Lane for €2,500k monthly. Agent: Haines.