Record price likely for record garden

 

One of the biggest back gardens in Terenure stretches out behind a large five-bedroom detached house at 62 Fortfield Road. Balram, a three-storey house built at the turn of the century, stands on three-quarters of an acre of grounds that include an extensive Italianate patio area.

The property will be auctioned by Douglas Newman Good on March 15th when selling agent Pat Mullery expects it to fetch "around £1 million". The same agency recently set a new price record in the area when it sold a semi-detached house at Templeogue Road for £805,000, about £300,000 over the estimate. Dating from 1903, the three-storey house has generously proportioned reception rooms, a large family kitchen, five bedrooms and three bathrooms.

Many original features have been retained, such as very fine plaster work and a formal garden design in the style of an Italian courtyard and pond. Thirteen years ago the present owners embarked on a total refurbishment which included remodelling the kitchen and creating two new bathrooms. The entrance is through a marble tiled porch and the original hall door with stained glass panels, which leads to a wide entrance hall with original colourful encaustic marble tiles. A pretty drawing-room has a square bay window overlooking the front lawn, original marble fireplace with mahogany mantel, hardwood floor and ornate cornice and centre rose plaster work.

The dining-room is striking, with mahogany panelled walls and mahogany mantel. Two windows give the first glimpse of the stylish patio outside. A sitting-room has a red oak floor, period fireplace with green tiled surround and another example of fine plaster work on ceiling and coving.

A connecting door leads from the sitting-room to a country-style kitchen/ breakfast-room which has extensive integrated floor and wall units in oak. A De Dietrich electric cooker with a self-cleaning oven and a solid fuel stove are included in the sale. A long window at the rear lights up the room and gives another patio view. An adjoining utility room provides extra storage.

Finally, on the ground floor, a large additional room built in the 1930s, measuring 25 ft x 20 ft, has a beech floor, high ceiling, six large windows and a period redbrick fireplace. Currently used as a snooker room, where visiting British champions have played, this is an ideal space for entertaining or dining. It has plaster work featuring grapes and vines.

There are three bedrooms on the first floor. Two of these have wash-hand basins, mirrored Sliderobes and period fireplaces. The third has a wall-to-wall wardrobe unit in pine with mirrored vanity unit. An en suite shower room is completely tiled, and has ivory-coloured sanitary ware. The family bathroom on this floor is also completely tiled. The third floor has two further bedrooms, both with period fireplaces and sloping eaves. One of the bedrooms has an extremely smart en suite bathroom. The original pine floor has been polished and sanded, a white bath has been panelled in pine, and a porthole-style small paned window adds a nautical touch.

At the front of the house a gravelled drive sweeps round to the front door. At the rear there is a tool shed, a greenhouse, and a one-roomed dwelling which may have been staff quarters. The rear garden was designed almost a century ago in an Italian formal loggia style with a large patio area which has featured stone work and a sunken pond stocked with goldfish. A fine lawn stretches away in the distance to mature hedging at the boundary wall. Walking in the spring sunshine in this extensive garden, the sound of the traffic is dimmed and the feeling is of space, quiet and privacy.