Selling up in Phibsborough - after 132 years


Generations of Ada Kelly's family have lived in the house her great great grandfather bought in 1876. She tells Rose Doylewhy she's selling it.

One of the oldest houses on one of the north city's most notable roads is for sale. Tall, detached and historical, Stonevilla, 297 North Circular Road, Phibsborough, Dublin 7 has occupied its 0.665-acre site since 1847 when it was built, most likely as a coaching inn, on what were the outskirts of Dublin.

Astonishingly, it has been lived in by the same family for over 130 years. The vendor's great-great- grandfather, John Rogers, bought Stonevilla - which is close to St Peter's Church - in 1876. Four generations of the family have happily occupied it since then.

It was John Rogers, who carried grain for Guinness and others from his business in Smithfield, who put in the high, hand-carved winding staircase. The ground rent, long finished with, was paid to local landowner Lord Monck, remembered in nearby Monck Place.

Stonevilla, according to vendor Ada Kelly, was always welcoming and full, with as many as 20 children playing tennis and cricket in its huge gardens in the summertime.

Retired from Guinness, she is now selling because the house needs money spent on it, and a new family to live in it. Lisney is looking after the private treaty sale with an asking price of €2.75m.

The original kitchen was large enough to play hopscotch across its flags and, right up until the 1960s, cattle from the nearby cattle market passed in droves en route to the docks. It's an area which is now fast changing with, in particular, the DIT's new, multi-faceted campus going up on the nearby Grangegorman site.

Stonevilla is a listed building, that is much in need of repair but has the splendour of its age, of John Rogers's high and winding staircase, of a fine, first floor drawingroom and original period features such as ceiling roses, picture rails, panelled doors with knobs, fireplaces and shuttered windows to recommend it.

Three-storeyed, there's an ecclesiastical air to the front where two of the eight windows have arches to match the main entrance door which, complete with original key, came from a church.

The 220sq m (2,400sq ft) house has four/five bedrooms and three reception rooms. A rear 1960s addition - not covered by the listing order - needs rebuilding.

Stonevilla's ivy-clad, many-windowed splendour is most apparent from the great spaces of the rear garden. The first floor front-facing drawingroom has three windows with shutters and floor-to-ceiling mirrors in between.

The first of the bedrooms is on this level too, reached via three descending steps; the others are on the third, top floor. There is side entrance and surrounding evergreen trees provide privacy.