This Victorian two-storey over-basement home is very much a tale of two halves. Overlooking the four-acre Royal Terrace Park and built in 1860, the east and west terraces were developed by Francis Nugent when he acquired the land from Lords de Vesci and Longford, as part of the rapid expansion of the south of Dublin following the opening in 1834 of the Dublin and Kingstown Railway (D&KR).
Royal Terrace Park is close enough to Dún Laoghaire town centre to reap all its benefits in the way of shopping, bars, cafes and restaurants, while year-round swimming for hardy veterans and the Dryrobe brigade alike is on offer at nearby Sandycove beach and the Forty Foot. There’s an abundance of sailing clubs including the Royal Irish, Royal St George and National yacht Club dotted around Dún Laoghaire Harbour while the town itself is within easy reach of good schools and served by excellent public transport links. Despite all this, number 12 Royal Terrace West is sufficiently secluded to give the occupier a sense of tucked-away tranquility.
It was this combination of convenience and seclusion the house’s current owners sought when they bought it in 2011 for €775,000. While the property is Ber-exempt, it now has a new roof, upgraded plumbing, its basement gutted, extensive damp proofing and insulation. All the heavy lifting has been done for the prospective purchaser. “The only thing you need to do with a house like this is protect the top and protect the bottom and we have done both,” say the owners who, with their children now grown, are downsizing.
Everything a family could need is on the ground floor. A small entrance lobby with storage opens to a long, wide kitchen-dining-living area. The kitchen is impressive, and features a Max Meyler professional sink surrounded by a custom-built island counter.
This airy, light-filled space flows seamlessly through to attractive double doors that give way to a courtyard below the house’s west-facing garden. Along with a utility room and hot press there’s a new bathroom with Jacuzzi and sauna that the owners have used extensively.
It’s a rather dramatic move from the ground floor’s contemporary feel to upstairs where the property’s interior reverts to its period type. “We didn’t want to change anything. It had all of its original features, the coving and ceiling roses and we wanted to keep those.” All of the original fireplaces are intact and in working order.
The elegant drawing room overlooks the square and flows into the dining room – there are double doors here that the owners have never closed, creating a fine, double-aspect long room.
“We very regularly sit here if we want some peace and quiet, if the kids have someone downstairs, we can retire upstairs. It works brilliantly, everybody has their space.” The house came into its own during the Covid-19 pandemic with six working-from-home adults accommodated comfortably.
There’s a bedroom on the return of the first floor with doors opening to a staircase and to a second courtyard. The top floor is given over to three further bedrooms. One of these would have been the original drawing room, and the owners have reconfigured it as the master bedroom to enjoy the views of nearby Killiney Hill.
In the garden, a fine collection of fruit bushes take full advantage of a south-facing wall, and include raspberries, gooseberries and strawberries. There are apple and pear trees, a vegetable patch alongside a judicious planting of acers and cherry blossom.
At the end of the garden is a studio office, which is wired and insulated. Beside it there is pedestrian access onto a private gated laneway.
Number 12 Royal Terrace West is for sale through Sherry FitzGerald seeking €1.795 million.