Thornhill House on Cherrygarth in Mount Merrion is one of the last of the big houses in this part of south Dublin. Many of the others around north Stillorgan — including Beaufield, Oatlands, the Priory and Mount Merrion House — have been demolished, but Thornill still stands on its perch overlooking the south city, with commanding views over Dublin Bay and the Dublin mountains. This late-18th century house was formerly the home of the late hotelier PV Doyle, who bought it in 1960, and before that was owned by the Power family of Powers whiskey fame.
Now the house forms the centrepiece of Thornhill Oaks, a new development of luxury one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and three- and four-bedroom family homes. Oak View property developers, run by Stewart Doyle (a nephew of PV) and Ray Cotter, brought in award-winning architects Lawrence & Long to design this owner-occupier development. There are mature trees all around, the most striking of which is a 250-year-old evergreen oak in the middle of the site. You could tie quite a few yellow ribbons around this big old tree.
The apartments are near completion and will be ready to move into soon, while the houses are expected to be launched next spring. The development met some objections but, says Doyle, the developers have engaged with local people during the planning process, because “they’re the people we’re marketing to — traders-down in the area, and young couples starting a family. This is a low-density development, and we were careful to build it without disturbing the ecosystem. We want Thornhill Oaks to stand the test of time”. Selling agent Frank McSharry from Lisney Sotheby’s International Realty has noted a big interest from people in Mount Merrion and nearby suburbs looking to downsize.
Following a “soft” launch, half of the 39 apartments have gone sale agreed, and agent Lisney Sotheby’s International Realty is expecting an enthusiastic take-up for the remainder, and for the houses when they come on the market. There are also plans for small stables-type houses adjoining the main house but Thornhill itself — which is unoccupied and still in good repair but in need of refurbishment — will be sold as is, say the developers. Whoever buys that will need deep pockets and will want to redo it to suit their own tastes.
Thornhill Oaks is arranged around what was the old paddocks, and the two-bedroom show apartment gives a good idea of the level of luxury in store for new owners in this three-storey block. The two-bed apartments range in size from 83 sq m (893 sq ft) to 92 sq m (990 sq ft) and the three-beds measure more than 125 sq m (1,345 sq ft), and are energy efficient with a Ber of A2. The front door opens to a spacious hall with higher-than-usual ceilings, giving an extra sense of space. There is a large guest bathroom off to the side, which — along with the main bedroom en suite — is fitted out with porcelain wall and floor tiling, Hansgrohe fittings and Sonas sanitary ware and stylish concealed LED lighting strips.
The two bedrooms have plenty of storage space, and the main bedroom has a nice “vanity room” leading into the en suite. The open-plan kitchen/dining/living area opens out to a private terrace with composite flooring that is noticeably non-slippery in the rain. The kitchen has contemporary Kube fittings custom-designed by Houseworks, and the interior design is by Optimise.
There’s a good-sized utility room off the main living area, with fitted units and a washing machine and tumble dryer; a consumer unit delivering electrical power is also located here. An air-to-water heat pump system gives instant hot water, and the apartments are heated via Stelrad radiators (the penthouses will have underfloor heating), with multiple heating zones controlled by individual OEM thermostat displays. All apartments are accessed via secure intercom system, have fire alarms, smoke and heat detectors installed as standard, and are wired for Virgin Media and Eir broadband.
Thornhill Oaks is on the market through Lisney Sotheby’s International Realty. The asking prices start from €585,000 for a one-bedroom apartment, €770,000 for a two-bedroom, €950,000 for a two-bed penthouse and €995,000 for a three-bed apartment.