Three-bed off South Circular Road with airy interior and canalside allotment for €850,000

Dolphin Avenue is a short, quiet, leafy cul-de-sac close to the Coombe hospital and city centre

Address: 8 Dolphin Avenue, South Circular Road, Dublin 8
Price: €850,000
Agent: Owen Reilly
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Dolphin Avenue is a short, pretty redbrick street off the South Circular Road, rendered a cul-de-sac by virtue of ending at the Grand Canal bank. It’s between the 1930s Player Wills factory, whose long-overdue redevelopment is still wending its way through the planning process, and the handsome three-bay, two-storey Dolphin Villa, built about 1880.

The road is lined with two terraces of seven houses, which means number 8 is at the far, leafy corner as you enter from the South Circular. Unlike numbers 9 to 14, which have square-headed porches and dormer windows, this end-of-terrace three-bed has a rounded porch – and, even on early maps, a deeper return than its neighbours. The railed front garden has a lavender hedge and a bed of mixed perennials as well as a Japanese maple and a Black Lace elder by the door.

Inside, the sense of quiet continues from the wood-floored hall into the large, triple-aspect livingrooms on the left; with unusually high ceilings, and windows to the east, west and south, there’s a really airy feel, accentuated by the white walls and the built-in library shelving that incorporates a well-lit desk. You’d hardly grudge the space taken out of the rear reception room for a smart guest toilet. Heating controls are located under the stairs; the Ber is C3.

The house, with 146sq m (1,572sq ft) of floor space, was extended before the current owners bought it at the height of the boom, in 2006, but they refitted the kitchen with all-white units, a thick quartz-topped peninsula and a huge dual-fuel Smeg stove. There are built-in shelves as well as a window the width of the back wall and, most appealingly, a cat flap designed into the structure. For humans, floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors lead out to a patio, with dark slate flooring continuing from the kitchen. There’s a really charming garden with well-stocked flower beds along the redbrick walls; the mature planting includes euphorbia, castor oil plants, bear’s breeches and beeches, as well as two types of bamboo.


At the end of this are a boiler house and a big utility/garage/workshop with an up-and-over door leading out to a lane that goes around in an L to Priestfield Cottages (there’s a notable old road sign, Ceide Tuar na Sagart, on the wall). But when you turn left, you find one of the most appealing features of the property: access to an allotment that runs parallel to the canal bank on land that seems to have been open for a long time – at least since the time of the first Ordnance Survey map, which shows the adjacent original canal docks. This is home to dahlias, raspberries and tomatoes, as well as silver birches that screen the side of number 8. There are some seats made out of building materials, and a stack of bricks awaiting re-use; it’s a lovely tranquil spot from which to scoff at the traffic creeping along the opposite bank of the canal.

Upstairs, the double-glazed windows dampen any traffic noise; there are two big bedrooms off the top landing at the front, of which one has windows to the south and east. These share a dual-aspect, well-fitted bathroom with a bath and a big shower. To the rear in the extension is a large principal bedroom with a mosaic-tiled en suite and a bank of fitted wardrobes. It looks out to the canal and is also lit by a large Velux.

Dolphin Avenue is close to the stately granite 1890s church of Our Lady of Dolours at the Dolphin’s Barn junction, a short distance from the well-stocked Timgad food store and a Tesco Express, as well as neighbourhood stalwarts AC Boles chemists and Bee Cycles. It’s fewer than 10 minutes by bike to town past the Coombe along Cork Street, or via Portobello. Number 8 is for sale through Owen Reilly with an asking price of €850,000.

Joyce Hickey

Joyce Hickey

Joyce Hickey is an Irish Times journalist