Grand Bray pile complete with four-bed coach house and three apartments for €3.4m

Mount Herbert, a substantial six-bedroom home, stands on 1.1 acres, all of which is zoned for residential development

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Address: Mount Herbert House and Coach House, Herbert Road, Bray, Co Wicklow
Price: €3,400,000
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald
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Bray was originally developed as a seaside town in the early 19th century and its popularity was further cemented as a place for fresh sea air with the advent of the Dublin to Kingstown railway, which serviced the Wicklow seaside town from 1854. Today it still attracts people who wish to have the benefit of the sea and Wicklow mountains as a backdrop for a better work-life balance.

One of the oldest and indeed largest homes on Herbert Road, the long and meandering road linking the N11 to Bray’s main street, is Mount Herbert. The substantial property was constructed by Joseph Kelly, who had a timber yard on Thomas Street where Chadwick’s hardware shop now stands, on lands owned by the Earl of Pembroke. The noted arch at the entrance to the builders’ supplier that still stands today was also constructed by Kelly. Like many grand piles in the Wicklow town, it was constructed as a seaside country home to mark the advent of the railway service to Bray.

Despite dating back to 1864, it has had only six owners, according to its current owner George Dunne, who purchased the property in 1977 from the Carey family – and some of the town’s residents still refer to the sprawling pile as “Carey’s house”. Dunne, a builder who was responsible for local developments such as Wellington Court off Sydenham/Novara roads and Wilford Court on the Dublin Road, had plans to develop the grounds and sell the main house, but instead he retained the 975sq m (10,500sq ft) house as a family home, from which he is now downsizing: “It’s a fantastic place to live,” he says. “The size and openness are just great, as are the views, and it’s hard to believe that you’re only two minutes to Bray and five minutes from the mountains.”

It’s a lot of house with 325sq m (3,500sq ft) on each of the three floors and in case that’s not enough previous owners added a return to the rear so it now offers six bedrooms and four reception rooms along with ancillary stores, a pantry, utility, home office and housekeeper’s flat. There are also three apartments attached to the main house, in the form of two one-bedroom apartments and a two-bedroom duplex unit. Though well maintained and retaining period details such as original fireplaces, super cornicing and 12ft-high ceilings, it will require some upgrading.


A further offering is a superb four-bedroom coach house to the rear. With four double bedrooms, two of which are en suite, the property extends to a generous 186sq m (2,000sq ft). With a work-from-home space off the main bedroom, the property has views to the People’s Park through floor-to-ceiling windows, and a lovely courtyard garden.

To the side there is development potential as the entire site, measuring 1.1 acres, has been zoned residential. It also benefits from services; a sewer and ESB connection are on site from a time when a flood plain for the river Dargle was implemented.

“A beautiful place” from which, Dunne says, he is sad to leave, Mount Herbert has lots of potential either as a wonderful family home, a commercial entity due to its scale or indeed as development land due to its zoning. It is now on the market through Sherry FitzGerald, seeking €3.4 million.

Elizabeth Birdthistle

Elizabeth Birdthistle

Elizabeth Birdthistle, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about property, fine arts, antiques and collectables