Howth villa built by the Bewleys sells for €4m

Brackenlea was first built by the man credited with popularising the sale of coffee to the masses in Ireland

The sale of a seafront villa in Howth has no doubt provided and energising jolt to the vendors’ bank balance, having sold for €4 million. Sold through Gallagher Quigley, the considerable sum achieved for the property built in the early 1900s by the famed Bewley’s coffee family was, in fact, 19 per cent below its €4.95 million asking price.

The trend of below-asking-price sales has been percolating through the capital’s prime and super-prime residential sector of late, with palatial piles going for somewhat less than their vendors or selling agents had envisaged.

It is believed Brackenlea was built by Ernest Bewley soon after the death of his father, Joshua, and around the time the family’s firm was passed on to him. At the time, the family were among the wealthiest in the country and Ernest chose to build upon the elevated one-acre site with optimal spots from which to enjoy its panoramic views of Dublin Bay over a cup of the finest blend.

The cup of coffee many Irish people rely on to kick-start their day can be traced back to Ernest, who bought a huge consignment of the relatively unknown product after a disagreement with his family, according to the Dictionary of Irish Biography, and set about providing coffee-making demonstrations to Dublin’s gentlemen and women, inspiring the establishment of Bewley’s Oriental Café, a branch of which remains an attraction on Grafton Street in Dublin today.


As well as the stunning views and ample private grounds, Brackenlea, located off Old Carrickbrack Road, has five bedrooms, extends to 355sq m (3,821 sq ft) and benefits from access to a private road leading to Howth Golf Club.