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Description: Four-bed on prized Regency terrace with converted two-bed mews to the rear Agent: Lisney Imagine if walls could talk. No 9 De Vesci Terrace could hold forth and entertain for hours. Former occupants include Arthur Guinness (a relative, rather than the brewer himself), Irish supermodel of the 1960s Grace O’Shaughnessy, and Henning Thomsen. Thomsen was the German information and cultural minister in the 1930s, and passed his time as a spy. His parties were noted for their considerable “liveliness”.
Cecil Day-Lewis, once England’s Poet Laureate, and father of actor Daniel, is also said to have stayed here.
Fortunately, while No 9 can’t tell its own stories, the current owner has plenty of his own. Former Irish Times editor and former member of the Garda Ombudsman Commission, Conor Brady now writes the acclaimed series of crime novels featuring Detective Sergeant Joe Swallow.
Beyond the graceful Regency-style façade of the house, is a beauti f ul l y maintained hallway, rich with original features, leading to an elegant drawingroom and diningroom, and the study. Here, there is a huge old-fashioned desk, a present from the newspaper, which, he says, he dreaded bringing home for fear of his wife’s reaction. “It was Bertie Smylie’s,” he says, speaking of another former editor of the paper. “She didn’t mind,” he adds.
It’s a peaceful book-lined room, where he does his thinking and writing – currently the fourth Joe Swallow book. Does he always know what’s going to happen next in his novels? “It’s in my head,” he says. “Though sometimes I’m not completely sure who did it until I get further in.”
De Vesci Terrace was built in 1838, part of the expansion of Kingstown with the advent of the railway – though this was hotly contested at the time. Mr Gresham, of hotel fame, agreed with t he Duke of Wellington in England, that “it would encourage the lower orders to move about”.
The dignity of the area was preserved, however, with stipulations such as that De Vesci Terrace must be rendered with Portland-stone colour plaster – the fine for failure being £5. The fiver wasn’t forfeit, and the terrace is a classic.
When the Bradys bought the house three decades ago, it had been in apartments, so they lavished attention on it and spent time researching the history of the terrace and the area. Brady points out the original fireplaces, vaulting, windows, shutters and plasterwork.
The house is on three levels, the kitchen being down below. “It’s the heart of the house,” says Brady. The four bedrooms are upstairs, while there’s also a large games room alongside the kitchen. This lower floor had been a self-contained unit before, and could be again, although if you’re looking for separate accommodation, the original mews house (included in the sale) has been lovingly renovated as a two-bedroom apartment.
On the market for ¤2.4 million through Lisney, there are 346sq m (3,725sq ft) in the house, and a further 104sq m ( 1 , 1 20sq ft) in the mews. There’s a sun trap patio between the two, but as an owner, you have keys to the shared gardens in front of the house. These are just lovely with a children’s playground, lawns, gorgeous planting, a tennis club and sea views.
Regency charm: features include original fireplaces, vaulting, windows, shutters and plasterwork. Owners have access to the shared front gardens