Rath­gar home of Count­ess Markievicz

The villa was a wed­ding gift to the Count­ess who lived here with her Pol­ish hus­band

The Irish Times - Thursday - Property - - Property The Market - BER­NICE HAR­RI­SON 2.5m

De­scrip­tion: Four bed, villa-style of 260sq m (2,800sq ft) on 0.3 acre Agent: Lis­ney The most dis­tinc­tive-look­ing house on Frank­fort Av­enue in Rath­gar comes with a dis­tinc­tive past. Num­ber 1 was once home to Con­stance Gore-Booth, who on her mar­riage to the Pol­ish painter – the self-styled Count Markievicz – took the ti­tle and be­came Count­ess Markievicz.

In 1903 – three years into their mar­riage – they moved into the villa in Rath­gar, which was a wed­ding present from her mother. They lived there with the count’s son Stanis­laus from a pre­vi­ous mar­riage, and their daugh­ter Maeve.

Be­fore she be­came a po­lit­i­cal ac­tivist at the end of the decade, on the road to tak­ing her own ad­vice to “dress suit­ably in short skirts and strong boots, leave your jew­els in the bank and buy a re­volver”, she was very in­volved in the artis­tic life of the city.

Her friends in­cluded Wal­ter Os­borne, John But­ler Yeats and Sarah Purser – the Rath­gar house must have been quite the bo­hemian han­gout. She was an artist, like her hus­band, and, un­til re­cent decades, her stu­dio built to the side of the house re­mained in­tact be­fore it was de­stroyed by fire.

Built in the mid-1850s, the villa-style house has the stan­dard plain lay­out of the time: four grand rooms up­stairs, four more mod­est rooms down­stairs. Some­time in the later part of the cen­tury it was ex­tended to the side to add a for­mal din­ingroom at hall level off the sit­tin­groom and ser­vice rooms be­low. It’s a seam­less ex­ten­sion as the win­dows in the up­per room are the same three nar­row Pal­la­dian-style ones as in the other front-fac­ing re­cep­tion rooms.

In its cur­rent lay­out the two rooms to the rear at hall level are used as bed­rooms and there is a bath­room in the re­turn. Down­stairs the ceil­ings are lower and it is less grand, be­ing in- tended for ser­vants, but it is now laid out for fam­ily life with the kitchen to the front, a fam­ily room, two bed­rooms, a small bath­room and var­i­ous util­ity and store rooms.

In all there is 260sq m (2,800 sq ft) of space.

If the his­tory and grand pe­riod style of the house doesn’t en­tice buy­ers, the gar­dens will. The vast back gar­den – the house is on 0.3 of an acre – has a ve­hic­u­lar open­ing on to a lane that runs along the rear of th­ese houses, and to the side are three garages – two more re­cent ad­di­tions – and the origi- nal sta­bles with its pitched roof, which is cry­ing out for an in­ter­est­ing re­de­vel­op­ment.

When 1 Frank­fort Av­enue last came to the mar­ket it was in 1995, and then it was called the pres­bytery as it was owned by the Catholic church across the road. It went to auc­tion with an AMV of £140,000 which, even though the house was in very poor con­di­tion, was con­sid­ered to be on the low side as it was thought there might be de­vel­op­ment po­ten­tial in the gar­dens to the side and rear. Even though so much of Rath­gar is listed, num­ber 1 Frank­fort Av­enue isn’t. On auc­tion day it was chased by eight bid­ders, the curr e nt owner buy­ing it f or £212,000.

Lis­ney has placed a price of ¤2.5 mil­lion on 1 Frank­fort Av­enue.

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