For ‘barristers and lawyers with a boho bent’ in Monkstown
Gothic dining room one of the quirkier features of this atmospheric period house built by architect brothers
Description: Detached period house on 0.2acre Agent: Sherry FitzGerald The family that own St Alban’s, the striking pink property on Albany Avenue in Monkstown, commissioned some research on their house, discovering that throughout its long history it has been the home of, as the researchers colourfully put it, “barristers and lawyers with a boho bent”.
Looking at the study (and somewhat unusually, the downstairs toilet) lined with legal reference books, and the rich colour scheme throughout the house with nearly all walls hung with interesting paintings and prints, that description seems to have held true.
Outside it’s a strikingly pretty and substantial 4,500 sq ft detached property. Inside it’s a very comfortable family home with enough original architectural decorative quirks – such as the gothic dining room – to make it stand out as an interesting period house.
Albany Avenue is a lovely road to drive on to too from Monkstown Road as you’re facing the sea – and inside, some upper floor bedrooms enjoy rooftop sea views.
St Alban’s was built between 1828 and 1833 by architect brothers Arthur and John Williamson who had invested their profits from developing Leinster Square in Rathmines to purchase adjoining lots in Monkstown and speculatively build grand “marine villas”. At the time the area went under the Anglo name of New Brighton – a name that didn’t catch on.
Also at that time the house had stables and several outbuildings – gone now – but it still stands on a substantial 0.2 of an acre of beautifully tended mature gardens that sweep around to the side and rear.
The owners bought about 20 years ago and renovated including updating the many bathrooms and the enormous kitchen with its timber-clad pitched ceiling and contemporary granite-topped units complemented by two vast islands.
Spread over three storeys, buyers can decide how many bedrooms they want, from four – there are four good doubles upstairs, one with en suite – to however they choose to use the many rooms down at garden level.
In its current layout there are five bedrooms though it could easily be seven.
Instead, the various rooms down here are used as a gym, an artist’s studio, playroom, second study, and utility.
When this house was built the only level visitors would ever access was at hall level and it comprises a series of beautifully proportioned, bright rooms accessed off an elegant entrance hall which with its ornate ceiling plasterwork and arched walls hint at the original period details found throughout the house.
Even from its earliest days this was a house for entertaining.
The drawing room – dual aspect like many other rooms – opens into the property’s argua- bly most eccentric, certainly most dramatic space, a decoratively detailed Gothic Revival-style dining room, that the owners have celebrated by painting in a rich red punctuated by giant gold stars.
It may have been a later addition in the Victorian era when the style came into fashion. This room in turn opens into the vast kitchen so the scope for large-scale entertaining is clear.
Sherry FitGerald is selling St Alban’s for ¤3.75 million – a price band that is dominated in Dublin by ex-pats looking for well located period family homes with character.
They’ll find this atmospheric house ticks many boxes.