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

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

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.

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