House of the Week: This classic Victorian townhouse in Dún Laoghaire marries gravitas and grace
Delightfully bright home of 322 square metres retains original architectural features and has a self-contained apartment at garden level
With the emergence of the Victorian suburbs in the middle of the 19th century in south Dublin, the naming of the newly laid terraces, roads and squares paid tribute to the ruling British administration of the time.
Prince of Wales Terrace in Sandymount, Waterloo Road in Ballsbridge, and Belgrave Square in both Monkstown and Rathmines are among many such placenames which immediately come to mind.
But there were exceptions to this reference to colonial power, where it was the men who developed these residential areas who were commemorated rather than Britain’s royalty or their military campaigns.
Crosthwaite Park in Dún Laoghaire is a perfect example. Town commissioner John Crosthwaite developed much of what was then the Kingstown township, including the building of the original Royal Victorian Baths in 1843 and the laying of the foundation stone of the town hall and courthouse.
House details 18 CROSTHWAITE PARK SOUTH, DÚN LAOGHAIRE, CO DUBLIN
Agent: Lisney Sotheby’s International Realty at 01-2851005
In 1860, he developed the residential park which bears his name as a fashionable square of classic Victorian houses arranged around a communal green space. One of these sought after homes is now for sale through agents Lisney Sotheby’s International Realty.
18 Crosthwaite Park South is a fine mid-terrace, two-storey-over-garden level house that has been in the same family for the past 70 years. It has been thoughtfully maintained and upgraded over the decades, evidenced by a delightfully bright interior of 322 square metres complete with original architectural features and generously proportioned rooms which defined homes of this period.
The property also comes with a self-contained apartment at garden level.
The façade of No 18 is of smooth white render which was the prevailing fashion before the manufactured redbrick that characterised later Victorian dwellings, while decorative architraves, pediments and bay windows over the two storeys all add to the graceful character of the exterior.
The lawned front garden borders a flight of granite steps with wrought iron guard rails up to the red entrance door with glazed side panels and fanlight, and on into the reception hall.
Plaster coving and a centre rose define the entrance hall and reception rooms leading off, while original floorboards and doors throughout have been stripped back and polished to their original honey pine.
To the right of the hall is the exceptionally bright sitting room with its impressive 3.6-metre ceiling height, white marble fireplace and bay window overlooking the front garden.
A pair of full height double doors open directly from here to the dine-in kitchen, fitted with plain white hardwood cabinetry with integrated appliances. The tall, sliding sash window overlooks the rear garden while the black, four-oven, gas-fired Aga is a focal point of the room.
Back in the hall, and under the decorative plaster arch to the rear, is a cosy family room with a glazed door leading to steps down to the rear garden. A separate pantry and guest WC with Victorian style tiled floor and side window complete the rooms on this level.
The original plaster ceiling coving that features in the hall continues throughout all of the landings and upper rooms of the house.
The first of four bedrooms is upstairs on the return, overlooking the rear garden, along with a separate bathroom.
A large skylight bathes the first-floor landing in natural light. The principal bedroom overlooks the front garden though its tall bay window. It has a marble fireplace with tiled inset echoing that of the sitting room directly below and comes with its own elegant en suite with a corner bath and separate shower.
The third bedroom to the rear also retains its original fireplace. On the second-floor return is bedroom four and a utility room.
Access to the self-contained garden-level unit is down a short flight of steps in the front garden. It consists of a large entrance hall, a fitted kitchen/breakfast room, small sitting room, bathroom and under steps storage. This additional accommodation has a separate courtyard.
The main house has its own private rear garden which is fully landscaped and sheltered by mature hedging and trees.
The location boasts a wealth of amenities all within walking distance of the park. This includes a choice of schools and both bus and Dart links. There is also an array of shops, popular restaurants and cafés plus the many leisure activities which make Dún Laoghaire such a draw for homeowners and visitors alike including walks along the seafront, the People’s Park, the Lexicon Library and sports activities such as sailing, rugby, tennis and GAA.