A Private Domain Close To The City And The Sea
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Property descriptionAshurst, Military Road, Killiney, Co Dublin A96 F671
Elegantly Appointed Historic Mansion in one of Dublin's most prestigious locations
A Private Domain Close to the City and the Sea
Located in one of south Dublin's most exclusive areas, Ashurst holds a unique place in Irish history. Occupied by a series of illustrious owners, and more recently fully restored and refurbished; today Ashurst is a light-filled, spacious and charming home. The painstaking restoration competed in 2015 took over two years but left this historic house ready for the next century with enviable modernity of services. Ideal for entertaining, as well as for hugely enjoyable family life, Ashurst is unique, unforgettable and wholly special.
Sited at the heart of mature and sheltering grounds, you are within a gentle stroll of the epic sweep of Killiney Bay, and yet once home, you find yourself in a world of your own, where there are places to gather, entertain, find your own space to study or to work, and then come together once more for family meals created in a kitchen to delight any chef.
The restoration design by Brazil Associates Architects and Studio Brazil Interiors preserves the historic fabric, while updating it with contemporary additions and remodelling such as the family kitchen that now opens to a sunny lounge on one side, and an orangery to the other. At the same time, a beautiful formality has been maintained in the original hallway, now a music room, where the walls are topped with the crests of the Four Provinces of Ireland.
Unlike the overtly symmetrical organisation of the Georgian period, Victorian homes ramble deliciously, adding a wider sense of space, and a marvellous mix of formal and informal settings. This also encompasses the sleeping quarters, where the seven bedrooms are so arranged that extended family and house guests can be accommodated with ease.
With this careful restoration, Ashurst is perfectly poised for the next chapter in its, and Ireland's, history.
When Ashurst was built in the mid-1800s, it was at the height of the style we know as High Victorian Gothic. Lending a somewhat magical feel to this substantial historic home, the scale of the building is lightened with parapets, tracery windows, trefoils, and parti-coloured brickwork.
Designed by Lanyon, Lynn and Lanyon, Ashurst was originally built for Sir Compton Domville, a Member of Parliament, and landlord of extensive acreages in the area. Architect Charles Lanyon was also responsible for the famous Palm House in the Botanic Gardens, and Queen's University, Belfast – which Ashurst closely resembles.
The house's first owner was followed by a series of wealthy owners and parliamentarians, including MP William Dodds, but it was one hundred years later, in 1945, when it came to be occupied by Archbishop of Dublin, John Charles McQuaid. A major figure in Ireland's story, and close friend of Eamon de Valera, McQuaid's later authoritarian reputation has overshadowed his achievements in education and in the alleviation of poverty.
At Ashurst, McQuaid found sanctuary, as well as a space to host meetings with key players in the affairs of State. There was room in the house for his chaplain, secretaries and members of the order of nuns who ran the household. His driver lived in the gate lodge.
A keen astronomer, he added the belfry tower, which today offers commanding views of Killiney Bay. It is said he suggested he liked to ascend to be closer to God, but he was also fond of shooting, and would aim his .22 rifle at encroaching magpies.
After McQuaid died, the house fell into disrepair, but on its first full refurbishment in the late 1990s, it quickly became the most expensive rental in Dublin. Today it has been lovingly restored once more, and fully enjoyed as one of the most perfect, and impressive family homes to come to the market in Ireland in recent years.
Inside the property
The richness of history mingles with contemporary comforts at Ashurst. Huge oak double doors open to a panelled hallway, beyond which is an inner hall, with inlaid floors and intricate woodwork. Beyond these rooms, the house opens up to light, as its spectacular high ceilings and beautifully restored sash windows give gorgeous views to the patios, terraces and gardens.
While the kitchen is undoubtedly the heart of this home, the haven of the lounge beyond vies with the orangery opposite as prime space to enjoy a sunny afternoon, or to find cosy comforts on cooler days. Below, via atmospheric granite steps, the original cellar is naturally maintained at the ideal temperature for your wine collection.
While the interiors are undoubtedly grand, they are also of a scale that lends itself to intimacy, including in such spots as the double height library, that also functions as a very charming bar. Further away from the core of the house, a bright upper floor office space is the ideal place to run a thriving business.
The bedrooms are in keeping with the overall blending of the timelessness of history with contemporary comforts, adding to the mood of enjoyment of all you survey. The master has a lovely bay window, and an extensive en-suite with enchanting views of the bay.
There are seven bedrooms in all, including in a semi-self-contained space, ideal for extended family, older teenagers, house guests or an au pair. Meanwhile, the gate lodge offers even more accommodation options in this wonderful spot.
The c4.7 acres (1.9ha) of grounds at Ashurst have been beautifully maintained providing privacy and peace, as well as offering places to sit, stroll and to enjoy the provisions of the extensive herb gardens, vegetable gardens and mature fruit trees.
To the front of the house, electric gates open, and the drive winds down from a charming gate lodge, with its own courtyard, tool, vehicle and wood storage sheds. This is currently occupied by the groundsman and offers ideal live-in accommodation for staff. Beyond this, lawns bounded by mature planting bring you to Ashurst itself, where there is ample secure parking, and formal walkways crossing to the main entrance.
To the rear, there is a lovely patio area, terraces and marvellous planting, including a kitchen garden that would be the envy of any chef, offering herbs, fruit and fresh vegetables. Beyond this is a lawn that serves as a grass tennis court, croquet lawn, or simply to enjoy at your leisure.
Charming paths wind throughout, bringing you through formal gardens, to wilder spots with specimen trees. The house's history, as former home to Archbishop John Charles McQuaid, is evident in the brickwork and majolica shrine in a quiet and contemplative spot.
Access to Seafield Road is via a private wide woodland laneway with its own vehicular gate and wicket gate allowing for a trip to the beach to be completed almost entirely on private land.
Ashurst (main house) Approximately 1,018.6sq.m (10,964sq. ft)
Ashurst Gate Lodge Approximately 63.7sq m (685sq. ft)
Entrance Hall: with atrium ceiling, attractive antique tiled floor, wood panelled walls with cloakroom and concealed door to inner hall
Inner hall: with fitted storage cupboards
Guest w.c.: wood panelled walls, w.c. with Burlington patent cistern and wash handbasin
Cellar: steps lead down to an exceptionally dry wine cellar with addition storage area.
Music Room: with original stained oak floor with parquet surround, ornate wood panelled walls, picture rail and cornicing – with inlaid detail. Bernard Thorp wallpaper in music room and main stairs. Open fireplace with oak and limestone mantle.
Family/TV room: with wide plank brushed oak floors, grey marble fireplace with gas fire, ornate ceiling coving and centre rose. Fitted tv unit and bookshelves
Living room: double aspect room with bay window, ornate ceiling coving and cornicing, grey marble fireplace with open fire. Opens into the
Kitchen: stunning kitchen facing due south with bay window, ceiling coving and cornicing. Bespoke O'Connors of Drumleck kitchen with classic in-frame shaker style cabinetry with marble countertops in a pared back design, central Island unit with solid oak and marble surfaces, custom made over Aga mantel with industrial influence and antique mirrored splash back giving an authentic finish yet with a contemporary edge. 1.5 Kohler sink unit with insinkorator, integrated Miele electric hob, Miele oven, integrated fridge & freezer, twin dishwashers. Door to orangery and
Pantry: fitted pantry with excellent storage and shelving, integrated microwave and freezer.
Orangery: wonderfully bright area with Nigel Sanders Crittal doors and windows overlooking the garden and enjoying access to the sun terrace. This area doubles up as dining room and sitting area. Stone floor, atrium ceiling, limestone fireplace with gas fire.
Laundry room: fully fitted laundry room with bespoke O'Connors of Drumleck cabinetry.
Mezzanine lower Level: with stone floor, crittal door to front and access to everyday door.
Bootroom: Fitted boot room, recessed lighting, door to terrace.
Comms Room: houses cctv and audio system
Library: with overhead mezzanine, limestone fireplace with wood burning stove, wide plank oak floor, fitted bookshelves, crittal door.
Guest WC: Part tiled wood panelled, Duravit w.h.b and vanity unit, w.c.
Understairs storage: Superb storage, ideal for suitcases, easy access
Garage: Double garage with pedestrian and vehicular bifold door, concrete floor, hallway to back patio/terrace
Office: Double aspect space with south facing sun terrace, wide plank oak floor, access to front terrace on both sides. Built in tea station/kitchen
Guest w.c : wood panelled, Duravit wash basin and vanity unit, Cloakroom storage
Mezzazine Upper Level
Kids' TV Room: with wide plank oak floor, door to tower
Bedroom 7: with wide oak floor, ceiling coving
Dressing Room: Fitted wardrobes
Ensuite Shower Room: Beautifully panelled with heated towel rail, Duravit wash hand basin and vanity unit
Main Family wing
Hall/landing: with centre rose and ceiling coving, intricate hand carved balustrade. Bernard Thorp wallpaper.
Bedroom 3: Double bedroom with oak, fitted wardrobes, ceiling coving, cream cast iron radiator, overlooks front garden.
Bedroom 2: Double aspect bedroom with oak floors, ceiling coving, fitted wardrobes, cast iron radiators.
Main Bedroom: superb principal room situated at the end of the house with views over the garden and over the Sugar Loaf mountain. Oak floors, bay window with recessed lighting and ceiling coving
Ensuite: His and hers wash hand basins and vanity units, w.c with concealed cistern, freestanding bath, large shower unit, sea views from bath, recessed lighting
Dressing room: Oak floors, bespoke Huswood joinery, ceiling panelling and recessed lighting. Stira stairs to attic storage space
Family bathroom: Twin wash hand basins and vanity units, bath with shower attached, corner shower unit, rainwater shower head and shower attached, part panelled walls, recessed lighting
Bedroom 4: with bay windows, oak floors, ceiling coving, views to Sugar Loaf and North Wicklow mountains.
Linen Room : Walk in linen room with oak floors, floor to ceiling shelving and recessed lighting
Bedroom 5: Double room overlooking rear garden with oak floors, fitted wardrobes, sea and mountain views to Sugar Loaf and Bray head. Double doors to
Ensuite: Part tiled, part panelled, tiled floor, shower unit, wash hand basin, vanity unit, w.c. with concealed cistern
Bedroom 6: Beautifully appointed double room with sea and mountain views to Killiney Bay and Bray Head, ceiling coving and oak floors
Walk in Wardrobe: Fully fitted with recessed lighting and Stira stairs to attic space
Ensuite Shower Room: wood panelled walls, fitted shower unit, w.c, wash hand basin and vanity with inlaid wall mirror, heated radiator
Floor Area 63.7 sq. m (686 sq. ft approx.)
Entrance hall: with utility cupboard plumbed for washing machine.
Living room: with bay window and wood burning stove
Bedroom 1: double bedroom with fitted wardrobes
Bedroom 2: double bedroom with fitted wardrobes
Shower room: part tiled with w.c., wash hand basin, and shower with rainwater shower head and shower attachment. Houses airing cupboard
Kitchen: bespoke O'Connors of Drumleck fitted kitchen, door to garden.
• Beautifully appointed and completely renovated family home
• Floor area of 1,018.6 sq. m (10,964 sq. ft)
• Renovated Gate Lodge with floor area of 63.7 sq. m (685 sq. ft)
• Bespoke O'Connor's of Drumleck fitted kitchen & utility
• Sonos system in office, library, kitchen, family room, TV room, principal bedroom, principal bathroom and utility room
• Draytek routers for Wi-Fi and Ruckus wireless controllers
• Two sky boxes and two Apple TV, all worked from one remote control in each room
• Bespoke Nigel Sanders windows and doors in orangery, office and library
• Oscar Ono timber floor throughout
• Underfloor heating throughout ground floor and three upstairs bathrooms together with Heatmiser controls
• Protech Customised Facades – orangery and office windows and doors
• Garden and planting designed by Murphy Sheanon
• Landscaping by Curragh Paving using Portuguese granite
• 9 CCTV cameras with loudspeakers
• Wired vibration intruder sensors throughout
• Smoke alarms throughout
• 24-hour CCTV surveillance by Re:Sure
• Intercom system
• Marble by Miller Brothers
• Decorative cornice plasterwork restoration by The Old Mould Company
• Geothermal heating system with four wells approximately 200m deep with a heat pump and back up boiler. Heating system is 7 zones
• Brink Heat Recovery System – Renovent Excellent
• Bangor Blue slate tiles on roof
• All windows renovated by Bolger Sash Windows, new glass effective triple glazing
• Optima Dry Lining Insulation system
• Astrological timer for garden and driveway lights
Ashurst, Military Road, Killiney, Co Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
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