Window of opportunity in period property with a 120ft garden for €1.595m

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Window of opportunity in period property with a 120ft garden for €1.595m

Taxing times led to one window being blocked off in this restored family home


The exterior featuring a bricked up window, a result of the Window Tax
The exterior featuring a bricked up window, a result of the Window Tax
The modern kitchen
Hallway and stairs
The sitting room
Stairway featuring stained glass window
One of the bedrooms

That one bricked up window in the upper front corner of No 10 Prince Edward Terrace Lower dates from the time of the dreaded Window Tax. Until the 1850s, houses with seven to nine windows had to pay one rate of tax, while those with more than nine paid an even higher levy. The tax, which was finally repealed in 1851, gave rise to the phrase ‘daylight robbery’ and led to partial blinding of homes all over Irish cities.

It’s the reason why so many houses constructed from the introduction of the tax in 1799, until its repeal in 1851, tend to feature blocked windows, sometimes to extreme degrees. Some larger Irish homes, where the occupants weren’t at all wealthy, saw whole sides screened out to avoid paying the full tax.

To make matters worse, protectionist policies during the same period also saw the British Government imposing a penal glazing tax on Irish glass, which made glass unfeasibly expensive in its own right. This was eventually lifted in 1844.

Interestingly, today’s owners of these buildings often don’t realise that they can successfully apply to have these dead eyes reopened almost 200 years after they were put out.



The modern kitchenThe modern kitchen

The modern kitchen

Happily No 10, which has just been placed for sale by Savills, only has the one blocked window and recently the owners were informed that the local authority would “look favourably” on an application to reinstate the glazing.

It’s the only blind spot in an otherwise comprehensive restoration carried out by the current owners of No 10 Prince Edward Terrace Lower after they purchased the house in early 2012, for what now looks like a bargain price of €700,000. But they had their work cut out for them.

No 10 had originally been placed on the market asking €975,000, but the condition must have been off-putting to prospective purchasers. The current owners set about a top-to-toe restoration that has resulted in a smart and comfortable family home in an elegant period context. Bitten by the bug, they are now hoping to undertake another restoration project in the area.

Prince Edward Terrace dates from the 1840s, taking its name from the then brand new infant son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, born in 1841, and later King Edward VII (although he was always informally known as “Bertie”). It lies opposite Carysfort Park, and UCD’s Smurfit Business School.

To the front of No 10, behind wrought iron railings, is a gravelled front garden, with parking for as many as five cars. A flight of steps leads to the front door, with a second flight descending to garden level, where the kitchen and family living space is located.

The entrance hall has some lovely original cornicing, as do the reception rooms on the ground floor; there are also restored original fireplaces and some attractive stained glass.



The sitting roomThe sitting room

The sitting room

Unusually, the principal reception room to the front of the house is currently in use as a guest bedroom, but it could be used as a reception room, and perhaps re-connected with the drawing room that lies behind it, as would originally have been the case (this would of course require planning permission). There is a small study on this level to the front.

From the top of the wisteria-clad steps that lead down to the garden from the entrance level – the blooms must be magnificent in early summer – there’s a view down the length of the 120ft garden, home to one of the largest trampolines ever seen in captivity. Upwards of two dozen round and ovoid balls strewn in the grass are testament to the fact that this is a much-used family garden. There’s plenty of room for a vegetable patch if prospective purchasers are GIY-minded.

The owners understand that No 10 was one of three built for three sisters, hence the interconnecting gate with the neighbouring garden.

At garden level, No 10 has a smart modern kitchen with integrated appliances, a large central island and impressive storage, including a dedicated pantry unit that will gladden the heart of any serious cook. The living and eating space is to the front, and there is also a separate den, which could be used as a bedroom, perhaps for an au pair.

A smart shower room on this level is ideal for muddy children coming in from sports, and there is handy storage space under the front steps that is ideal for bicycles. A laundry room is also on this level.

The two double bedrooms are on the first floor, while another potential single bedroom is currently in use as a dressing room. The current owners have plumbed this space so it could alternatively be reconfigured as an en suite; the family shower room is modern and spacious.

Blackrock is, of course, one of the most perennially desirable of the suburbs along the city’s south coastal suburbs. A proliferation of good schools, both primary and secondary, means that it is a popular family location, and proximity to the Dart line means that older children and teenagers can develop independence from an early age – something that’s much trickier in areas without good public transport, where parents are on constant call for chauffeur duties.

The village itself is as charming as ever, and relatively unscathed by the building work, with a terrific selection of independent retailers, including Raven Books, upmarket children’s shop Jane Carroll, Kahn boutique, Blackrock Cellar, the Organic Supermarket, and Triggerfish Cookware.

Blackrock punches above its weight when it comes to restaurants, with the Michelin-starred Heron & Grey tucked away in Blackrock Market, where its neighbours include the much-loved Indian restaurant Three Leaves.

10 Prince Edward Terrace Lower

Carysfort Avenue, Blackrock, Co Dublin

Asking price: €1.595m

Agent: Savills (01) 2885011

Indo Property

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