Ailesbury Road has long been known as Embassy Row because so many embassies and embassy residences are located there. But it is also popular with Ireland’s finance chiefs, which accounts for the high prices paid for Ailesbury properties in recent years. Typically, new owners then spend €1 million or more to completely renovate their homes.
That’s why Sherry FitzGerald is seeking €5.75 million for 32 Ailesbury Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4: the 471.1 sq m (5,071 sq ft) five-bed semi-detached house on 0.16 hectares (0.4 acres) that backs onto Wanderers’ Rugby Schedules. built in 1930 and over the years has been well cared for by its owners, a doctor who had his private consulting rooms there, and his wife. But it seems to be accepted wisdom in the property world that someone who can spend €5 million on a house will want to upgrade it to an A-rated modern house. An example of such a house is number 34, the other half of the half, bought in 2019 for almost 5 million euros and extensively upgraded and extended.
Other neighbors include the Chinese Embassy staff accommodation next door and 36 Ailesbury Road, the former French Embassy which was bought by Ryanair heir Shane Ryan for more than €4m in 2013: he has planning permission for a redevelopment of the listed structure which includes a basement swimming pool and gym.
The doctor and his wife have lived in number 32 since they bought it (for £165,000) in 1984. It’s a 1930s property with the feel of a Victorian home – at some point it seems the original 1930s mantelpieces were replaced with large marble hobs in front hall and reception room. It has a Ber of E2.
A pillared porch leads to the front door, which has leaded glass: it opens into a large hall where a gilded mirror hangs over the fireplace, opposite a piano. An arch at the end leads to a wardrobe and then to a toilet.
To the right of the hall the dining room has a wide bay window with leaded glass panes at the top overlooking the front garden and an Adams-style fireplace; a bay window in the drawing room, which has a matching marble fireplace, overlooks the rear garden. To the left of the hall is a family room overlooking the front garden with a stone fireplace with an inset wood burning stove.
The modern kitchen at the back of the house was renovated for the second time 20 years ago and has a bleached stone floor, a timber worktop, polished black granite worktops and a cream Aga. Service bells over the door, a reminder that some 1930s households had staff, still work. A door from here steps down into a side passage, off which is a utility room. A front door into this covered side passage formerly gave access to the doctor’s reception room upstairs. The passage also leads to a sunroom extension at the rear, one of the owners’ favorite features: it was a great asset, they say, where many parties and functions were held.
There is a bronze statue with a working lamp at the end of the stairs, an Art Deco feature in some 1930s houses. Upstairs there are two rooms off the first return, where the doctor’s reception room was: the room at the front is now set up as a home office, the one at the back – overlooking the Wanderer’s grounds – as a bedroom/sitting room.
There are five bedrooms and a family bathroom on the first floor, three doubles and two singles. The main bedroom, like the dining room below it, has a large bay window and an en-suite shower room with Jack and Jill off it. Timber stairs lead up to a large attic, which is used for storage.
There is plenty of room in the long backyard to extend: one third of it is a neat lawn, bordered by colorful flower beds, divided by a path leading to a tennis court that takes up two thirds of the space, with a small summer house – a traditional pavilion – at the end. There is plenty of space to park next to the lawn in the garden.
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