Listing of the Day
Location: Malahide Road, Kinsealy, Dublin
Price: €7.5 million (US$8.7 million)
An intriguing trapdoor in the floor of Emsworth’s entrance hall leads to an underground tunnel, linking the villa to the neighboring estate of Abbeville, famous for being the home of late Irish politician Charles Haughey. The tunnel is today walkable but bricked up on either side, and its original use remains a mystery, although the history of the two estates is intertwined.
James Gandon, one of the most fashionable Irish architects of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, remodeled Abbeville in the 1790s for its owner, John Beresford, whose banking partner James Woodmason then commissioned Gandon to design a house on nearby land. The result was Emsworth, which was completed in 1794.
Gandon also designed such prominent Dublin buildings as the Custom House and the Four Courts, but Emsworth is the only intact Gandon villa to survive in Ireland, according to the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.
The home’s current owner, a Dublin tech executive, bought the home in 2013, and according to the property’s agent, Roseanne De Vere Hunt, “renovated it to within an inch of its life” in a multi-million euro revamp. The home now gracefully combines period classicism with a more contemporary edge.
— Mansion Global (@MansionGlobal) November 16, 2017
Thoroughly redecorated by Elizabeth Kirby Designs, the renovation has retained the home’s original layout, and details such as its delicate plasterwork and huge sash windows.
“It includes the classical original features, combined with modern conveniences benefiting a wonderful, mature setting, within eight minutes of Dublin International airport,” Ms. De Vere Hunt said.
With a much shorter commute to the airport than when he lived further south, the home’s owner, who travels to the U.K. often, reckons he saves about a week a year in traveling, and is reluctantly moving only because his daughter has a long commute to school.
Emsworth is 5,554 square feet and sits on 17 acres of land. Its six bedrooms and six bathrooms are spread out between the main house and a restored coach house that can function as staff or guest accommodation.
Emsworth’s technology is cutting edge, with almost everything hooked up to smartphone apps such as Lutron, Pol, and MoboPix allowing the owner to remotely control its lights, sound, heating, water features and security systems.
The home features a colourful cinema room with advanced sound technology, a fitness cottage with a gym and pilates room, a Febvre automatically cooled wine cellar, and a garage full of antique cars, as well as a separate, more everyday use garage.
The home’s current owner also made many attractive additions to its extensive grounds, which now include a tennis court and playing pitch, running tracks for two kilometers around the property and a zip line over a wooded section of the grounds.
The villa was owned in the 1930s by Irish businessman John F. Maguire, who took over the major Irish department store Brown Thomas from Selfridges.
According to Ms. De Vere Hunt, Grace Kelly is rumored to have been pictured at the pool while Maguire was in residence. Following Maguire, media chief Gerry McGuinness, founder of the Sunday World newspaper, owned the home, and then tax consultant Noel Corcoran, who put Emsworth up for sale for €4.5 million in 2012, when it was bought by the current owner.
Agent: Roseanne De Vere Hunt of Sherry FitzGerald Country Homes, David Blanc of Sherry FitzGerald Blanc, and Christie’s International
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