Llandaff Terrace lies on the left-hand side of the Merrion Road as you drive along the Rock Road that leads from Blackrock towards Dublin city centre, just past the Tara Towers hotel.
The terrace of eight Victorian houses, which is set back from the Merrion Road and bordered by railings and mature planting, was purchased by the US Starwood Capital Group in 2016 along with the six office and apartment blocks in the vast Elm Park development behind it.
The houses on Landaff Terrace have been restored by Starwood and No 211, a double-fronted, two-bedroom town-house is the last one to be sold. The house has 1076 sq ft of living space and the high ceilings that one associates with houses dating from this period, along with cast iron gutters and downpipes, a full render exterior and a new slate roof. The period-style windows are double-glazed and effective both in terms of keeping noise out and heat in. The house has a BER of B3, superior to that of many period houses.
Inside, the double-fronted configuration of the house provides for a sitting room to the right of the entrance hall and a dining room to the left, with steps down to the bespoke kitchen. This is fully-fitted and includes integrated appliances such as a fridge freezer, electric oven and hob, extractor hood and fan, and dishwasher. There is also a handy guest lavatory on the ground floor.
Upstairs, there are two double bedrooms and a family bathroom. Both bedrooms have fitted wardrobes.
No 211 comes with two designated car parking spaces and a low-maintenance city-style west-facing garden. The annual service charge is €875 and includes a bin service.
In terms of location, Llandaff Terrace is convenient to the villages of Blackrock, Sandymount and Ballsbridge, each of which has shops, restaurants and cafes. Blackrock in particular has a slew of restaurants, with everything from the new branch of Five Guys in the Frascati Centre, now coming to the conclusion of a massive revamp, to the modest Three Leaves and its neighbour the Michelin-starred Heron & Grey in Blackrock Market. New Indian restaurant Ruchi is already a firm favourite with the locals. For actual grocery shopping, The Merrion Centre is the closest and has a branch of Tesco. Landuff Terrace would be a good base for anyone working in St Vincent’s University Hospital or the Blackrock Clinic, and is convenient for the city centre, which is well served by several bus routes which pass directly in front of the terrace, as does the AirCoach service to Dublin Airport. There is a cycle route that runs all the way into town.
For sports fans – and who isn’t one these days, given the performance of the Irish and Leinster rugby teams? – the Aviva Stadium and the RDS are within match-strolling distance. For those who prefer to participate than spectate, sports clubs in the immediate area include Wanderers Rugby Club, Elm Park Golf and Sports Club and Donnybrook Lawn Tennis Club, while the promenade along Sandymount Strand is a popular running route. The beach and nature walk are a terrific amenity for dog walkers.
Families will be attracted by the proximity of so many good schools, including St Andrews, Blackrock College, Willow Park, St Conleth’s, St Michael’s, The Teresian School and Booterstown National School. The third-level institutions of University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin and Royal College of Surgeons are all also convenient.
“The lands which stretch from Booterstown to Merrion are low-lying and close to the sea,” writes Peter Pearson in his book Between the Mountains and the Sea, who notes that they were once dominated by the castle of the Fitzwilliams, located near a shallow stream. That original castle, the earliest mention of which was in 1334, is long since gone; but nearby is Merrion Castle which dates from the 18th century and has been home to the Sisters of Charity since 1866, when they acquired the land to establish St Mary’s Blind Asylum.
They built a convent, a school and a large granite chapel on to the old house; these days the campus includes a nursing home, sheltered housing and a swimming pool and the ‘asylum’ language has long since, thankfully, been abandoned.
Until as recently as the 1990s, there were cattle grazing by the stream in the farmlands belonging to the nuns – remarkably close to the city centre.
In the 18th century, the Fitzwilliams owned all of Merrion and Booterstown (known once as Butterstown) and at Merrion they developed expansive brick fields from where clay and bricks were supplied to the house-builders of Dublin for terraced houses in the city, in the likes of Merrion and Fitzwilliam Squares, and seaside villas in places such as Blackrock.
When the Dart service was introduced in 1983, it brought an end to the manually-operated level crossing gates at Merrion, which until then were operated by a signalman turning a large capstan.
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