- Sale Type: For Sale by Private Treaty
- Overall Floor Area: 781 m²
Down a bucolic lane with high hedgerows off Howth's exclusive Ceanchor road stands the fabled Drumleck House, set on an exquisite garden estate of 10 acres overlooking Dublin bay.
This grand, 1830s residence has c.8,410 square feet of luxurious accommodation, with two swimming pools, access to the sea, staff cottages and an abundance of beguiling outbuildings, Drumleck House is Howth's most aspirational home. To visit these gardens is to fall under a spell and Drumleck's illustrious history notes many prominent figures entranced by its particular combination of natural and manmade beauty.
"So many things in life are predictable - things and even people you go out of your path to see are usually as you had expected to see them - but you - and your house and your garden and your spirit are like nothing I could ever have imagined to exist." - Jaqueline Kennedy, letter to the Hunts
A dappled driveway bends, building a sense of expectation before breaking through "the soft curve of its guardian trees" to reveal an imposing but elegant Wisteria clad house. Inside all is indulgence and the ultimate in privacy and luxurious living it is possible to attain.
A home made for entertaining in the most impressive style
The beautiful entrance hall is arrestingly impressive with 26ft high stucco ceilings, fine stone chimney piece, glittering chandelier, cantilevered staircase and chequerboard marble floor. This space sets the tone for the rest of the house. From here we enter the two principal receptions on the southern flank of the house. Traditional French doors and large sash windows look out onto sunlit terraces, rocky heath and panoramic seascape, giving these grand rooms the delightful atmosphere of a summer residence. The interconnecting drawing rooms possess an irresistible formal elegance, richly detailed with polychromatic marble, antique crystal and lustrous mahogany, they epitomise classic luxury but are at once so warm and relaxing you'll never want to leave. The decadent west-facing dining room is large enough to entertain more than 20 in consummate style but also intimate enough for smaller, casual gatherings. Hard to imagine a more festive space for Christmas revelry than this room, or one more delightful by candlelight on a summer evening, open to the pool terrace and the lights of Dublin city beyond.
Relaxed expansive living areas with unsurpassed views.
Drumleck's kitchen is an attractive, dual-aspect room with double doors to the patio at one end and slender arched windows at the other. A cherry-red AGA is a welcoming, warming presence all year round. This large space has ample room for everyday dining, garden access to the outdoor pool and of course another charming view of the bay. The last of the principal reception rooms is as glamorous as it is expansive. This TV / Livingroom is nicely secluded along a back corridor, as in Victorian times, it served as Drumleck's kitchen. Now a contemporary confection of dark walnut, fashionable earthy tones and subdued ambient lighting, this is a place to entertain kids during the day but which later becomes a chic adult retreat, ultra-comfortable and with one of the most compelling sea views Drumleck has to offer. Also on the ground floor there is a pretty powder room with shower enclosure and a neat laundry room, with traditional joinery, a Belfast sink and trap door to Drumleck's rangy cellar below.
An incomparable master bedroom suite, sleek, vast, the ultimate in indulgence and luxury with the most extravagant vistas to the sea
The first floor splits into two wings at the top of the staircase and provides the bedrooms with a remarkable degree of privacy from one another. The master suite is all about indulgence, comprising three stylish rooms, occupying the entire southern wing, with dreamy views from both the generous dressing room and the zen, contemporary bathroom. The expansive bedroom is cool and opulent and its big bay window offers perhaps Drumleck's most extravagant vista down sweeping lawns, then over verdant rock and exquisitely cloud pruned pines to the water and mountains beyond. There are two more spacious bedrooms with wonderful sea views to the West, and another facing east onto the garden. All the bedrooms are charming and full of character, with Victorian joinery, high ceilings and well-appointed en suites, one with a bijou slipper bath.
Working from home in impressive, stylish studies with bespoke joinery, beautifully appointed.
Drumleck can accommodate working from home in incomparable luxury and style. Just off the main landing lies a small but chic office, with teal, fabric lined walls, bespoke joinery and intricate detailing. This perfectly formed room would delight even the strictest of aesthetes, or perhaps a very lucky teenager. In the other wing there is a 'master of the universe study' with three large sash windows looking down to Drumleck's iconic v-shaped opening to the bay. This fabulous room can be both study and library, with spectacular panelling and bookshelves. Warm and refined, it is a superbly indulgent work space, as well as a bibliophile's dream.
Perfectly appointed fitness suite and ancillary accommodation.
From the kitchen the back corridor gives access to a utility courtyard, neat and functional with Liscannor flagstones and potted ferns. Bounding the courtyard is a discreet two storey structure, housing various utility rooms and staff accommodation. Accessible from here is a store, currently home to some additional refrigeration and a capacious wine cave. At a higher level, the busy Gardener's yard (accessed by a covered staircase) is where the entrance to a very agreeable staff cottage and a separate Gardener's kitchen is to be found. Opening out from the kitchen is a paved terrace leading to the indoor pool that can offer the ultimate in family fun but also be a calm wellness space, with a delightful garden aspect creating a south-facing sanctuary. Together with an outdoor pool on the western facade of the house, a perfectly appointed, spacious gym completes the fitness and leisure amenities. Joining the gym and the main house is a sun soaked modern conservatory which makes a wonderful winter garden/orangery, where fragrant citrus thrives.
A fairy tale scene, startlingly beautiful, this sylvan glade is crowned by a high rocky outcrop, which dramatically channels the view to the water
The jagged coastline around Drumleck point is a beguiling fragment of Dublin bay, it is the scene of rugged rock formations, gorgeous maritime flora and breath taking panoramas of sea and sky. Drumleck house sits on an elevated position right at the back of its 10 acres of garden and rugged foreshore.
The house is sheltered to the north by Howth hill, and on the eastern and western boundaries is screened from its neighbours by dense flanks of tall trees. Looking south and seaward, a billowing mass of rhododendrons, generating a dazzling display of colour. At the top of stone steps, stand where Drumleck castle once ruled the horizon, enjoy the limitless view along the southern coastline as far as Wicklow Head, a hypnotic scene of sky and sea, ever changing with the seasons and the solid progress of ships to and from the port.
The garden's remarkable complexity of design is mostly due to John and Gertrude Hunt, who lived in Drumleck from the 1950s to the 1980s and developed many of the formal features. They indulged their taste for Italianate garden design but also referenced English garden motifs, including an homage to the white garden at Sissinghurst. Mediterranean and Tuscan influences abound.
The principal axis of the garden follows flights of antique granite steps leading the visitor from a nostalgic walled garden at the highest point of the site, down several terrace levels. The upper terrace is a series of surprising rooms, with follies such as Chinese terracotta warriors, an herb garden and a white garden. The next level gives access to the house and pools, the descent guarded on both sides by classical columns, remnants of a lost Georgian Dublin. Water features are plentiful, none more beautiful than the antique fountain in Drumleck's most romantic area, the rose garden.
Now a gentle transformation from formal to naturalistic and here your discovery of treasures continues. Rhododendron and Fern gardens, a shady pond with small islands. Below the rocky bluff, a tennis court, a path to the sea and a perfect swimming spot leads through an enchanting orchard, past a paddock with stables for miniature ponies.
Drumleck, a world of its own, where time stands still.
Drumleck House is fabulously varied, with a breath taking, rugged landscape of sea and scarp, and unique and intoxicating garden. As such a deeply affecting place, it comes as no surprise then that of the Hunts' prominent, cosmopolitan friends who visited the house, including Peggy Rockefeller, Elizabeth Arden and Jackie Kennedy, all expressed their delight with Drumleck. Howth is a very special, picturesque enclave of Dublin, its protected maritime and upland heath environments are a great venue for healthy outdoor pursuits. This historic fishing village is rich in maritime and cultural amenities and offers a vibrant food scene with excellent restaurants, great pubs and fine shops.
Unsurpassed sea views
Indoor and Outdoor swimming pool
Astroturf Tennis Court
Award winning Gardens
Access to beach and Jameson Swimming Hole
Walled vegetable garden
Paddock with Pony Stables
Oil Fired Central Heating
Approximately 8,410 sq ft of accommodation
Listed House, BER exempt
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