Beachfront period home in Sandymount where James Joyce once lived on the market for €2.15m

Many improvements have been made to 35 Strand Road in Dublin 4, including the addition of modern bathrooms and a well-equipped kitchen

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Address: 35 Strand Road, Sandymount, Dublin 4
Price: €2,150,000
Agent: Lisney Sotheby's International Realty
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If you put up a plaque for every house in Dublin that James Joyce has lived in, you’d probably have to order extra supplies of bronze. With his family’s finances in disarray, the young Joyce lived in many places, and after his mother died and his father frittered away the last of their money, Joyce began moving from one rented property to another, mostly in the Dublin 4 area. One of the places where he lived was 35 Strand Road and, standing in the livingroom of this fine Victorian terraced house, it’s easy to imagine Joyce looking out the window to Sandymount Strand and coming up with early ideas for Ulysses.

The owner of number 35 bought the house in 1975 and found it in pristine condition with the cornices, ceiling roses, marble fireplaces and polished timber floors intact. He made many improvements to the four-bedroom house over the years, putting down marble tiling in the hall, as well as modern, tiled bathrooms and a well-equipped kitchen and utility/boot room area. Otherwise, the house doesn’t look much different from the way it was when Joyce took up temporary residence here in 1904.

The result is a superb period family home with all modern conveniences, located across the road from the strand and within walking distance of Sandymount village. With a floor area of 275 sq m (2,960 sq ft), there is plenty of room for a family to grow.

The entrance is up a set of granite steps, through the large front door with a lovely, red-lit stained glass fanlight overhead and on through the porch, and you’re into a big marble-floored reception hall with a high ceiling and ornate cornicing. To the left is the drawingroom to the front, with period marble fireplace, cast-iron inset with floral tiles and slate hearth. There is a convenient gas fire in this fireplace. Double doors lead to the diningroom to the rear, which has a lovely black marble fireplace. Ceiling coving, centre roses and window shutters are in excellent condition throughout.


On the first floor return is a surprise: a lovely office space with its own balcony looking on to the southwest-facing back garden. “This is my sanctuary,” says the owner. “It’s a great place to work from home. I can shut the door and no one knows I’m there, and when I need to take a break or think, I can just sit out on the terrace.” There’s a handy tiled shower room here too, with vanity wash basin, heated towel rail and recessed downlighting.

The main bedroom on the first floor spans the entire front of the house, with wonderful views to Poolbeg Lighthouse and Howth Head. There are two sets of fitted wardrobes, an en suite and a walk-in wardrobe with recessed lighting and a roof light. There is a second bedroom on this floor looking out over the back garden.

Through a small lobby area on the hall floor return is the third bedroom, with shower room beside it, and the fourth bedroom is at garden level, with fitted wardrobes, a study desk and a window seat — a perfect room for a teenager to do their homework or just sit daydreaming.

The kitchen/breakfastroom has ample cupboard space, a five-ring range with extractor, a fridge-freezer and marble tiled flooring. The owner, who likes to travel, bought several pieces of furniture from abroad, including a lovely chandelier over the breakfast table that he found in Turkey. The elegant diningroom cabinet was sourced in Portugal.

The kitchen opens on to a sunroom that had been added before the owner bought the house, but is in good condition. There are blinds overhead, because the room gets hot during spring and summer, and a sliding patio door opening to a lovely, private southwest-facing back garden, which has a patio area for barbecuing, and a well-tended lawn area with mature plants, trees and hedging, and a rockery. At the end of the garden is a block-built garden store that is wired for electricity; there is off-street parking for one car here, with access from a rear gate.

To the front at garden level is a TV room, with a handy hatch from the kitchen to pass in the popcorn. There’s also a good-sized utility/boot room with washer-dryer and lots of storage. A small lobby leads out to a separate garden entrance, so when the family trudge in after their walk on Sandymount Strand, they can come in this way, take off their boots and hang up their coats before heading into the kitchen for their lunch.

With the children now living in all corners of the world — from Blackrock to Sydney to Kentucky — the owner is ready to downsize to an apartment in the locality. Number 35 Strand Road, with a Ber rating of C2, is for sale through Lisney Sotheby’s International Realty, seeking €2.15 million.

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney is an Irish Times journalist