Martello commander’s imposing home overlooking Killiney Bay for sale for €4.75m

Rathleigh, on Military Road in Killiney, in south Co Dublin, is an impressive seven-bed period residence with huge potential

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Address: Rathleigh, Military Road, Killiney, Co Dublin
Price: €4,750,000
Agent: Lisney Sotheby's International Realty
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If you’re looking for a grand house on magnificent grounds overlooking Killiney Bay, then Rathleigh on Military Road in the south Dublin suburb of Killiney might be the one for you.

This impressive period residence, extending to 555sq m (5,976sq ft) of living space, has many of its original features intact, including ceiling coving, ceiling roses, shutters and picture rails, but it is in need of a good freshening-up from top to bottom. New owners will want to take out all the carpeting, redo the bathrooms, open out the kitchen/dining area and do a complete interior redecoration. But with a bit of effort and a lot of imagination, Rathleigh can be made as impressive inside as it looks from the outside.

Rathleigh sits on an elevated spot surrounded by just under 0.8 hectares (2 acres) of well-maintained gardens. The original house was built in the early Victorian era, and was the home of the commander-in-chief in charge of the Martello towers that line Dublin Bay (tower number 7 is nearby) and were built in the early 19th century to defend the coast against the threat of invasion by Napoleon’s fleet.

An imposing new front section was added to the house in 1860, creating a tasteful blend of old and older still. The “new” part features an entrance porch with a glass roof, going through to a wide entrance hall with tiled floors.


On each side of the hall is a large reception room, each mirroring the other, both with marble fireplaces and two big windows looking out to the magnificent views. A wide set of steps leads you to the “old” section of the house and the inner hallway; to the left is the family/TV room, but it used to be the ballroom, and the sprung solid timber ballroom floor is still intact.

An imposing new front section was added to the house in 1860, creating a tasteful blend of old and older still

Off the rear hall is the breakfastroom, kitchen and conservatory (a very modern addition from 1996), and this area is ripe for a reimagining. French doors in the rear hall and the conservatory open out to the rear garden and to an elevated deck. The gardens wrap the house in beautifully manicured greenery, and there are also an original Victorian lawn tennis court and a croquet lawn nestling among the mature trees, flower beds, Victorian rockery, rose beds and hedging.

There are seven bedrooms upstairs, two on the first floor return, with a guest WC, and five on the first floor, with another bathroom and the main family bathroom. The two main bedrooms to the front, mirroring the two big reception rooms below, have wonderful views over the gardens and across Killiney Bay to Bray Head. There’s a small set of stairs giving access to the roof, which has been completely refurbished over the past ten years.

The basement adds an extra 139sq m (1,500sq ft) to the overall area, and unless you’re planning to open a car repair shop, you’ll have to come up with some radical ideas for this space. The late owner of the house was a classic car enthusiast, and the basement is strewn with equipment, parts and components from years of tinkering around with and doing up old cars, which he brought down to the basement via a ramp and garage doors. Also down here are a substantial wine cellar and two large storage areas.

The house comes with a triple garage, a gate lodge that can be rented out as a one-bedroom apartment, and a stables and mews that also constitute stand-alone two-bed properties. They are accessed via separate entrance gates with parking.

Rathleigh, which has a G Ber rating, is for sale through Lisney Sotheby’s International Realty, seeking €4.75 million.

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney is an Irish Times journalist