Crampton-built home at Herbert Park a rare offering for €5m

The renovated redbrick villa extending to 460sq m retains original period details throughout

This article is 5 months old
Address: 26 Herbert Park, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
Price: €5,000,000
Agent: Knight Frank
View this property on

“Forty Acres” is how the 1836 Ordnance Survey describes the land on which the Dublin building firm G&T Crampton developed the “Herbert Park Estate” – Arranmore Road, Argyle Road, Brendan Road and Herbert Park – between 1909 and 1917, to designs by Liverpool-born architect Charles Herbert Ashworth.

Number 26 Herbert Park is one of four similar pairs along the right-hand side of the road as you travel from Donnybrook to Ballsbridge; it was built in 1910 and a photograph in the G&T Crampton archive held at UCD shows two of the “semi-detached villas” looking pretty much exactly as they do now. In 1911, according to the census, an oil/petrol importer named William Preston and his wife Josephine lived at number 26 with their three daughters, a maid and a nurse.

It’s likely the Prestons would have lived quite differently from the family who are selling number 26 through Knight Frank with an asking price of €5 million. They bought the six-bed redbrick in the 1990s and as their family grew, so did their plans; they engaged architects Crean Salley to design a multimillion renovation and extension, including a basement, in 2007, bringing the total floor area to 460sq m (4,950sq ft).

The layout is very appealing, with interior design by Helen Roden creating a relaxed formality: every room has personality and charm. Original features such as door furniture, stained glass windows and fireplaces survive throughout, and the high ceilings lend an airy feel. As a protected structure, it is Ber-exempt.


A study and a cosy livingroom with a bay window take up the front of the house, with a guest toilet off the wide hall which is floored, like the new part, in pale stone. Another livingroom with a lovely fireplace and a modern, solid wood floor lies to the right; glass doors open to a generous patio.

A fifth door leads from the hall past a large utility room, with a window to the side passage, into the extended kitchen, where the wow factor of the modern build begins. At the near end is the SieMatic kitchen, with acres of storage, every sort of built-in appliance, a gigantic Sub-Zero fridge and a huge island topped with sparkly mosaic. The dining and sunroom end has an overhanging, metal-clad roof and one corner made of glass; wooden doors slide open to another patio lined with lavender, and to a wide deck, and there is a rectangular lawn at the end.

At the centre of the garden is a void, surrounded by a glass balustrade; this lights the basement, to which there are stairs from the garden and from the kitchen. It’s an ideal retreat for teenagers, with a TV/music/study den (and another patio) at the bright end, and a well-fitted gym under the kitchen.

On the first floor are three double bedrooms; the main suite runs from the bay window at the front through to the luxurious marble-floored en suite, with a bath and wet-room shower. In the middle is a dressingroom, where the wardrobe doors are faced in mirrors above and silk panels below. There is a family bathroom at this level. At the top of the house are a shower room and three more bedrooms, with angled ceilings; two are dual aspect.

The back garden is especially quiet as it bounds a garden on Argyle Road – where, incidentally, George Crampton built his own home. Southeasterly light dapples through tall silver birches, and mahonia bushes add colour and depth. The railed front garden is nicely planted with tree ferns, a maple and other specimens, and there is plenty of space to park on the gravel.

Houses at this end of Herbert Park don’t come on the market that often, according to the Property Price Register. Across the road, number 7 is currently for sale through Bergins, asking €2.8 million and number 17, asking €2.5 million, is sale agreed through Sherry FitzGerald; in 2019 number 3 made €2.307 million. It’s a prime patch of Dublin 4, close to prestigious schools and plenty of shops, handy for bus routes and the Dart; and right beside the playgrounds, pitches, ponds and coffee shop of Herbert Park – all 32 acres of it.

Joyce Hickey

Joyce Hickey

Joyce Hickey is an Irish Times journalist