Rathmines redbrick once home to Grace Gifford Plunkett for €3.95m

Handsome Temple Villas home is named in memory of woman who married Easter Rising leader Joseph Plunkett before his execution in Kilmainham Gaol

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Address: 8 Temple Villas, Palmerston Road, Rathmines, Dublin 6
Price: €3,950,000
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald
View this property on MyHome.ie

When the owner of 8 Temple Villas in Rathmines bought the house in 2020, they discovered that it had once been the home of Grace Gifford, the woman, famed in the song Grace, who married Joseph Plunkett, one of the leaders of the Easter Rising, in Kilmainham Gaol before his execution in 1916. So they called the house Gifford, the name now carved by the entrance gate.

The handsome redbrick, one of the terrace of villas at the Palmerston Park end of Palmerston Road, was in good condition when the current owners bought it in 2020 for €3 million. But they did a lot of work on their new home, in spite of the difficulty of revamping the house in the middle of Covid: work included installing new double-glazed sash windows, widening the front garden to provide parking for several cars behind black cast-iron electronic gates and redecorating the home throughout. And there is still potential to extend the house at the back, the selling agent suggests.

Number 8 Temple Villas, Rathmines, Dublin 6, the 336sq m (3,617sq ft) semi-detached five-bed, is now back for sale through Sherry FitzGerald for €3.95 million, a price rise of close to a third.

The houses on Temple Villas, protected buildings built in the late 1880s, seem relatively immune to the rise and fall of prices on the property market. A total of 13 houses there have changed hands since 2011, all selling for more €2 million; since 2014, all but one sold for more than €3 million.


Number 8 is a classic Victorian redbrick, with lots of intact period details, such as the elaborate plasterwork in many of the rooms. The large entrance porch has its original blue-and-brown encaustic tiles and large stained-glass windows. It opens into an L-shaped hall, with its dado rail and Anaglypta wallpaper below, painted and carpeted, like much of the house, in shades of grey.

On the left is the drawingroom, with a large, nearly floor-to-ceiling bay window, white marble fireplace, polished timber floor and a handsome chandelier – one of many in the house. Another livingroom (called the diningroom in the agent’s brochure) at the end of the front hall has a similar chandelier, polished timber floor and two tall sash windows overlooking Palmerston Road. The walls, lined with striking art, are painted a deep colour called Mouse’s Back by Farrow & Ball; there’s a baby grand piano in the corner.

Down a few steps are a family room/breakfast room, a kitchen and a large utility room. The family room is long and comfortable, with a conservatory-style space at the end opening through French doors into the back garden. The modest-sized kitchen/breakfast room beside it has a timber floor, an island unit topped with polished granite, a Quooker tap in the island’s sink, and white units. Wide double doors open into the garden. There’s a downstairs toilet off the large utility room and a half-door opening into the side entrance. There’s potential here for new owners to extend the house out into the good-sized back garden, creating a bigger open-plan space.

Upstairs are five bedrooms, all doubles. Two good-sized doubles on the first return look over the back garden. A few steps lead up to a large landing: the two bedrooms off it are nearly the same size as the reception rooms below: one double has two tall sash windows and a marble fireplace with cast-iron inset. A narrow walk-in wardrobe on the landing beside it could be an en suite. The main bedroom, like the drawingroom below, has a bay window, a chandelier and a mostly tiled shower room off it.

A few steps up lead to the second return at the top of the house: on one side of the landing is a large double bedroom, on the other, a handsome family bathroom with a shower and free-standing clawfoot bath.

The back garden, with a neat lawn, is private, sheltered by stone walls and has lots of mature trees and shrubs.

The house, which is Ber-exempt, is nearly opposite another road of expensive houses, Temple Gardens, and a short walk to the Cowper Luas stop.

Frances O'Rourke

Frances O'Rourke

Frances O'Rourke, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about homes and property