Foxrock home with two croquet lawns for €2.975m

Despite the trappings, this home manages to exude period charm without being ostentatious

This article is 10 months old
Address: Appletree, Mart Lane, Foxrock, Dublin 18
Price: €2,975,000
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald

Mention Foxrock in company, and someone might make a quip about croquet lawns and afternoon tea. The area in south Dublin certainly has that reputation, but Appletree on Mart Lane, next to Foxrock village, manages to exude period charm without being too ostentatious or over the top. The house, built in 2005-2006 on half an acre of mature, landscaped gardens, has not one but two croquet lawns, and the owners are keen players of the genteel sport, so the mallets are always out and ready to use. As for afternoon tea, there is no shortage of sunny spots in the back garden and side garden to sip your favourite Darjeeling in between turns on the croquet lawn.

While Appletree is clearly inspired by 19th-century architecture, the design of the house, by architect Colin Galavan, is uncomplicated; the owners eschewed complicated cornicing and finicky filigree for a straightforward, no-nonsense style. This is evident in the painted hardwood sash windows and cut limestone sills – sourced from a quarry in Co Roscommon – and the clean, modern brick-and-render facade. There is the odd period flourish such as the granite stone portico with doric columns, but overall you’re looking at a solid, up-to-date family home that needs no work at all.

The double-width front door leads into a wide, inviting hallway with oak floorboards. There’s an unusual feature here: a large antique marble fireplace, one of five feature fireplaces around the house, four of which are Adam fireplaces. You don’t immediately think of sitting around this hall fireplace – although the hall is wide enough for that – but if you were having a party, this fireplace would be perfect for guests to gather around while chatting.

The downstairs is laid out to allow easy circulation from room to room, starting with the large, dual-aspect drawingroom to the left with a big bay window and the adjoining formal diningroom. Both of these rooms have matching Adam fireplaces, and the livingroom has French doors leading out to the southwest-facing side garden, where you’ll find the smaller croquet lawn – more of a practice lawn – on a raised platform laid in artificial grass.


The oak kitchen fittings are designed by Mark Wilkinson, and provide plenty of storage. The terracotta tiled floor and four-oven cream Aga adds a nice country flavour. At the moment there is a dining table and chairs in centre of the kitchen and armchairs by the fire, but new owners could easily change the layout here to allow for a large island to be installed, which would complete the kitchen nicely. Beyond the kitchen is a boot room and utility room, with doors leading out to the main garden, which is not out the back but to the other side of the house. While this garden has a northeasterly aspect, the sun still gets a good look-in for much of the day, and the owners have set up a nice, sheltered seating area for sunny lunch al fresco.

Completing the downstairs is a large study to the right of the hallway, and a guest WC with cloak storage beside the stairs. The landing upstairs is a room unto itself, with a large vaulted skylight bringing light into the centre of the house. There’s a huge wall cabinet and desk set up here for home working, but this space might work better free of furniture, allowing this space to breathe freely.

Up here are four large double bedrooms, each with an en suite, plus a single bedroom that could easily be the new home office, and a large family bathroom with terracotta flooring. A storage cupboard leads up to the spacious attic, which has been completely floored, and allows you to stand up and walk around the entire house without bumping your head. All your suitcases, Christmas decorations and family heirlooms and bits and bobs can go up here and still leave lots of storage room.

Outside, facing the smaller croquet lawn, is a large summer house with full-height windows, with exposed oak beams and underfloor heating. It can be used as a kids’ games room, a home office or just a place to relax and take full advantage of this suntrap. There’s also a triangular garden shed with slate roof neatly tucked away in a corner of the garden. The main garden is where the real croquet action takes place, with a paved pathway running around the lawn. This garden has also hosted big events in the past, including a family wedding with 240 guests in a large marquee, so space isn’t an issue here.

Mart Lane is within walking distance of Foxrock village, and you can be on the N11 and M50 within minutes. With the owners ready to downsize, the opportunity is there to grab a slice of quiet, elegant living in Foxrock.

Appletree in Mart Lane extends to 514sq m (5,533sq ft) with a Ber of B1, and is for sale through Sherry FitzGerald seeking €2.975 million.

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney is an Irish Times journalist