Tucked away but close to everything at detached Donnybrook five-bed for €1.995m

The Thornfield development is as 10-minute walk from Donnybrook village yet feels miles from anything

Address: 1 Thornfield, Donnybrook, Dublin 4
Price: €1,995,000
Agent: DNG
View this property on MyHome.ie

You could have driven past the Thornfield development in Donnybrook for years and not be aware of its existence. Constructed in 1996, on a secluded near-three-acre site behind old cypress trees, it consists of 13 apartments and five substantial houses, which lie behind two sets of electric gates.

The secluded spot – opposite RTÉ's Montrose premises – is very private, so much so owners of number 1 Thornfield say, “hardly anyone knows where we live as the house is completely hidden away here, and you hear birdsong over traffic”. It’s also very secure, thanks to the tall electric gates.

The house appears on the Property Price Register as having sold last July for €1.525 million, however, that was an interfamilial transfer.

There’s quite a lot of space within its 230sq m (2,475sq ft) over two floors, with four reception rooms in the form of a sittingroom, a livingroom, a diningroom and a sunroom, along with an office and an eat-in kitchen on the ground floor, where there’s also a utility room and a loo. Upstairs are five bedrooms: four doubles, two of which are en suite; and a single. The property has a C2 Ber rating.


Last summer the family redesigned the entire rear garden to meet their needs. They removed lots of old trees and an old lawn – which they replaced with easy-to-manage AstroTurf – and built a garden room to their own design, currently used as a game room.

The whole garden was designed to maximise the path of the sun as it floods the space with sunlight from about 2pm; the family have used this space to entertain 50 guests for a Communion celebration. It is well laid out for sports with football nets, a table tennis table, a snooker table and a trampoline for kids and adults to have fun to their hearts’ content. Small details, such as a boundary wall painted in anthracite grey with three large mirrors, add interest to the place.

Inside, number 1 also lends itself to entertaining, with a wide and welcoming brightly lit hallway where the family have welcomed (and catered for) 20 guests for Christmas.

Besides its size and walk-in condition, its location will be a real selling point. Donnybrook village is a 10-minute walk away, as is Tesco at the Merrion shopping centre. There’s an abundance of schools in the area, most of which are accessible on foot, as is University College Dublin which has a back entrance near the house. Leisure facilities, such as those for swimming, cycling and running, are also available in UCD as well as facilities at the David Lloyd Riverview club, which is a few minutes further towards the city centre. For rugby, Donnybrook Stadium is minutes away and a 20-minute stroll will have you in Ballsbridge for matches in the Aviva.

For commuters, owners say they have never driven to the airport as the Aircoach stops at the front gate of the development, as does the 46A bus to town, which has a service about every five minutes at peak times.

The Ber of C2 is a decent reading considering the property is 25 years old, although, with new carpets, painting and all-new appliances, it feels like a much newer property. While its Shaker-style kitchen with black granite countertops is in good condition (with new appliances), new owners may want a more contemporary feel.

Its privacy and security are also attractive, with two sets of electric gates framing communal gardens lined with Romanesque ponds.

As owners are heading for warmer climes, they have placed their home on the market through DNG, seeking €1.995 million.

Elizabeth Birdthistle

Elizabeth Birdthistle

Elizabeth Birdthistle, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about property, fine arts, antiques and collectables