Long before 1902 when Arthur and Selina Spence commissioned the builder, Joseph Pemberton, to start building Lithgow as their family home, Oakley Road was evolving into an eclectic road. Nearly 200 years ago in 1820, William Meyler described the road as a rustic avenue with a turnstile into fields. It is, perhaps, that sense of the rustic that attracted Denis and Agnes McCullough to purchase and move their family into Lithgow in 1936. It was to remain their family home for a third of a century. Their extended family, coupled with their political and business connections, ensured that Lithgow was the hub of much social connectivity. A tennis court, keeping hens and a war time wedding were all part of the mix that gives the house such a rich heritage.
Lithgow, in the early seventies, was converted into flats and, for the following 35 years, provided the type of accommodation that Ranelagh became synonymous with during that period.
In 2005, Lithgow was purchased by the current owners and plans were drawn up in 2006 to bring it back to its former glory, while transforming it into a sublime 21st century home with light-filled and generously proportioned high-ceilinged rooms.
Village living invariably involves compromise of some sort between accommodation, privacy, orientation, light and garden, but in the case of Lithgow, there is no such compromise, making it such a breath-taking, all-round house rarely found in any capital city so close to the centre.
Lithgow commands a pivotal position on one of Ranelaghs most interesting, eclectic and relatively quiet roads, less than 300 metres from Beechwood Luas stop in one direction, equidistant from the hustle and bustle of Ranelagh Village in the other and less than 1.2 miles from St. Stephens Green. The house was, originally, a sedate Edwardian residence correct in every classical detail. In 2007/2008, the period Edwardian house, completed in 1904 on behalf of Arthur and Selina Spence, was transformed and extended for the current owners by Paul Keogh and Rachael Chidlow of Paul Keogh Architects, with great ingenuity, imagination and thoughtful, yet practical design.
Edwardian to the front and 21st century, cedar-clad to the rear, Arthur and Selinas original house now extends to approximately 6,046 sq ft /561 sq m, standing on 0.35 acre/0.141 hectares. The property continues to surprise, not least with the detached, single-storey, cedar-clad, one bedroomed house, cleverly positioned in the rear garden, providing valuable, independent accommodation. This ancillary house is hidden away amongst the shrubbery of the captivating and superbly orientated gardens.
The main house is a large and elegant home of handsomely proportioned rooms awash with character and unusual features not least the two magnificent staircases one sweeping upstairs from the front hall under the eye of a spectacular glass and wood panelled atrium, and the second, in beautifully crafted, polished oak, flowing from the show-stopping, first floor drawing-room, winding down to the basement recreation area, two floors below.
Drag yourself away from the elevated view of the beautiful gardens from the upstairs drawing room and wander down to the heart of the house - the large, bright and airy kitchen which flows into more living space and, if required, formal dining space. There is a wonderful fluidity to this part of the house as the living space at this level can be opened up in dramatic fashion to allow for large scale entertaining or for the most relaxed everyday living.
Centralised TV distribution system and Sonos multi-room audio system.
Gas fired central heating system fired by two Vaillant independent boilers. This system is mainly underfloor with the upstairs bedrooms having the benefit of radiators. The boiler house is located in a courtyard to the side of the house.
The water heating system in the main house is supported by three solar panels located on the roof over the drawing room.
Garden House Services
Gas fired underfloor central heating
Porch Entrance Stone and brick detail, original encaustic tiled floor.
Reception Hall Front door with stained glass detail. Ornate ceiling rose, ceiling coving, fine original carved staircase with mahogany handrail, panelled under stairs storage area. The hall has wide plank engineered oak flooring and this is continued throughout the house and garden house except where otherwise indicated.
Study Ornate ceiling rose and decorative coving, recessed lighting, period marble fireplace with slate inset and hearth. Box bay casement windows with stained glass detail, fitted shelving, full length recessed fitted storage cupboards and drawer units. The clear glass windows are all double glazed as is the case throughout the property.
Sitting Room Three large double casement windows with stained glass above, ornate ceiling rose, cornice and coving, period marble fireplace, slate hearth.
Cloakroom Generous storage with full length fitted cupboards.
Shower Room Tiled stone floor. Duravit wash hand basin with integrated towel rail, Duravit wc, display shelf and full width mirror, heated towel rail, fully tiled shower with recessed lighting.
Bedroom 5 (rear) Double room with ceiling coving, nook shelving, recessed lighting and full length recessed wardrobes. French doors lead to inner courtyard.
Dining Room 3 large casement windows, ornate ceiling coving, ceiling rose, ornate period marble fireplace with slate, inset and hearth. Double doors open into:
Living Room Painted timber saw-cut wall panelling. Picture rail, lightwell, enclosed wood effect gas fire with raised marble surround and hearth. Full length recessed china cupboard. Recessed lighting. Large French doors to internal courtyard and large French doors to side garden.
Kitchen/Breakfast Room Andrew Ryan bespoke kitchen, fitted with an extensive range of units at high and low level, hardwood worktops, 3 sets of French doors to patio and garden. Large brushed-steel sink, 2 integrated Miele dishwashers, Liebherr larder fridge, Liebherr fridge/freezer. KitchenAid multifunction steam oven/microwave, KitchenAid fan oven. Pistachio coloured 4 oven gas-fired Aga with 2 hot plates and warming plate. Large island unit with pull out drawers, Siemens induction hob, hardwood worktop.Built-in hardwood day bed, hardwood shelving, fitted bookshelves, 2 large windows opening on to side garden.Access to second bespoke carved oak staircase to basement and to first floor:
Upstairs Fine original main staircase with mahogany handrail, intricate carved banisters to:
Landing Stunning glazed original atrium roof, which is double glazed, with detailed carved panelling and fine plasterwork. Original detailed cornice with deep coving.
Drawing Room Dramatic full length sliding double doors with glazed screens offering elevated views over the gardens with the benefit of full sun until late evening. Extensive recessed and hidden lighting. A large open fireplace with raised stone hearth. Door to bespoke carved oak second staircase connecting to ground floor and basement.
Guest WC Velux window, duravit wash hand basin with integrated towel rail, full width mirror with display shelf, wc.
Main Bedroom Large double room with ceiling coving, recessed full height bookshelves, casement bay window with window seat enjoying a most wonderful view over the Oakley Road streetscape, 2 Best & Lloyd wall lamps, fitted carpets.
Dressing Room Stone floor, walk-in wardrobes provide generous storage, rooflight. Double doors open into:
En Suite Bathroom Stone tiled floor with free-standing Duravit bath and large duravit wash hand basin with generous integrated storage beneath. Four Velux windows, recessed lighting, two vertical heated towel rails. Fully tiled shower with two shower heads including a rain water shower, wc, full width mirror with display shelf, 2 display niches.
Inner Landing Access to attic via folding stairs
Bedroom 2 (front) Large double room with full length recessed book shelves, a series of full length recessed fitted wardrobes and casement bay window, stained glass detail and window seat overlooking Oakley Road, ceiling coving, recessed lighting, fitted carpets.
Shower Room Tiled floor with duravit wc, duravit wash hand basin with integrated towel rail, fully tiled shower, separate heated towel rail, ceiling coving, recessed lighting, full width mirror with display shelf and window with stained glass detail.
Bedroom 3 (front) Double room with full length recessed fitted wardrobes, ceiling coving, recessed lighting, 2 casement windows overlooking front, stained glass detail and fitted carpets.
Utility Room Tiled floor, stainless steel sink unit, tiled splashback, plumbed for 2 washing machines. Large hot press, fully shelved. Velux window and recessed lighting.
Bedroom 4 (rear) Double room with ceiling coving, full length recessed fitted wardrobes, built-in bookshelves, double doors open to Juliet balcony and fitted carpets.
Home Cinema Remote-controlled, double-glazed windows provide natural light and ventilation, recessed lighting, built-in storage, recessed bookshelves, Optima projector connected to centralised T.V. distribution system and audio system.Sliding door to:
Games Room Extensive full length recessed storage cupboards, concealed pelmet lighting, recessed lighting.
Guest WC Tiled floor, wash hand basin, wc, full width mirror with display shelf, built-in storage, heated towel rail.
Plant Room Tiled floor, fuse board, Solar water heating control system, water tanks.
Services KNX smart-home system enabling the heating and lighting to be controlled through an app. Also, centralised TV distribution system and Sonos multi-room audio system.Alarm system.Gas fired central heating system fired by two Vaillant independent boilers. This system is mainly underfloor with the upstairs bedrooms having the benefit of radiators. The boiler house is located in a courtyard to the side of the house.The water heating system in the main house is supported by three solar panels located on the roof over the drawing room.
Garden House 480 sq ft/44.5 sq m Cedar-clad, slate pitched roof, tall glazed door to:
Living/Dining Room Vaulted ceiling with large 8-pane rooflight, painted saw-cut panelled walls, enclosed gas fire, raised slate hearth, a pair of patio sliding doors open onto deck and garden.
Kitchen Contemporary white kitchen with timber work top with storage units at high and low level, stainless steel sink unit, integrated Siemens dishwasher, Liebherr integrated under counter fridge, Hotpoint 4-plate electric hob, Siemens fan oven, large sliding window with wooden shelf.
Cloakroom With fuse board and underfloor gas fired central heating controls.
Wet Room Mosaic tiled floor, wc, wash hand basin, full width display shelf and mirror, large walk-in wet room shower.
Bedroom A generous array of full length recessed wardrobes, recessed lighting. Three large windows open onto a secluded seating area.
Outside The site of the house and gardens extend to approx. 0.35 acre/0.141 hectares and are exceptionally secluded. The rear gardens privacy is a particular attribute of the property, enjoying, as it does, a south westerly orientation. The gardens were redesigned in 2008 by award winning horticulturalists Howbert and Mays. The rear garden extends to 190ft in length and 53ft in width (at its widest point) and is bounded on each side by cut stone walls. There is a generous array of interesting trees and shrubs with herbaceous borders framing the lawns. The combination of flower borders stocked with many roses and specimen acers, a variety of grasses, white flowering cherry blossoms, trees, including Himalayan birch, multi-stemmed cherry and specimen oak, ensure year-round interest. The large, paved patio area, accessed via French doors from the kitchen, is bordered by mature box hedging and is perfect for outside dining and entertainment. The gardens are serviced by four outside taps.
Front Garden The front garden is accessed by both a pedestrian wrought iron gate and electrified wrought iron double gates. The garden is meticulously landscaped with hedging, shrubbery and trees ensuring privacy. A large gravelled parking area provides generous off-street parking and, together with the side garden, allows parking for up to 8 cars.
Gravelled Side garden The gravelled side garden is accessed by full height electric hardwood gates and, as mentioned, provides secure additional car parking.
Garage Large Edwardian garage 285 sq ft/26.5 sq m with vaulted roof, cement floor, 3 windows, extensive shelved storage with power points both inside and outside.
Garden Gym/Studio and Garden Store Room (370 sq ft/34sq m)
Garden Gym/Studio 2 sets of glazed double doors, painted cement floor, shelved storage and small sink. Perspex roof.
Garden Store Room 2 sets of timber double doors to garden store/utility room, painted cement floor, plumbed for washing machine, Perspex roof.
Town Planning Lithgow is listed on the registry of protected structures in the Dublin City Council Development Plan and is BER exempt.
About the Area
Ranelagh is a trendy urban village on the south side of Dublin, in close proximity to the city centre. It is served by a number of amenities, and the green Luas line passes through the area, with stops at Ranelagh and Beechwood. The 11, 18, 44, and 61 bus routes pass through Ranelagh. The area hosts numerous shops, boutiques and supermarkets, as well as several bars and restaurants.
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