Oakley Manor, 46 Oakley Road, Ranelagh, Dublin 6. Asking price: €2.2m Broker: Sherry FitzGerald (01) 496 9099
Crowned and searched by police in August 1915, Alec McCabe, with an address at 33 Oakley Road, Ranelagh, Dublin 6, was found to be carrying a Gladstone bag containing “a few stones” of gelignite.
He was tried in Green Street Court, and although McCabe admitted having the explosives in his possession, he was released after a few months on the basis of his allegations in court that he actually used the explosives for “fishing”. Born in Sligo, McCabe served on the IRB Board of Governors and was “out” by 1916.
A little over a century ago, a wisp of cordite hung over posh Oakley Road, now in the heart of one of Dublin’s most affluent and desirable areas.
Deirdre Kelly’s book, Four ways to Dublin runs through the rebels’ roll call at the residence just before the 1916 uprising broke out.
Most prominent was the leader of the rebellion, Padraic Pearse, who lived at Cullenswood House in Oakley Road with his mother Margaret, sisters Margaret and Mary and brother Willie.
They shared the home with the first incarnation of Pearse’s all-Irish language school, Naomh Eanna, founded in 1908. Today Scoil Bhríde is in the building.
Across the street at No. 29, proclamation co-signer Thomas MacDonagh lived in a house where Michael Collins and other refugees often took refuge during the Revolutionary War.
Contract signer Robert Barton was once arrested in his pajamas climbing out of a window here in 1920 while attempting to evade a Crown Forces raid.
Meanwhile, Collins was recovering in hiding at No 29 after collapsing from pleurisy outside Store Street Police Station in the city centre.
Another signer of the proclamation, Eamon Ceannt, lived in “Baerdorf” on Oakley Road, a house that was demolished in the 1960s. There is still an entrance pillar with the name on the spot. The two Pearses, Ceannt and MacDonagh would all be shot shortly after the failed Rising.
So many Republicans in residence would have shocked the original loyal occupants of these houses, which were developed as a separate Dublin for Unionists on private land outside the city limits in the years after Nationalists took over the city council.
Among the original occupants was a Captain Bullock for whom No. 46 Oakley Manor was built in 1845.
It was then known as the Cullenswood Road, at a time when the area was still vaguely rural and some of the woods of the same name remained. It was renamed Oakley Road in the 1890s, probably after the owners of a prominent house along the route.
When Kieron and Marian Hayes bought 46 Oakley Road in 1986, Ireland was in a deep recession. Your purchase would indeed mark the beginning of another major transformation for Oakley Road.
At that time, the couple paid 45,500 euros for the house. “The sellers wanted €65,500, but Marian did a fantastic job bargaining it down,” says Kieron. “Even though the price was right, it was a difficult time to buy, interest rates were sky high, the country was in recession and large numbers of people had emigrated.”
When they bought, the Oakley Road houses were almost exclusively sleeping quarters for hundreds of low-paid workers or students from “around the country” who made their way into the “big smoke”.
Since the 1980’s, other families have followed suit, taking over the Down at Heel flatland enclosures and converting them back into individual private homes.
The nature of occupancy in the area has completely changed, says Kieron. “We were the first to buy a home and return it to a family home. Now I look around and none of the houses here have apartments and studios, they are all single-family dwellings.”
The history of Oakley Manor and Oakley Road is itself a microcosm of the country’s more recent history: built for the Anglo-Irish nobility on the brink of famine, later a hotbed of revolution and then, from the 1940s, a sea of sleeping quarters before it reverted back to luxury home use.
“When we bought the house, it was one-bedroom apartments with shared bathrooms,” says Kieron. “Each bedroom had a sink, stove and its own gas meter.
“We were fortunate that no permanent structural changes were made to it. The original chimneys were all intact, the inserts were just boarded up so it was easy to restore.”
And so Kieron and Marion got to work.
“The renovation took about two years, and during that time we lived in the house and moved floor to floor to another bedroom, which proved very convenient,” Kieron said.
“We had it re-roofed, re-wired, re-laid and re-plastered and installed central heating. About 15 years ago we had all the sliding windows repaired and restored.”
“We love this place, we’ve had very happy years here, it was a great place to raise our two children, but now it’s too big for us. Although we will be very sad to leave, we hope that the new owners will be as happy here as we were.”
Oakley Manor is a 2,691 square foot, two-story, basement residence at the end of a row of Victorian houses.
The main entrance with fan lighting is set in an original red brick facade and is accessed via a set of granite steps. Inside, a large hall leads through two arches to the main accommodation.
As Kieron says, the house retains much of the original decorative stucco and cornices.
The living room to the left of the hall is typical of its vintage style with high ceilings and a marble fireplace with a tiled insert in the center of the room. The dining room with marble fireplace is connected to the living room by double folding doors.
In a style reminiscent of the 18th century, an arched window illuminates the staircase. A tiled shower room is halfway down the landing whilst the main landing leads to two large bedrooms, one overlooking the front and the other overlooking the rear garden.
Halfway up the stairs is a smaller bedroom used as an office. A wooden staircase leads down to the garden level where there are two double bedrooms and a tiled bathroom.
The kitchen/breakfast room and a family room are also on garden level. The kitchen is a long rectangular space under the steps, facing forward and lit by a window that was once a door under the granite front steps.
A glass door opens onto the garden, which consists of hard surfaces adorned with raised beds and sheltered by mature trees. At the end of the garden area is a log built storage shed which could be converted into a home office.
The rear garden has pedestrian access to a private lane whilst the area in front of the house offers off street parking for two cars.
The location is close to the Luas and within easy reach of Ranelagh’s many restaurants and pubs. Oakley Manor is being sold by Sherry FitzGerald for €2.2million.
https://www.independent.ie/life/home-garden/homes/we-moved-from-floor-to-floor-and-bedsit-to-bedsit-while-we-restored-the-house-inside-a-22m-prime-period-property-in-the-heart-of-ranelagh-41598312.html “We moved from floor to floor and bedroom to bedroom as we restored the house” – in a £2.2million estate in the heart of Ranelagh