31 Wellington Place, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
Dating from circa 1798, 31 Wellington Place is an extremely attractive Georgian house and boasts the accolade of being the street’s only detached house.
Despite its age, at over two centuries old the house has been owned by just a few families since it was first constructed.
In the 20th Century, a barrister named Hewitt Robert Poole and his wife, Elizabeth Mary Poole, resided at the house throughout the 1930s until their respective deaths in 1943 and 1946. The house was subsequently rented out, attracting an annual rent of £470 – a princely sum at the time, no doubt, but was eventually put up for sale in 1961, eventually selling for IR£7,100.
The likely buyers were the Slazenger family, perhaps the home’s most noteworthy residents. Dr Michael Slazenger, heir to the Slazenger sportswear fortune and owner of Enniskerry’s Powerscourt Estate, owned the house for many years. During his ownership he constructed the three yellow-brick mews houses located to the rear of the main house, fronting onto Wellington Lane. While living there, neighbours included president Mary Robbins. Slazanger sold the house in 1988 for a strong IR£300,000 price – 50% over the guide after multiple bidders chased the property.
The buyer did not occupy the house for much, if not all, of their tenure, opting to rent the house out instead. They did not retain the house for particularly long, however, decided to sell it in 2001 with a guide price of IR£3.0 million – exactly 10 times the price they paid 13 years prior. The house was withdrawn from auction at the guide price and a sale was negotiated for an undisclosed sum after auction. Those owners kept the house for an even shorter period of time – selling it for over €5 million just three years later in 2004.
The buyer is understood to have been a trust, the Armorum Settlement Trust, however the beneficial owner is the son of a former billionaire property developer. The buyer renovated the house to lavish standards, extending it to approximately 6,000sqft, including a high-quality wood conservatory to the rear and a 27.3ft long underground swimming pool. When the recession took hold, the house came on the market in 2008 for a hefty €12.5 million through Bergins estate agents. It remained on the market until at least 2011 before being withdrawn.
The house is a relatively unassuming hidden gem, outshined perhaps by more stately homes on neighbouring Raglan and Elgin roads, but is far superior in many respects. Its gardens distinguish it from other homes in the area, with parking to the front for about a half dozen cars, and a large immaculately-landscaped north-facing garden to the rear.