Balholm, 4 Shrewsbury Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
Balholm is a beautiful detached Edwardian home close to the Merrion Road junction of Shrewsbury Road. Sitting on 0.58 acres, the 5,000sq.ft homes enjoys features such as a full sized tennis court, swimming pool, a one-bedroom cottage (behind the tennis court) and a detached two-story double garage with gym on the first floor. Built in 1900, the house has had only four owners since it was constructed over one hundred years ago.
When originally built, Balholm’s address was 2 Shrewsbury Road prior to a rejig of addresses on the street after homes were later built across the street on the eastern side. The first residents of the house were the Smalley family. The head of the household was Ralph Smalley (born c.1846 in Lancashire) whose children included Gertrude, Helen, Elizabeth Marion and Thomas Smalley. Smalley was a boot manufacturer and leather merchant. The family resided here for 26 years until the sale of the property and furniture in 1926, when Balholm came on the open market for the first time.
The buyer of the property was Arthur Newman. Newman was a prominent member of Ireland’s Jewish community. He was responsible for the construction of the Zion Schools at Bloomfield Avenue (which later moved to Rathgar and became Stratford NS). Newman, who came from Lithuania, was the managing director of Premier Tailors (Ireland) Limited, which he himself established. Arthur and his wife Raie Newman had children, including sons Ernest, Victor and Cecil. In 1968, Arthur Newman died at the age of 93.
Either the Newman family sold the home at this point in an off-market private sale, or one of his children kept the home. Either way, whether it was immediately after his death or not, the property was purchased privately by Barton Kilcoyne, once owner of the 3.8 acre Glenmalure Park in Milltown which was controversially redeveloped as housing. Barton moved on to the upmarket Ardoyne House development in Donnybrook beside Herbert Park after selling Balholm.
Paul & Moya Coulson
The next known residents of the property are Mrs Moya Coulson (née Wall) and Mr Paul Coulson, one of Ireland’s wealthiest and savviest businessmen and founder of Yeoman Capital. Yeoman pulled in big profits in the 80’s from aircraft leasing and investments, however it is Coulson’s involvement in Ardagh packaging that catapulted him to billionaire status. His wife Moya was once married to entrepreneur Paul Doody, brother of Alison Doody (formerly of Bartra House), and she is the daughter of ex Lombard and Ulster Bank boss, Ken Wall and wife, Nuala Wall. Almost three decades after the death of Arthur Newman, in 1997, Coulson purchased the house in an off-market sale for £1,300,000. Shortly after the purchase of Balholm, in the same year, Coulson also sold a property – Lisnacrieve, Stillorgan Park, in a private sale for a sum in the region of £900,000. Lisnacreive is an impressive property with unusual features, which also has some similarities with Balholm – a large site (0.5 acre), swimming pool and full tennis court. The Stillorgan Park property was owned for years by Coulson’s parents, Maire Coulson and Major Denis J. Coulson. Mr. Denis Coulson passed away in 1992, but was reportedly the finest hockey player in Ireland and Britain for many years.
Upon their purchase of Balholm, the couple commissioned a complete overhaul of the property including the installation of the tennis court and pool. The house has been extensively redecorated, and supposedly extended. The house, which is clad with ivy and wisteria, is definitely one of the most attractive homes on the road. During his time residing at the home, Coulson was involved in huge business deals such as the infamous sale of the Irish Glass Bottle site for €412m – Coulson and his family own 34% of the Ardagh Group, which sold the site. In 2008, the Coulson family decided to place the house on the open market, the first house to come to the open market since Walford in 2005. With a hefty €27.5 million price tag, the house did not get a buyer and despite the fact that the Coulsons relocated to abroad, they kept the home.
Since leaving Ireland, the Coulsons have been associated with a slew of pricey properties in Paris and reportedly have a home in Portugal’s Quinta do Lago. In addition to these properties, the family summers on their palatial yacht, named Mosaique, on the Med.