Carrickbyrn, Brighton Road, Foxrock, Dublin 18
Carrickbyrn is a tudor-style home built for Harold Lansell Jacob, the then-Chairman of the Jacob biscuit empire, in either 1901 or 1908, when he was only in his twenties. Designed by architect Frederick Batchelor, the home’s exterior is unusual for the area, where more brightly coloured Arts & Crafts style homes dominate. Currently standing on about one acre of land, the property once occupied far more substantial grounds, which were hived off over the years by subsequent owners following Harold’s death in 1949 and sold to speculative developers.
In 1955 (approx) the house was sold to affluent cattle trader Jack Keogh, who purchased approximately 10 acres of surrounding fields also for the princely sum of €10,400 (IR£8,200) according to the book ‘Cattleman’, by Jack’s son, Raymond Keogh. The site, which formed part of the overall 13 acre site sold to Castlethorn Construction in the height of Dublin’s property boom, achieved an astounding €50 million according to the book (the asking price was €45 million), surely making the Keoghs’ original investment in the site one of the best buys in the history of Irish property. The Keoghs did not, however, retain Carrickbyrn as their home in the intermittent 50-or-so years between acquiring the site and selling it.
In 1977, the house is believed to have been sold to the family of the late TD James Gallagher, who still own the house to this day, for over €150,000.
Perhaps due to its highly affluent original owner, Carrickbyrn is unusually wide and large, being about 130ft in width and extending to a size that must not be far from 9,000sqft, and while this may have been due to extensions carried out by its subsequent owners may have extended, there is no evidence of the house having been extended in the last 20 years. The home’s front garden enjoys a dual-entrance driveway, and is quite dark given its heavily-planted nature, with a high hedge running along the front boundary, in addition to a row of high trees. It could be described as spooky-looking, given it’s unusual tudor appearance and wooded site, however it undeniably a fine family home on great grounds, and is one of many properties on this road that have not been on the market in 40 years or more.