Lissadell, 9 Shrewsbury Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
Built in 1905 and originally named Ardtrea, Lissadell is a substantial Edwardian home located on Dublin City’s top road.
The first family to reside in the home was likely the McLean family in 1905, the year it was constructed, shortly followed by the family of Mr John Hull, chairman of McBirney & Co, Aston Quay. His son Alexander Edward Hull continued living in the home following John’s death in 1910.
The property was renamed Lissadell in the 1920s by the Gore-Grimes family. The head of the family would have been John Gore when the home was purchased, however following his death, his relative, Christopher M. Gore-Grimes, took ownership of the property and raised his family there. John Gore founded Gore & Grimes solicitors in 1896 and Christopher joined the firm in 1918 and he continued to work there for the rest of his life. It wasn’t until John Gore’s death in 1918 that Christopher adopted the name ‘Gore-Grimes’ as opposed to just Grimes, likely resulting from his marriage to John’s niece, Minnie Gore, in 1905. Christopher died in 1945 at Lissadell, which lead to the sale of the home shortly after in August 1945.
Strangely, the property seems to have disappeared off the radar for over 45 years, until it is referred to as the residence of prominent solicitor Anne R. Neary in 1991. It is very likely that Neary’s parents, or grandparents, purchased this home sometime between 1945 and 1991. Given the Neary family’s duration of residency on Shrewsbury Road (up to 67 years), and Anne Neary’s own declaration, in 2010, that it is “a privilege for me and my family to live on and be a part of the community associated with Shrewsbury Road”, it seems somewhat odd that the house was put on the market in 2012 – but I suppose there is no such thing as a ‘forever home’ these days, even when you live on Dublin City’s most exclusive residential road. Anne Neary has over 20 years experience in practicing law and did her LLM (advanced law degree) at the US Ivy League University, Yale. Neary has owned, and may continue to own, other prime properties such as guesthouses at 31 Merrion Square (Merrion Square Manor B&B) and 46-48 Lansdowne Road (Lansdowne Manor Guesthouse) and has since moved to a house in Rathgar.
Lissadell in its 2012 format will eventually be virtually unrecognisable in coming years due to the new owners’ plans, however during Neary’s ownership the house was a three-storey non-basement detached house. It enjoyed a good degree of privacy, with high hedging at the front of the property. Most rooms in the house were very impressive, with big interconnecting reception rooms perfect for entertaining.
In April 2012, no sooner than three homes on Dublin’s premier road had been sold or withdrawn (1&3 Shrewsbury Road & Walford), Lissadell hit the open market. It joined two other Shrewsbury Road homes still on the market, Coolbeg and Thorndene, all taking the top spot as the most expensive homes for sale in Dublin.
Lissadell was offered for sale at a price of €7,500,000. At that time, the house extended to a comfortable 3,700sq.ft and enjoyed a 0.7 acre site – albeit an east-facing one.
The property was purchased in late 2012 for €6,000,000 by a couple whose plans for the property will completely transform it. Crean Salley architects vision for the new and improved Lissadell will see the floor area of the home increase from 3,700sqft to over 11,500sqft. A new basement level will be erected to house a swimming pool, staff accommodation & kitchen, utility room, a large cellar and a guest bedroom. On the ground level, there will be a circular garden room, a large kitchen/diner room with interconnecting family room, a formal parents’ living room, a study, an integrated double garage and a formal entertaining room with a dining area, living area and piano. On the first and second floors, there are five bedrooms. All bedrooms are accompanied with an en suite bathroom, but two of the bedrooms feature both en suite bathrooms and dressing rooms. The master suite is particularly large.
As of 2015, the property’s transformation is well underway, with cranes and drills towering above.