Mount Alverno, Monte Alverno, Sorrento Road, Dalkey

Mount Alverno was once a large villa requiring complete refurbishment. The house was once named ‘Alverno Cottage’ and at that time, one of its residents, Lieutenant Henry Fitzsimon Cotton, was convicted for murder at the age of 25 in 1948. However, he was found to be insane as he had just had an important friendship broken up prior to him shooting a Glenageary man.

The site is just over an acre in size with access to Monte Alverno’s Sorrento Road private driveway and also it has its own secluded driveway from Nerano Road, which only one other house sits upon – St. Albans. The villa shares a private tennis court with Monte Alverno.

The house was set for sale in 2000 quoting a price of £2.5 million for the villa in spite of its condition thanks to its size and position. The seller was a family trust controlled by socialite Renata Coleman, who also sold the other properties in this enclave in previous years. The property failed to sell for £2.5 million and was subsequently set for a 2001 auction with a guide of £1.8 million. In 1994, however, Coleman was denied planning permission to demolish ‘three homes’ in order to construct new two-storey, three-storey and four-story residences with access from Sorrento Road (the Monte Alverno entrance) and Nerano Road (Mount Alverno’s entrance).

The property was purchased by a couple who seemingly moved into the property after purchasing it and presumably did some renovation work to the interior. At this point the house was still a rather awkward single and two storey house, with multiple roof pitches. The house would inevitably eventually be heavily altered, and the current owners opted to demolish the structure entirely. The mature couple moved from Rosbarnagh House, Torquay Road, Foxrock – which has also been massively transformed since the couple moved.

It was not until c. 2010 that the house was completely transformed into a nearly 6,813sqft mansion, designed by master architects de Blacam and Meagher. The house has been subject to well-publicised legal action, with their celebrity neighbour and his wife taking legal action against the owners of Mount Alverno, which, as of 2015, has seemingly run up a near-million euro legal bill for the plaintiffs alone.

The house is a two-storey flat roof residence, with a granite-clad ground floor level and a white-rendered first floor. One of the best features of the house is the large first-floor terrace, accessed from a wall of floor-to-ceiling sliding wood doors, with lighting built into the floor and covered by crisp white awnings – giving it a Mediterranean touch. Many of Mount Alverno’s rooms offer panoramic views across Dalkey Sound, Dalkey Island and Dublin Bay.