Inside this spectacular Howth property with two pools, a tennis court and incredible tiered gardens
15th Nov 2023
Dating back to the 1830s, this grand residence is by far one of the area’s most aspirational homes… and with two swimming pools, a gym, a tennis court, direct sea access and its own staff cottage, it’s not hard to see why.
Standing tall at the end of a private laneway off Howth’s exclusive Ceanchor road, you’ll find the fabled Drumleck House – an impressive five-bed, five-bath home set on an exquisite garden estate of 10 acres overlooking Dublin bay.
A dappled driveway leads up to the front of the property, revealing an imposing yet elegant Wisteria-clad house. Inside, the interiors are the epitome of luxury – with high stucco ceilings, fine stone chimneys and arresting decor. A glittering chandelier adorns the beautiful entrance hall, setting the tone from the moment guests arrive.
A chequerboard marble floor gives way to a levered staircase guiding the way to the first floor. The two principal reception rooms can be found off this room, both on the southern flank of the house. Traditional French doors and large sash windows look out onto sunlit terraces, rocky heath and panoramic seascape, giving these grand rooms the delightful atmosphere of a summer residence.
The interconnecting drawing rooms ooze elegance with richly detailed polychromatic marble, antique crystal and lustrous mahogany. The west-facing dining room is large enough to entertain more than 20 people at once, while still being intimate enough for smaller, more personal gatherings too.
Elsewhere in the property is the kitchen, an attractive, dual-aspect room with double doors to the patio at one end and slender arched windows at the other. A cherry-red AGA and stunning views of Dublin Bay are among this room’s standout features.
Also on the ground floor, is a powder room with a shower enclosure and a neat laundry room, with traditional joinery, a Belfast sink and a trap door to Drumleck’s cellar below.
Upstairs, is the master suite – an incomparable bedroom with the most extravagant vistas of the sea. The first floor splits into two wings at the top of the staircase, providing each of the bedrooms with plenty of privacy. The master suite is all about indulgence, comprising three stylish rooms, occupying the entire southern wing, with dreamy views from both the generous dressing room and the zen, contemporary bathroom.
There are two more spacious bedrooms with wonderful sea views to the west, and another facing east onto the garden. All the bedrooms are charming and full of character, with Victorian joinery, high ceilings and well-appointed en suites, one with a bijou slipper bath.
Just off the main landing lies a small office, with teal, fabric-lined walls, bespoke joinery and intricate detailing – the ideal base for those still working from home. In the other wing, there is a ‘master of the universe study’ with three large sash windows looking down to Drumleck’s iconic v-shaped opening to the bay. This fabulous room doubles as both a study and a library, with spectacular panelling and bookshelves.
Opening out from the kitchen is a paved terrace leading to the indoor pool that offers the ultimate in family fun but also doubles as a calm, wellness space too, with a delightful garden aspect creating a south-facing sanctuary. Together with an outdoor pool on the western facade of the house, a perfectly appointed, spacious gym completes the fitness and leisure amenities. Other highlights include a sun-soaked modern conservatory.
Outside, the gardens are just as impressive as the interior of the property. This is largely thanks to John and Gertrude Hunt, who lived in Drumleck from the 1950s to the 1980s and developed many of the formal features. They indulged their taste for Italianate garden design but also referenced English garden motifs, including an homage to the white garden at Sissinghurst. Water features are plentiful, none more beautiful than the antique fountain in Drumleck’s most romantic area, the rose garden. Below the rocky bluff, a tennis court, a path to the sea and a perfect swimming spot lead through an enchanting orchard, past a paddock with stables for miniature ponies.
Currently on the market for €8.75 million, you can take a closer look inside this spectacular Howth property and grounds in our gallery below.