Article from the Irish Examiner
Myrtleville at Victoria Terrace on South Circular Road in Limerick has the appearance of an elegant Georgian home that has been brought gently into the 21st century.
But despite looking well preserved, the four-storey semi-detached property was a shambolic wreck when it was bought in 2006.
“It had been divided into small bedsits, most of the original features were gone and the garden was completely overgrown,” reveals the owner.
They saved all the features they could including the stairs, the front door, some window shutters and some sections of cornicing which they were able to replicate. Almost everything else had to be replaced.
The stipulation for Limerick architect Deirdre Kelly was to make it a comfortable home, to keep it as sympathetic as possible to its era and to make it energy efficient.
“We rebuilt it from the inside out and spent a lot of money on insulation, using insulated steel cages to remodel the interior,” says the owner, explaining that renovations also involved putting in double-glazed, timber sash windows, gas heating and solar panels.
“We wanted to make it energy efficient but were very pleasantly surprised when the BER rating came in as a B2.”
The renovations took 10 months to complete and included putting on a small garden level extension topped by a ground floor balcony. The final touches involved bringing in landscaper Arthur Shackleton, a descendant of the famous explorer, to redesign the garden.
Doing a little digging into the property’s past, the owners didn’t find out much but did discover that in the 1960s, Myrtleville had been the family home of John Breen who wrote the play Alone it Stands about Munster Rugby’s legendary defeat of the All Blacks.
The basement floor has been turned into a spacious kitchen/ dining/ living space with white high gloss units, quartz worktops, an AGA as well as a concealed workstation and an area for watching TV. Across the hallway, there’s a guest WC and a utility room.
While accommodation at basement level is modern, the ground floor has recovered much of its high ceilinged period elegance. The hallway has its original staircase and some elaborate plasterwork while the large sitting room, which stretches from front to rear, has restored cornicing and ceiling roses as well as ornate fireplaces and chandeliers and a set of French doors opening on to a decked patio balcony.
The first-floor return has a home office/study and the first floor has two en suite bedrooms — both with tall, shuttered sash windows and ceiling cornicing. Rooms at the top include a contemporary bathroom and three modern looking bedrooms.
Partially enclosed by high stone walls, Myrtleville has wrought iron railings — replicas of the original and a restored front entrance with a set of limestone steps and a distinctive Georgian fanlight. “In keeping with the era we planted box hedging and hydrangeas,” reveals the owner who also put in electric gates with security cameras and an intercom.
Outside the basement, there are two patios — one at the front and a decked one at the rear with a barbecue. From the back patio, a set of steps leads to a garden with an easy-to-maintain AstroTurf lawn, a long creeper covered pergola, and some mature trees.
Auctioneer Declan Barry of O’Connor Murphy auctioneers says Myrtleville is a highly desirable property, not only because of its space and elegance but also because of its sought after residential location within a short walk from all city amenities.
VERDICT: Spacious, elegant and astonishingly energy efficient for its age.
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