1 Cowper Road, Rathmines, Dublin 6 Asking price: € 1.975m Agent: Sherry FitzGerald (01) 4966066
It was only fitting that Miss Elizabeth Mageough lived in Richview in Rathmines. Because when the details of her finances were revealed after her death, it was quickly assumed that Miss Mageough had been very wealthy.
When Elisabeth died in 1869, her will was fairly precise. He ordered that different people receive different amounts; after that, the remnant had to go to charity.
The “residue” turned out to be the modern equivalent of 6.25 million euros. So we can only imagine how much Elizabeth was worth in total. Her will stipulated that the bequest would be spent on “the housing, maintenance and clothing of elderly women of good character and sober.”
The administrators of Mageough therefore purchased a site known as “The Bloody Fields” in Rathmines from the Rt. Hon. Cowper Temple, a relative of Lord Palmerston, the British Prime Minister.
Perhaps it was no coincidence that they also appointed Palmerston’s own architect, Rawson Carroll, whom the Prime Minister had just commissioned to design for him the stately Classiebawn Castle in Mullaghmore.
Carroll has been described as a “courteous gentleman,” whose customers were in a real sense his friends. He had made a name for himself designing Anglican churches and large country houses for the aristocracy.
Mageough’s administrators sent him to visit various buildings in England, with instructions to return inspired.
He did and gave us the curious and glorious piece of Gothic Revival Home Counties Victoriana in Dublin 6 which is The Mageough, completed in 1878 with its flamboyant style, its own church and an impressive clock tower spire.
It is still run today as a senior residential complex with 37 small houses and a thriving rose garden just off the Cowper Luas stop.
But just as The Mageough was underway, a developer took the plunge to take advantage of derivative demand. Shamelessly copying the style of the emerging Carroll complex, developer William Pickering began building what he called “The Cowper Garden Estate,” on the rest of The Bloody Fields site.
Pickering advertised its homes as “villas on the outskirts of Dublin in a country setting, overlooking the Dublin mountains and with the new golf courses (Milltown) nearby”, all built “on this healthy site”.
Maybe Pickering didn’t know how its “healthy” site got its name. This is where the decisive battle of the Cromwellite Wars in Ireland ended in blood.
Irish Confederate / Royalist forces under the Earl of Ormond had attempted to take the round-headed Dublin. But the latter counter-attacks and routs Ormond’s troops. The Bloody Fields was where about 2,000 fleeing horsemen and Irish troops were cornered and slaughtered. The locals buried them where they fell.
Cowper Road was built first, followed by Palmerston Road, then Temple Road. No1 Cowper Road was therefore probably the first house to emerge as Pickering’s homage to The Mageough.
Carroll’s indirect influence is apparent throughout the property. Obviously, the front roofline of the Gothic Revival apex gable is here, with the same red bricks and ornate flourishes.
The No1 has been refurbished and extended by its owners in recent years and is now on sale via Sherry FitzGerald for € 1.975 million.
With an area of 2,519 square feet, it includes a finished attic, an enclosed garden on a street corner and a double garage of nearly 500 square feet with obvious home office and studio use. There is also a building permit for an extension to the first floor and a bathroom for the third bedroom.
Period elements including high ceilings, period fireplaces, rosettes, moldings and sash windows. On the garden level there is a contemporary open plan living / kitchen / diner with floor-to-ceiling glass doors opening onto the private garden to the rear, as well as a guest toilet.
At the hall level there is a living room. The adjoining master bedroom is also on this level, but could be converted into a second reception room.
Upstairs there are three further bedrooms (two doubles) a family bathroom and the attic has a storage shower room.
There is pedestrian and vehicle access to the rear while nearby schools include St Mary’s, Sandford Park, Alexandra, Gonzaga, Zion National and Stratford to name a few. Rathmines, Ranelagh and Milltown Golf Club are within walking distance. And the Luas is at your doorstep.
As for Rawson Carroll, he found that the country manor market was drying up quickly as Ireland began its lurch towards independence. But The Mageough’s fame launched him into healthcare. He would specialize again, designing hospitals; including The Whitworth, The Hardwicke, The Richmond and The Eye and Ear.