According to the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage, the 10 two-bay two-storey houses that make up Granite Terrace were built by The Great Southern & Western Railway company to accommodate railway workers and their families.
he Works Estate, of which Granite Terrace forms a part, was constructed to the east of the 73-acre GS&WR site, where the engineering works were established in 1846, in what had until then been a rural area.
Granite Terrace – named for the granite used on all elevations – was one of the later terraces to be built, and dates from 1870. While many of the houses, which are protected structures, have since been sold on, some have passed through generations of the families who lived in them originally.
No. 9 is now home to medical doctor, Lisa McNamee, who works with the Irish Army, and her husband, David Harte, a digital marketeer. The couple met when they were both in the film business – Lisa, a producer, and David, an assistant director – a decade ago. They purchased in 2012 for a priced recorded on the Property Price Register as €205,000.
“The house had been lived in right up until when we bought it,” says Dave, “but it wasn’t very cosy – the only source of heat was the back boiler in the kitchen – so one of our priorities was to improve the insulation.”
The floors on the entrance level were in poor condition, so they had them dug up and installed insulation and underfloor heating.
“It made a huge difference,” says Dave.
They also reconfigured the layout of the ground floor rooms, with the sitting room to the front, the kitchen in the middle and the dining area to the rear, occupying the original single-storey return. Off the dining area is a single bedroom that would have been the original bathroom. This is currently used for storage but could easily be reinstated as a downstairs loo or shower-room .
Lisa and Dave commissioned their friend Daniel Doyle to create a bookcase door in the sitting room to the front, and say it is one of their favourite things about the house – a big hit with the couple’s nephews when they come to visit.
Upstairs, the main bedroom is to the front, next to a large bathroom that occupies what would have been a bedroom, with a large free-standing bath. The second double bedroom is to the back. Both bedrooms have wood-burning stoves.
The dining area to the rear of the house opens on to a laneway that runs the length of the terrace. It’s clearly a sociable spot that catches the evening sun, and many of the houses have chairs and pots of flowers arranged here.
“We know our neighbours really well,” says Lisa. “Everyone comes out here and chats when the weather is nice.”
There’s also a communal green facing the front of the terrace, but beyond the lane is the 37m garden that is one of No 9’s most desirable features.
Charmingly un-manicured, this west-facing garden would have provided the British railway engineer who lived here at the time of the 1911 census, his family and their lodger with room to grow vegetables and keep some animals.
Lisa and Dave kept up the tradition by installing a small flock of rescue hens in a smart chicken run within a couple of weeks of moving in.
“They loved it here,” says Lisa, “and were prolific layers. We were supplying eggs to half the terrace.”
Sadly the hens have all since died – “rescue hens don’t have great longevity”, says Lisa – but the couple plan to start another flock when they move.
Further on down the garden is a slatted tree-house with benches inside that Lisa and Dave use for summer drinks and barbecues.
“I saw something similar at a music festival in the UK and said to Daniel, ‘can you make me something like that?'” says Lisa.
“We get great use out of it,” says Dave. “I’m not sure how many people it’s supposed to take but we’ve definitely had up to 20 in there some nights.”
Beyond the tree house, at the very end of the garden, is an outdoor cinema, also built by Doyle, with two rows of tiered seating and a large screen.
“Lisa and I share a love of film,” says Dave, “and we like the classics. Favourites would be westerns like the Magnificent Seven and anything with Clint Eastwood. Dirty Harry is one of the most popular with our friends.”
Having never been to Inchicore before they came to view the house eight years ago, Lisa and Dave hope to stay in the area when they sell.
“We love being so close to the Memorial Gardens, and we’re members of the Dublin Food Co-op in Kilmainham, which is where we do most of our shopping,” says Dave. “Inchicore village has a couple of nice coffee shops – Riggers and Unfiltered – and Rascals Brewery does great pizzas, so it’s where we meet up with friends who have children. We like Union 8 too. They are all within walking distance, so when the restaurants open back up, we’ll be making a beeline for all our favourite spots.”
3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom
Agent: Castle Estates/Danny Byrne powered by Keller Williams (01) 490 0700
Viewing: By appointment
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