04 Aug Hang Your Hat: Old Irish Fort Converted Into Luxury Home
To protect against the imminent threat of a Napoleonic invasion in the early 1800s, the British built a string of 28 defense towers and batteries stretching from Bray to Balbriggan on Ireland’s eastern coast.
Today, 16 remain. Some have fallen into the sea, others have become museums and a handful are homes. Of these, the Bartra Tower, on the highest point of the Dalkey coastline, is considered the most exclusive and secluded.
Built from locally quarried granite, the structure is as tough as it ever was. Its 360-degree vantage point, however, now serves a very different purpose. The rooftop terrace offers peaceful views of the mountains and the sea, and a barbecue has taken the place of the shot furnace—used to heat cannonballs fired at enemy lines. What was once a gunpowder storage area is now a shower room clad in Carrara marble.
The tower is cozy, measuring nearly 30 feet high and 36 feet wide. With 775 square feet of interior space on two floors, the home has just one bedroom, a bathroom and a dressing room that can be used as a study, alongside a kitchen and living area.
Planning permission has been granted to add a further 1,076 square feet of living space, with room for two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a large living, dining and kitchen area at garden level.
A protected Irish National Monument, the tower has been featured in books about Irish architecture and historic castles and fortifications.
It’s been carefully restored and upgraded for luxury living, with designs by owner Noel Stephenson’s architect daughter Simone Stephenson. The tower has been in the family for 35 years, said listing agent Simone Rothschild of Sherry Fitzgerald, an affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate. According to Ms. Rothschild, Ms. Stephenson’s “intimate understanding and knowledge of the site, the location, the history and significance of the tower informed the sensitive, well-considered work” to the building and the proposed extension.
The tower has taken on many guises over the years. It’s been part of a summer art school, a recording studio (thanks to its acoustics) and, at one point, a pigeon house. Hidden from view, it’s set within a secret circular walled garden.
The tower’s location alone would be reason enough to buy it, Ms. Rothschild said: It’s sandwiched between Bullock Harbour, where one can buy lobster and crabs and hire fishing boats for trips to Dalkey Island, and Dalkey Heritage Town.
“Dalkey is arguably the most sought after location in Ireland, with its coastal position in close proximity to all of the charms and conveniences of the town,” Ms. Rothschild said.
Dalkey is roughly 10 miles from Dublin City Centre and about 18 miles from Dublin Airport.
Location: Dalkey, Ireland
via Mansion Global