“Welcome to my house! Enter freely. Go safely, and leave something of the happiness you bring!” *
No. This is not my house, It is actually on the market for sale at the moment.
A perfectly ordinary looking house. (I bet that last thought went through your mind.) It is part of a Crescent (c.1792) which, had at that time great views of Dublin Bay. The Crescent was built in a particular arrangement to obstruct the view from Lord Charlemont’s neo-classical summer residence “The Casino” at Marino.
So back to this ordinary looking house. It is of interest on many levels. The family now in possession are children of that house, they are disposing of the family home their parents owned and lived in for over eighty years. There had been only two previous owners; The Bolands and The Stokers. Three owners in total since 1792!
I wanted to take a photo of the front of the house, but since there was a car in the garden and house windows open, I decided to knock and ask for permission.
Well…, you heard me say it before…. My Camera Opens Doors! Not alone was I given permission to take photos of the exterior but invited in and allowed to wander at my own pace and take photos indoors too. The wonderful young lady and daughter of the household was busy with the vacuum before a ‘viewer’ was due to arrive an hour later.
The young lady had returned to Ireland in the last year and was preparing for the closure and sale of the old family home, not an easy task, so I was careful to protect her privacy.
My new found friend appeared from time to time to make sure I had gone to the top floor or down to the basement….
To the basement kitchen where the Russian Crown Jewels had been hidden (You need to scroll well down in that link to Time in Ireland). This was during residency of the Boland family.
I wonder where they kept them?
The First residents of 15 Marino Crescent, Clontarf, were Abraham Stoker a civil servant from Dublin, and his wife Charlotte, a charity worker and writer. They had seven children. Abraham and Charlotte were members of the Church of Ireland Parish of Clontarf and attended the parish church with their children, who were baptised there.
The church can be seen to the left in the view from the main bedroom window.
Abraham (Bram) Stoker was the third child, born November 8, 1847. He was bed-ridden until he started school at the age of seven, when he made a complete recovery. Growing up his mother told him a lot of horror stories which may have influenced his later writings.
In 1864 Stoker entered Trinity College Dublin. While attending college he began working as an Irish civil servant. He also worked part time as a free lance journalist and drama critic. In 1876 he met Henry Irving, a famous actor, and they soon became friends. Not long after that, Stoker met and fell in love with an aspiring actress named Florence Balcombe. He didn’t travel far to find her. She was a daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel James Balcombe of 1 Marino Crescent.
You can see No. 1 at the end of the row on the right.
We remember him for a different reason, but I saw no signs of Counts, Castles or indeed of DRACULA!
The little park in front of the Crescent is now known as Bram Stoker Park. The year 2012 marks the centenary of the death of Bram Stoker. He died in London on 20 April 1912. Several events are being planned in the year ahead.
The young lady of the house lives in hopes that the Bram Stoker Society, who have shown interest in the house, will find the funds to purchase it, and sympathetically restore it into a Museum.
*Bram Stoker, Chapter 2, Dracula