Drumleck House, Ceanchor Road, Howth, County Dublin, Ireland

Sometimes it seems the grander a house should be, the more humble it is. Such is the case with Drumleck House, an Irish cliffside manor perched on the peninsula of Howth. While the real estate listings boast of visits from Jackie Kennedy, Peggy Rockefeller, and Elizabeth Arden, Drumleck House knows that it doesn't matter if it's fancy inside, because that can't hold a candle to what's going on outside.

The peninsula of Howth dates back to ancient times. 

Ptolemy made a second century map of it (when it was apparently an island), poets wrote about its steep and rocky shores...

and painters were inspired by views like these...

to create views like these:

{Grace Reading at Howth Bay by Sir William Orpen, source}

Talk about prime real estate.

 No wonder people built castles on it, as early as 1235.

Howth Castle was altered in 1738 and in 1911, but parts of it that date from around 1450 are still standing.  Drumleck Castle was built sometime in the 17th century, but nothing remains of it now.

Nothing, except the name. Drumleck means "the ridge of flagstones" (Howth means "head") and in the 1830's, William McDougall built Drumleck House near the castle, along Ceanchor Road.

As you might expect, one of the most appealing parts of Drumleck House is Drumleck Gardens:

When Jackie Kennedy visited in 1967, the house was owned by John and Gertrude Hunt, founders of the Hunt Museum. Fittingly, the house still has an impressive collection of art, as well as impressive places to display it:

Something about that foyer fireplace wall feels a little off to me, though. If it were mine, I'd make it more of a presentation, staged like this:

The foyer entrance hall opens to two reception rooms...

as well as the dining room:

Other rooms include a living room and library:

The kitchen isn't pictured in the listing, but apparently features a cherry red Aga stove and this breakfast area:

Rounding out the downstairs are the indoor pool and exercise room. They're linked to the house via a conservatory. There aren't any indoor pictures of it, but this gives you the idea of where everything is:

Upstairs are five bedrooms. Drumleck House also has five bathrooms and 8,410 square feet.

There's a cute story about when Jackie Kennedy stayed in one of those bedrooms. "Apparently, Mrs. Kennedy, after retiring for the night, wished to have her shoes cleaned and rang the Victorian-era servant's bell-pull in the guest bedroom. The ringing of the bell caused much confusion when it sounded downstairs because nobody knew that it was in working order and it appeared as if someone was ringing the front door."

Eventually they figured it out, and her host John Hunt ended up polishing the shoes himself, since Jackie hadn't realized "the relatively proletarian nature of her surroundings - that she was staying in a house without valets or butlers!"

Now, when I read that story, I pictured her staying in a room similar to this one:

But apparently I wasn't taking the proletarian nature of her surroundings into account, because her guest room would have looked more like one of these three:

So again, if it were mine, I'd trick the person staying there into thinking someone would clean their shoes:

{source unknown}

At least this bathroom furthers that illusion:

Drumleck House doesn't really need to pretend to be anything it's not, though, and it knows it. It's always been sitting pretty.

The listing is here.

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