The house and offices on this holding are in good repair, and command an extensive view of Dublin Bay, and are admirably adapted as a summer residence, and produce, when let furnished, the yearly rent of £150. There is a constant supply of fresh water on the premises.
As one of the earliest recorded houses in Killiney from available mapping we have been able to trace the development of Desmond over the years. The first map showing the house is dated 1837 and shows a simple rectangular shaped dwelling with a projecting central bay to the rear of the main house facing the stable yard.
The most successful architecturally is Francis Robinson’s Undercliffe, undoubtedly Woodward’s work and the apparent prototype from which the others were derived. The lease of Undercliffe was the first to be registered, on 13 February 1861, and it seems likely that it was also the first house to be started.
The only reference to Deane and Woodward’s domestic works to be published in the columns of The Dublin Builder appeared in the issue of 15 February 1861. In a piece on house building in Ballybrack, County Dublin, the writer referred in passing to six new dwelling houses being built to their designs, including one for Joseph Robinson, ‘the eminent opera singer’.
Joseph Robinson’s Green Hill is a cross between Undercliffe and Fernside in that it has a turret and a projecting bow. The turret is placed in the angle of the drawing-room wall. One of the chimneystacks is placed at a 45 degree angle as at St Austin’s Abbey, while the entrance has a Gothic arch
Robert Exham’s own Fernside was not begun until early in 1861. The Dublin Builder article indicated that the foundations had been laid out by 15 February. However, arrangements were clearly being made before Woodward’s final departure for the continent in mid-December 1860.