Meath Living: Hilltop views from Dunboyne for €1.25m

Five-bedroom family home on manicured gardens

Rathleek House just outside Dunboyne in Co Meath has been home to Philomena and Sean Byrne for the past 14 years. "We had an elevated site – which is not your typical landscape in Meath so when planning the property, we wanted the house to fit into the hill, rather than just perch on top of it," says Philomena.

The couple engaged architect Eamon McCann to design their home with the specific requirement of having the kitchen at the centre of the property to maximise the views. The result is a split-level property, which appears to be a bungalow from the front, but is actually set over three levels to the rear.

Two of the rooms extend into huge curved bay windows to maximise light and views of the surrounding countryside. “Because of the shape of these rooms, Eamon decided to use copper on the roof, which initially was very shiny, but this has mellowed into a muddy brown which will eventually have a lovely green hue,” says Philomena.

The property extends to 380sq m and is inverted – where the bedrooms, apart from the master, are at ground level, allowing the reception rooms upstairs to have views of the landscaped gardens and paddocks.


The property sits on almost 10 acres of land, where the family, who are keen equine enthusiasts, keep their horses inside post and rail fencing along the beech lined driveway.

“We decided against a formal dining room – as the kitchen was so large, and we wanted to keep a country feel, which is also why we decided on painted units rather than high gloss which was the fashion at the time.”

What was initially intended as an open carport to the rear of the property, has been painted and planted. It is now a covered barbecue area which can hold large parties despite inclement weather.

The house has two studies and two spacious reception rooms. Both feature period marble fireplaces which Philomena sourced at Ushers Auction Rooms in Kells.

The boot room and hallway have lots of storage units handmade by local carpenter Colm Dwyer, who also built the kitchen. "With five sets of riding equipment – we needed lots of storage to accommodate crops, boots, hats and saddles."

The house has five bedrooms, all of which are en-suite, but the family converted one of the larger rooms into a self-contained unit which can accommodate an au pair.

The gardens are designed by Philomena with “minimal soft planting as we have so many rabbits” and feature lots of heathers and hardy shrubs.

Rathleek House is in turnkey condition and will make a substantial family home. For sale through Ganly Walters with an asking price of €1.25m.