Childhood home of playwright JM Synge

Glanmore Castle, a four-bedroom property in Co Wicklow, for €1.285 million

 

When the famous playwright JM Synge wanted to get away from it all to write his dramas about Irish peasant life, he opted for the Aran Islands, a setting that couldn’t have been further removed from the opulent glamour of his family home, Glanmore Castle, in Ashford, Co Wicklow. The house was built in the late 1700s, and Synge’s grandfather had turrets and other castellations added in 1804 for extra pzazz.

Since then, the building has had a chequered history. It’s in the lovely surroundings of Devil’s Glen, with a picturesque walk along the Vartry river to the waterfall, just outside Ashford and an easy hop along the M11 into Dublin. It was restored in the 1930s, became derelict in the 1940s, and was subdivided into four apartments in the 1960s.

Current owners George Murphy and Amanda Wade bought two of the apartments in 2011, and set about restoring them into one elegant home. Both in the building trade (Murphy runs Glanmore Plumbing and Heating), the couple had the expertise and contacts to do the gorgeous job they’ve achieved.

About to start a family, they are now moving further down into the country, closer to Wade’s parents, where there is a bit more land to raise horses, even though their part of Glanmore has its own 1.7 acres.

 

Vista

Despite the subdivisions, you’re barely aware of the neighbours as the main entrance to the castle sweeps up to just the kind of front porch you’d expect it to have, and the vista across to the gallops at Devil’s Glen Equestrian Centre is bounded by magnificent monkey puzzle trees.

“We’d always lived in modern houses,” says Wade, “but we fell in love with this.”

“It hadn’t been lived in for years, so had fallen into disrepair,” adds Murphy. “We had a bit of a job to do.”

That’s an understatement, as the “bit of a job” included turning a basement swimming pool into a bright and exceptionally well-appointed kitchen, restoring the wooden casement windows, flooring and plasterwork, and re-rendering the exterior. Now it’s a delicious mix of heritage style and modern.

For sale with Sherry FitzGerald for €1.285 million, the house has a lovely flow over three levels, and the verdant landscape seeps in through the generous windows. There’s about 420sq m (4,521sq ft) of accommodation in all, including a hallway, diningroom, drawingroom, livingroom and outbuildings, plus planning permission for a stable block.

There are four bedrooms, two of which are en suite, and one has winding-stair access to the turret that flanks the house. Here, there are little rooms at various levels, ideal for aspiring romantic poets or novelists.

The catch is that the lovely views may prove too great a distraction. Although, as any writer will tell you, staring out the window is all part of the job.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.