Woodland retreat in Goldsmith country

Three-bedroom gate lodge at Newcastle House, Co Longford on market for €350,000

The owner of Forgney Lodge never intended to live in the area but while looking for a country retreat saw an ad in the paper and travelled down to view the property.

It was love at first sight, he says, recalling a house that was in good condition and had been remodelled slightly by its previous owner under the careful eye of local architect, Larry Murphy, now deceased.

A gate lodge at the main entrance to Newcastle House, once the seat of the King-Harman family who owned the largest estate in Co Longford in the 19th century, it is set on two acres. Nearby is the Church of St Munis. The present building replaced the church where writer Oliver Goldsmith – born in 1728 in nearby Pallas – was baptised.

His father was the Rev Charles Goldsmith and curate of the church from 1718 to 1730. The present church was built in 1810 and contains a stained glass window with a brass plaque erected to the writer's memory in 1897.


Forgney Lodge is a single storey three-bedroom house with cut stone front steps, leaded windows and a bowed double front door and fanlight. Murphy had added bays to each side and an atrium to its centre to create a light-filled space where the woods are visible from almost anywhere in the house.

The Virginia creeper-clad property has an unusually roomy hall with matching rooms on either side, a formal livingroom to the right and a diningroom to the left.

To the rear of the diningroom is the kitchen, which has painted pine units and tiled countertops. The first of the three double bedrooms is currently used as a study. The master bedroom has an en suite bathroom and the family bathroom is spacious.

The property which measures 148sq m (1,593sq ft), is asking €350,000 through agent James L Murtagh Auctioneers.

The house is surrounded by trees and is on the edge of Newcastle Wood, a Coillte owned semi-mature mixed woodland of 325 hectares that extends to both sides of the river Inny, a main tributary of the Shannon.

Dublin city is a 90-minute drive.