Four on the market: with a literary connection
Four properties available to buy which come with the added attraction of a literary heritage.
Griesebank House, Co Kildare
€750k Jordan Town and Country, (045) 433 550
Griesebank in Ballitore, Kilcullen, was the childhood home of poet and diarist Mary Leadbeater, but it has other claims to fame too. It was a school established in 1726 by Abraham Shackleton, an ancestor of Polar explorer Ernest Shackleton. Built in 1700, it has been extended to 6,488 sq ft with the addition of an annex comprising a kitchen, drawing room and two en suite bedrooms. The main house has six bedrooms, a drawing room, library and kitchen. It's on 2.169 acres with a stone chapel ready for conversion.
The Villa, Bailieborough, Co Cavan
€195k Kelly Bradshaw Dalton, (01) 804 0500
Poet and playwright Tom MacIntyre's most famous work is arguably his stage adaptation of Patrick Kavanagh's The Great Hunger, which toured internationally in the 1980s. The Villa, an ivy-covered, 1,671 sq ft detached house in the heart of Bailieborough, is his former home, although it's been years since he lived there. It has five bedrooms: four upstairs and one en suite on the ground floor. Also on the ground floor are three reception rooms, a dining room, a sitting room, a living room, and a small kitchen and utility.
The Moorings, Co Westmeath
€325k Sherry FitzGerald O’Meara, (0906) 475 500
John Broderick's first novel, The Pilgrimage, was banned in Ireland when it was published in 1961, though sold 100,000 copies in the US. He was living at the time with his mother in his fine old Victorian family home at Ballymahon Road in Athlone. He left for Bath in 1981, and died there eight years later, by then a quite neglected writer. The house has not fared well either, having been divided into three flats. However, the agents say it could be easily converted back into a 3,864 sq ft family home with eight bedrooms.
Billy Brennan’s Barn, Co Monaghan
€65k Gartlan O’Rourke, (042) 966 3688
Billy Brennan's barn, at Inniskeen, gained fame in 1936 as the scene of a dance in Patrick Kavanagh's 'Inniskeen Road: July Evening'. If the poem's sentiments are to be believed, though, Kavanagh never set foot in it. He was outside instead, cursing the fate of the poet as "king of banks and stones and every blooming thing". It's not just a barn; there's a farmhouse and outbuildings too, all on 2.13 acres. The whole lot needs complete renovation, and the barn is on Monaghan county council's list of protected structures.