Navan retreat hits the bullseye
When prices get too hot in the city, look to Springfield House
Anyone entering Navan Town from Timmons Hill will be met by a sculpture called The Bull, designed by Colin Grehan and erected in Market Square in 2011. It's a 16t limestone statue of a bull and two handlers that was surrounded by controversy for years over its cost and location.
Paddy Pryle, who led the 'Navan Against The Bull' campaign said at the time: "While it's a fine bit of art, anyone coming up… one of the main entrances into the town, will be entering Navan via the bull's arse."
Thankfully the bull fight ended after eight years of protestation and the statue now sits proudly in the centre of town. It was erected as a memorial to the livestock markets that took place there. Navan was an important market town from the 17th century onwards and every week, local farmers would come to the square to sell their animals and produce.
The square saw so much traffic going through it in the 18th and 19th centuries that it was only to be expected there would be a bit of wear and tear. An editorial from the Meath People in the late 19th century described the squalor on the streets at the time.
"It is a literal fact that from the Commons Road down to the Railway Bridge, there are fully two inches of horse manure, saturated hay and sludge of every description covering the streets from one side to the other to the great enjoyment of the pigs and geese, but to the wrongful inconvenience of those who are necessitated to tread up on it - for no one walks out who can possibly keep within doors."
Those days are long gone and the grime and dirt has been replaced by pristine shop fronts and trendy bars. As one of the country's busiest commuter towns, property prices are a big pull for those working in Dublin. When prices get too hot in the city, buyers look beyond the Pale and many find Navan an attractive option. With the opening of the M3, the journey from Dublin takes about 50 minutes.
If you were to look at what you could get in the capital for €775,000 and then look at Springfield House, you may think that the commute could be a small price to pay for this fine family home. The same money will get you a two-bed terraced house in Ranelagh in need of refurbishment.
While city folk may feel uneasy about the quiet of the countryside, this impressive property is only 1km from Navan town. It's hard to believe you're so close to the busy centre as the extensive gardens provide such privacy and shelter from the main road.
At 4,069sq ft, the six-bed house would be a dream for a family that likes to entertain. The wooden reception hall, with its feature staircase, sits in the centre of the house. Off the hall to the left is the large drawing room.
Double doors take you through to the dining room, with a conservatory to the side. You then follow on to the kitchen with its utility room and larder.
The kitchen overlooks the rear garden and is fully-fitted with country-style units and a range cooker. There is also a sitting room on this level which could make a comfortable, informal family room. Two bedrooms and a guest bathroom complete the accommodation on this level.
Upstairs there are four more bedrooms. The master bedroom is ensuite and also has a dressing room. There are two balcony areas on this floor that overlook the entrance hall. The house is very tastefully decorated with a tiled hallway and solid wooden flooring throughout.
The reception rooms are large and link into each other, making this house ideal for having guests over.
The owners have made the most of the gardens by designing it so that a number of doors lead straight outside. The grounds are very well maintained and would require someone with green fingers to keep them in their present state.
There is also a large coach house outside with two open-plan rooms, a kitchen and a bathroom. This could be used as a space for a business, an office or surgery.
Alternatively, it could be converted into an apartment for older children who are looking for some independence, or for an elderly relation.
Navan, Co Meath
Asking price: €775,000
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald Reilly, Navan (046) 9060450