Yellow brick off Military Road
A taste of rural life and views of The Spire from Dublin hills
Stocking Lane in Rathfarnham, Dublin 14, and nearby Military Road, were named following the British Government's final, and at last, successful push to rid Dublin of the scourge of the O'Toole/O'Byrne clan alliance in the Wicklow Hills.
These hugely successful and resourceful reivers made the southern outskirts of the city a precarious place to roam from the 1200s right up to the early 1800s. It was ironic that over 600 years, nowhere in the country was more under threat than the capital's southern doorstep - a few hours' horse ride from Dublin Castle.
Ever since the Norman invasion of the 1200s and the driving of the O'Toole clan from Kildare into the Wicklow Hills, where they joined the O'Byrnes, the Dublin-based powers were continually troubled by the rebels. This resulted in regular and sometimes bloody raids on the outskirts of the city.
The worst of the incursions occurred on Easter Monday in 1209 when the twin tribes swept down to Ranelagh and massacred 300 settlers which had arrived, largely from Bristol. Every 'Black Monday' for the next 400 years, the city dwellers would march out to Ranelagh en masse and raise a huge flag with a black raven on it as a challenge for the hill tribes to come down and duke it out.
Matters where brought to a head after the 1798 rising when a contingent under Michael O'Dwyer retreated to the O'Toole/O'Byrne stronghold where they continued the fight for the following five years until O'Dwyer finally surrendered and was deported to Australia.
In the end, the powers in Dublin found the solution in a construction project. The Military Road took nine years to build from 1800 on and was directed right into rebel territory, starting at Rathfarnham and linking to Glencree, Imaal, Seven Churches, Glenmalure and, finally, when it was completed in 1809, it ended at Aughavannagh - a distance of 36 miles.
It took military contingents into the heart of rebel turf and barrack fortifications were stationed at four locations along it. Stocking Lane was named after its function as the last major stocking point for the military as it equipped itself to march out on the road and take on the tribes.
Today, Stocking Lane still has an air about it that it's beyond the Pale. It's one of Dublin's most rural parts and the landscape includes mountain shrubbery such as furze bushes with their bright yellow blooms.
These days, the Military Road has become a Sunday excursion route for Dubliners, providing access to some of the most beautiful scenery on the capital's doorstep, running as it does across the spine of the Wicklow Mountains over the Sally Gap.
And in the 1960s, wealthier Dubs took advantage of this wholly rural location to build modern architect-designed ranch-style homes with extra large garden tracts attached.
Four Seasons at Woodtown Way, off Stocking Lane, is among the homes constructed during this period. While the cutting edge architecture of 50 years ago might not be to everyone's tastes today, the space (2,081 sq ft), ground floor layout, privacy, grounds (three quarters of an acre) and the foothill views (out to Dublin Bay as far as Howth Head) make homes along the old stocking station a popular option among family home buyers these days.
Built in a yellow brick, the bungalow was extended 10 years ago by the current owners, who bought it in the 1990s. The entrance hall has a 13ft high ceiling and a tiled floor, off this is the kitchen/dining room, with views to The Spire from the kitchen window.
There's a lounge and dining room with a white decorative marble chimney piece around the fireplace and the ceiling is double-pitched.
This house has four bedrooms, all with built-in wardrobes and the master chamber comes with an ensuite. The latter has a wet room with underfloor heating and a double shower. There's also a family bathroom and a guest wc off the hall.
The double garage is accessed from the kitchen and this also has a wc as well as utility facilities for a washing machine. The garden is lit for night dining in the summer.
Four Seasons is on the market for €1.3m through Sherry FitzGerald.
Woodtown Way, Stocking Lane, Rathfarnham, Dublin 11
Asking price: €1.3m
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald (01) 4951111