On top of the world in Wicklow for €1.7m
Newcastle home offers Dubliners an eagle's nest vantage in Wicklow
Published 12/02/2016 | 02:30
Might a Dubliner wandering the hills of Wicklow risk being mugged by an O'Byrne accompanied by an O'Toole?
Not lately; but as anyone with a vague smidgen of school history knows, the O'Byrne and O'Toole clan alliance - long ensconced on the capital's doorstep - has an 800 year track record of harassing Dubliners and stealing their stuff.
The O'Byrnes and O'Tooles were probably on the minds of the Normans when they set about constructing the Pale back in the day when you couldn't leave a portcullis open without an O'Byrne or O'Toole ducking inside to make off with your chickens.
Long after the rest of the country was subjugated, the clan combo regularly sacked Bray, Arklow and Newcastle, and even rampaged in Tallaght, whose tenants they blackmailed for protection money. It must have been irksome for Dublin Castle to find its powers so completely undermined on the city's own doorstep.
Successive attempts to root out the OBOTs in their heartland around Glenmalure, Glendalough and Newcastle regularly ended in tears. One such attempt to put manners on the south eastern scallywags gave Newcastle its name.
The town was named after the 'new' castle built back in 1177 to 1184 by the Pale-based Normans and constructed on top of the 'old' castle - a fortress of the O'Byrnes.
This was constructed under the personal supervision of Hugh De Lacy - at the time governor of Ireland under Henry II.
In fact, the 'new' castle simply provided local sport for the OBOTs who sacked it gleefully at regular intervals for hundreds more years.
The current ruin on the site is that of its last incarnation - destroyed in the 16th century before the administrators finally gave up and moved to Wicklow Town. OBOT scallywaggery continued right into the early 1800s until the Brits finally sorted them by building a road.
The 46 mile long Military Road into the Wicklow hills was finished in 1809 and undertaken solely to enable troops access in large numbers to the heart of the OBOT infestation. This finally worked.
Started in 1801 and completed in 1809, the Military Road also opened up North Wicklow for Dubliners.
These days, thanks to the handy transport links like the Dart and the N11, it's the city slickers who come pillaging for property into the OBOT heartland around Newcastle - as evidenced by the big Dublin interest in Ard na Domhain at Newcastle Upper, a modern detached family home with 120 acres of prime land.
Translating as "top of the world," and located right at the top of a high-ranging hill at Corsilla with clear views to the sea at Bray and Greystones, this is exactly the sort of eagle's nest vantage point the OBOTs would have cherished.
It's also equidistant from the towns of Newcastle, Ashford and Roundwood amongst some of the county's most beautiful scenery.
Most of those coming to view the property are city based equestrian types with a view to getting out of Dublin but remaining within handy sacking distance.
For the commercial traveller, both the city centre and the airport are less than an hour's drive away.
Another reason for Dublin interest in this property is its modernity and size (four big bedrooms) considered against the background of Wicklow County Council's notoriously strict planning regime. These days, the locals keep the Dubs out via the planning regime.
This property was built new in the last 20 years by a local family and presents a chance for an outsider to own a large home with views - because these days there's a snowball's chance of getting permission to construct a new detached home this size atop a hill in this scenic county.
Accommodation includes a dining room with a maple floor, marble surround fireplace; a similarly kitted living room, a sun room with a timber ceiling and maple floor and a kitchen with cream-painted units and a tiled floor.
There's a utility room, a guest bathroom and a main bathroom with a double shower cubicle.
Three of the four bedrooms are double sized and the master bedroom comes with a dressing room and an ensuite with a double steam-shower cubicle.
There's a stairs to the attic which is floored and has a velux window. This would be suitable for installing an additional double bedroom if required. The immediate gardens measure an acre, bordered by hedging, while the other 119 acres are farmed in grazing and the owners are not willing to split the property for sale.
Near the house is a yard with two large sheds including a large stable block and there's a separate entrance from the road.
If you fancy the prospects of Ard na Domhain as your new castle in Wicklow, then the price is €1.7m.
Ard na Domhain
Corsilla, Newcastle, Co Wicklow
Asking price: €1.7m
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald Catherine O'Reilly (0404) 68443