Along for the ride in The Naul
Four-bed home with 22ac of equestrian potential
For those who yearn for the trappings of country life, yet need to live in proximity to the capital or the M50, or the airport, then there is good value to be found in North County Dublin.
Damastown is a fine example of the kind of properties that are available to those who are prepared to venture a little further out. Located in The Naul, the house is a 36km drive from St Stephen's Green and commuting time could be under an hour, depending on the time of day.
For a young family, the size of the house - there's 310 sq metres of living space - the location and the 22ac that come with it could be a beguiling prospect, especially compared to what you'd get for the same money in South County Dublin.
The acreage, which is described as arable land, will make Damastown of particular interest to those involved in farming or equestrian activities, with the prospect of developing the property and its land into a horse-related business.
As it stands, Damastown is sorely in need of some landscaping, but someone with an interest in horticulture could make something of it - there's room for tennis courts, swimming pools, walled gardens, vegetable growing, chicken, pig or goat-keeping, bee hives and all manner of self-sufficiency and creativity.
Located behind electronic gates and approached via a sweeping gravel driveway, Damastown was built in 2001 in the manner of a traditional country house with a central staircase.
The rooms are of decent proportions and there's an opportunity now for new owners to put their own stamp on the house.
There are five reception rooms and two guest lavatories at ground floor level and the kitchen is fitted with plenty of storage, good quality appliances and quartz worktops. There's also a handy separate laundry/utility room.
Upstairs, there are four double bedrooms with built-in wardrobes and a family bathroom. The master bedroom has a walk-in dressing room, an ensuite bathroom and a balcony with views out over the surrounding countryside.
The nearby village of Ballyboughal is a focal point for the community and home to The Grange, with its craft/gift shop, art gallery, café and garden walks. The village has an active GAA club.
The Naul - meaning 'the cliff' in Irish - lies beside the Delvin River, which marks the boundary between the counties of Dublin and Meath.
The village lies at the intersection of the traditional route between Dublin and the port of Drogheda, and the road that runs north from Finglas in the south towards Balbriggan.
The Naul is believed to have been occupied since the Stone Age, with archaeological finds including prehistoric earthworks and megalithic chambered cairns at Fourknocks on the Meath side of the village, which were discovered in 1949.
The Naul was also the location of a White Castle built in the 13th century as the home of one Richard Caddell, whose descendants were later evicted by Cromwell's soldiers. Nothing remains of the castle, although there is a story that one of the Caddells watched the races at Bellewstown by means of a powerful telescope on the roof of the castle because he had fallen out with the race committee and refused to visit the racecourse in person. The Caddell family remained in the area until at least the 19th century, as evidenced by the monument known locally as Caddell's Folly, erected by a later Richard Caddell.
The Seamus Ennis Cultural Centre in The Naul opened in 2001 and is dedicated to the development and promotion of the Irish language and traditional arts - particularly music - and hosts regular recitals, music sessions, workshops and classes.
Seamus Ennis, who died in 1982, grew up in The Naul and was an Irish musician, singer and music collector, and regarded as one of the greatest uilleann pipers of all time.
The Naul, Co Dublin
Asking price: Offers in excess of €1m
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald Blanc (01) 8900944