Contemporary home with a distinct Scandinavian feel on the market for €950k in Trim
Contemporary home with a distinct Nordic feel
Trim Castle, located on the southern bank of the River Boyne, is the largest Norman castle in Ireland, covering roughly 30,000 square metres.
Used as an administrative centre when the Lordship of Meath was established by King Henry II, its elevated site was chosen as it overlooks a fording point on the river. And during the filming of Braveheart, with Mel Gibson as William Wallace, Trim Castle played the role of medieval York.
In early times, Trim was important in both ecclesiastical and royal terms, accessible by boat up the River Boyne about 25 miles from the Irish Sea. Later, the castle marked the outer northern boundary of The Pale, and was granted to the Wellesley family who held it until Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington, sold it on.
In subsequent years, it passed into the hands of the Dunsany Plunketts, who owned it until 1993 when Lord Dunsany sold the land and buildings to the State, retaining only river access and fishing rights.
The Office of Public Works, which is headquartered in Trim, then undertook a major conservation programme, including partial restoration of the moat and the installation of a protective roof. The castle was re-opened to the public in 2000.
The residents of Trim have much to thank Lord Dunsany for, because the photogenic building has helped make the town Ireland's unofficial wedding capital - there are over 300 such ceremonies in Trim each year, most of them using the castle as the backdrop for photographs. Wedding guests and other tourists provide a steady year-round flow of visitors to fill the town's hotels.
An archaeological dig around the old friary began around six years ago and is ongoing, and expected to continue for another 10 to 15 years, producing a succession of fascinating finds that draw archaeologists from all over the world. Located on the Dublin Road, by all accounts the most prestigious address in Trim, Friarspark may not have been built on quite the same scale as the castle, but, nonetheless, it is a substantial house, offering 4,000 sq ft of living space, and is clearly designed to impress.
Constructed by the current owners in 2006, to their own design, and inspired by their travels abroad, the outward appearance of Friarspark is striking, thanks to its unusual copper roof and the Scandinavian double-glazed powder-coated wooden windows and doors. The construction is block, with solid concrete floors and concrete stairs - it has the feel of a very solid house, and it's a warm one too, with a B3 BER.
The property sits on a site of approximately half an acre, within a few minutes' walk of the medieval town centre, and of Porchfield, where the castle and the Boyne Walk are located. It is, say the locals, their Phoenix Park.
Friarspark was designed to be a house to be lived in - there are no 'good rooms' for high days and holy days, but rather a good flow of well-proportioned spaces to be used every day for contemporary family living. The décor is modern and colourful, a world away from the fifty shades of taupe and grey that have become ubiquitous in recent years, and the level of finish throughout is high.
On the ground floor, there is an open-plan kitchen/living/dining room with a snug and a separate family room. The kitchen is fitted with high-gloss red units, and among the appliances included in the sale are a Neff oven and microwave, a Fisher and Paykel two-drawer dishwasher and a Samsung American fridge freezer that dispenses sparkling and still filtered water. The boot room and utility room are both well-designed and practical, and the Bosch washing machine and dryer, and Liebherrr freezer unit are included.
Two en-suite bedrooms and a study on this level have separate independent access and would be suitable as au pair accommodation, a high-class granny flat, or a home office.
Upstairs, the master bedroom has a private balcony, a lavish en-suite bathroom featuring a Duravit bath with head cushions, and a dressing room. There are two further bedrooms, both en-suite. Outside, the gardens are landscaped, well-planted, and a sheltered patio and barbecue area will come into their own in summer.
As well as being a magnet for tourists, Trim is a busy heritage town with high street shopping rather than shopping centres, and a permanent population of under 10,000. There is a regular bus service to Dublin city centre, 25 miles away. The town offers a good choice of primary and secondary schools, including Gaelscoil, Educate Together, Church of Ireland and Roman Catholic national schools.
The vendors plan to stay in the area and are embarking on another project.
Dublin Road, Trim, Co Meath
Asking price: €950,000
Agent: Sherry Fitzgerald Royal (046) 943 1525