On his semi-autobiographical novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce describes the plains of Co Kildare through the recollections of his fictional alter ego Stephen Dedalus.
Some of the writer's early years were spent on the flatlands of north Kildare, as he attended Clongowes, the Jesuit boarding school near Clane, from the age of six, but had to leave four years later because his father could no longer afford the fees. The protagonist tells of how the horse-drawn coaches would crunch along the gravel avenue of Clongowes and then on the road to Clane.
Joyce would hardly recognise Clane now: it has long become a satellite of Dublin, with the population expanding 400pc to 7,280 between 1996 and 2016, according to census figures.
The route from Clongowes to Clane is busier since Joyce's time. On College Road, Westar Group is building 105 homes at a development called Aughamore, a name that derives from the Irish for 'big plain'.
Westar launched Aughamore in 2016 and a slew of phases of its four-bed houses have since followed. The final phase of houses will be released this weekend and will feature a new showhouse called the Pine, a four-bed semi-detached style spanning 1,525 sq ft.
Apartments are due to go on the market by the summer.
Six of the Pine homes were sold during a pre-launch of the last phase, so 16 houses will be available during the official launch. The Pine, which costs from €375,000, will account for nine of the homes available.
And for an extra €10,000, buyers of the house type can emulate the showhouse by opting for the same wooden floors, carpets and wall panelling along the stairs and landing.
The final tranche also includes houses from the Rowan semis, which have 1,460 sq ft of living space across three floors and are priced from €375,000, and the Oak, a two-storey detached style spanning 1,290 sq ft and costing from €405,000.
The prices for the Oak and Rowan include the flooring and decorative wall moulding to the stairwell and landing.
Lastly, there is one house available from the three-storey detached Hawthorn, which has a study and a price-tag of €455,000. With 1,680 sq ft of accommodation, the Hawthorn is the largest house type for sale.
The front elevations of the house types vary from a full yellow brick to a full redbrick.
All the houses are timber-framed, have concrete tiles to the roof tiles, and an engineered front door with a timber finish. At the Pine design, the front door is set in a recessed porch. Its windows and rear patio door have an aluminium exterior finish and a timber interior.
To the front of each house, there is wiring for an electric car charging point, and there is provision for CCTV to both the front and rear doors. The cobble-lock front driveway, which has railings and planting to its boundaries, can accommodate two cars. The back garden is seeded and comes with a shed.
Internally, there are 8.5ft-high ceilings to the ground floor. Celtic Kitchens supplied the kitchen units and quartz countertops. Purchasers who return signed contracts to the builder within 21 days receive a voucher for kitchen appliances.
A contemporary-style staircase leads to the first and second floors, where all the bedrooms have fitted wardrobes. There are three bedrooms - one of which is ensuite - and a bathroom on the first floor, with a further ensuite bedroom, as well as storage space, on the second floor. Heatwise in Tullamore supplied the sanitaryware for the bathrooms and ensuites.
Each home was designed to achieve an A2 BER, courtesy of features such as solar panels for hot water, PV panels to generate electricity, and an A-rated condensing gas boiler with multi-zone controls for the central heating.
Aughamore is a few minutes' walk from the centre of Clane, which is 32km from Dublin along the M4. Clane is 6km away from the Sallins and Naas train station, from where there is an Arrow commuter rail service to Dublin.
Viewings at Aughamore will take place from 12pm to 2pm tomorrow and Sunday.