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New home view: King of the castle on Meath coast

Silver Banks Stamullen, Co Meath Asking price: €285,000-€385,000 Agent: Raymond Potterton (046) 9027666


Silver lining: a living room at Silver Banks

Silver lining: a living room at Silver Banks

An exterior view of Silver Banks

An exterior view of Silver Banks


Silver lining: a living room at Silver Banks

Between the 14th century and the 1940s, Gormanston Castle in east Meath was the ancestral seat of the Preston family. By 1883, the family owned almost 10,000 acres in the Royal County.

The 16th Viscount Gormanston - the title for the head of the Preston family - was killed in action in the Battle of Dunkirk in 1940, leaving the present Viscount Gormanston, who lives in London, to inherit the title when he was only a few months old.

The 17th Viscount Gormanston's great-grandmother was the celebrated Victorian military artist Elizabeth Thompson Butler. During the Irish Civil War, many of Lady Butler's paintings - including a set of watercolours painted in Palestine - were transferred for safekeeping to Gormanston Castle, her daughter Eileen having married into the Preston family. Lady Butler herself spent the final years of her life at Gormanston, dying in 1933.

After the passing of a series of land acts, the Prestons were forced to divide up the estate and sign over land to tenants. By the time Ireland had gained independence, the estate was in a perilous financial state. The writer Evelyn Waugh, author of Brideshead Revisited, had planned to buy Gormanston Castle, but was deterred when he learned of Billy Butlin's plans to build a holiday resort at the nearby beach at Mosney.


An exterior view of Silver Banks

An exterior view of Silver Banks

An exterior view of Silver Banks

Instead, the Prestons sold the castle and the remaining estate in 1947 to the Franciscan order, which set up an all-boys' boarding school called Gormanston College in the grounds. The alumni of the college include actor Colin Farrell and former ministers Charlie McCreevy and James Reilly.

In Stamullen, just across the M1 from Gormanston College and its nearby beach, Glenveagh Properties is building a scheme called Silver Banks on land that likely once belonged to the Gormanston estate.

The development of 202 homes near the Co Dublin border is sandwiched between mature housing and St Patrick's GAA's playing grounds. The scheme will appeal to families commuting to Dublin or Drogheda by motorway or train and who want to be close to the beach.

Glenveagh is currently building 80 three and four-bed houses at Silver Banks, and there are 45 houses in the first phase. Prices start at €285,000 for the Larch, a three-bed mid-terraced style spanning 1,234 sq ft. There are two other three-bed house types for sale: the Poplar and the Birch, which are semi-detached/end-of-terrace designs measuring 1,255 sq ft and 1,238 sq ft, respectively.

Prices for the four-bed house types start at €345,000 for the Oak semi-detached/end-of-terrace style, which has 1,437 sq ft of living space. There is also a larger four-semi available called the Ash, which extends over 1,710 sq ft. Meanwhile, the Aspen, a double-fronted, 1,626-sq ft four-bed detached design, costs from €385,000.

Depending on the style chosen by the buyer, the facades of the homes are either in a full-brick or in a combination of brick and render, with a composite front door. The UPVC double-glazed windows throughout are two-toned - there is a grey exterior and a white interior. The front driveway is finished in Kilsaran paving, while the rear French doors open onto a back garden enclosed by post-and-panel fencing.

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Inside, some of the house types have a second reception room that could also be used as a home office.

Gallagher Kitchens supplied the contemporary-style kitchens, which come with soft-close doors, an upstand and an integrated extractor fan.

Gallaghers also supplied the shaker-style wardrobes that are fitted to the master and second bedroom in the three-bed homes and also in the third bedroom of the four-bed houses. The sanitaryware and fittings in the bathroom, ensuite and guest WC are contemporary by design, and there is tiling to the floors and wet areas.

The motorway brings commuters to Dublin Airport in 25 minutes, while Dublin city centre is a 45-minute drive away. For rail users, Gormanstown train station is 4.5km away, with the train journey to Connolly Station taking about 46 minutes. Matthews Bus also operates a private service to the city.

Viewings are by appointment.

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