If you like your gate lodges with a touch of classic Greek revival then this tiny building may well be it. Tastefully furnished with collectables from an earlier epoch, there is a romantic charm to this historic home.
Sited in amongst some of Europe’s most ancient passage tombs and still just an hour from Dublin, Loughcrew in the Boyne Valley is at once a place of enchantment and mystery.
Lilliputian Luxury from 1826 Aristocracy
This Regency limestone lodge is the only surviving building in Ireland designed by Charles Cockerell, and was originally part of Loughcrew Estate which it faces onto.
A dramatic four column portico is the façade that is adjacent to the road, but a circuitous passage leads around to the rear where a sunken courtyard admits the real entrance. Welcome to Loughcrew Lodge.
At the heart of this unique dwelling is the main living room, an elegant triumph that never fails to ambush visitors.
High ceilings, rich fabrics and antique furnishings afford the interior its dignified ambience.
Stepping down into the cosy kitchen augments the spirit of yesteryear. Like a scullery from a more genteel era, painted board paneling, floors flagged in vintage tiles, and a Belfast sink are elements salvaged from the past.
The master bedroom occupies the front half of the building. Another room-full of classical trappings. Here a romantic canopy dressed bed contemplates the peaceful Loughcrew estate through Southerly French doors.
The second spacious double bedroom has its own open fireplace, albeit the central heating is more than adequate.
The bathroom adjoins the kitchen with continued theme of vintage detailing, although the slipper bath benefits from an electric shower.
The Lodge features a large sheltered BBQ patio with a raised wraparound lawn all overlooked by the ancient and mystical Cairns of Loughcrew. Across the road, the property faces the rolling Drumlin landscape of Loughcrew Estate, where there is much to do for the adventurous, and a great coffee shop.
The mahogany drop leaf table in the living room seats four comfortably. A washing machine and dryer are kept in the utility room off this space. Mobile telephone coverage can be patchy, and Wi-Fi is available in the house, but not at the high speed levels you may be accustomed to.
Smoking – No, sorry!
The owners regret Stag or Hen parties are not admissible.
Pets – no, sorry.
Out & About
Here are some of our favourites…
- Zip along a wire at Loughcrew
- Trout fishing on Lough Sheelin
- Play a round at Headfort Golf Club
- See the Boyne from a currach
- Ride a roller coaster over Tayto Park
- Visit some of the Cairns
- Test your horsemanship
- Grab a bite in the Bective
- White water rafting on the Boyne
- Go to the races at Fairyhouse
Meath and the Boyne Valley are home to the mother lode of megalithic tombs and prehistoric art in Western Europe. The Neolithic monuments at Newgrange predate the great pyramids of Egypt and continue to bewilder the hundreds of thousands of visitors they attract – especially at the equinoxes.
photo Rob Hurson
Much nearer to the Lodge, Loughcrew Cairns are equally intriguing. Originally constructed some 400 years before Newgrange, they form largest complex of passage graves in Ireland. Sited on the highest points in the county, they can only be reached by foot.
The Lodge is situated opposite Loughcrew Estate, which is open to the public. The original house built in 1826 was destroyed by fire on more than one occasion, but the Napper family are still in residence. The estate hosts many activities both cultural and adventurous. They also have a great café and gardens.
Oldcastle is a 10 minute walk away. Here you will find a Bank, pubs and grocery stores. The town was home to an internment camp during WW1, and a workhouse for the destitute prior to that.
The local community was devastated during the Potato Famine of the 1840’s, losing nearly 40% of the population.
Lough Lene 10 mins away is renowned for having gin clear waters, and is used by locals in the summer months for swimming, wind surfing and the like.
The larger town of Kells, with its wonderful round tower and hefty Celtic crosses, is about 20 mins away. Kells is renowned of course for the extravagantly illuminated Gospel manuscript eponymously known as The Book of Kells. It is believed to have been created around 800 AD on Iona, an island off Scotland, by meticulous monks who toiled for years to create the illustrations on vellum. The original is currently housed in Trinity College, Dublin, but an exact copy can be seen in the Town Hall.
photo William Murphy
The medieval town of Trim lies 40 minutes to the south, and is home to Ireland’s largest Norman castle dating from the 12th century.
photo Scott Neeson
The castle was used in the filming of Braveheart in 1996.
One of the best ways to enjoy the landscape is on a bike, but this is fox hunting territory, so keep your head down.
How to get there – Car advised…
By Air: Flights to Dublin, Shannon or Belfast airports.
Dublin Airport – just over an hour from house
Belfast Airport – approx 2.2 hours from house.
Shannon Airport – approx 2.5 hours from house.
By Sea: Ferry crossings
Dublin City Port/Holyhead has a fast crossing and is just over an hour from house
Rosslare Port is just over 3 hours from house