While living in London, Jonathan Swift, the satirist and poet who became Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, got to know the Van Homrigh family, Dutch merchants who had settled in Celbridge Abbey in north Kildare. It marked the start of a 17-year relationship with Esther Van Homrigh.
Swift fictionalised her as Vanessa in his poem Cadenus and Vanessa, which was written seven years before he first visited her in Celbridge in 1720. But the writer eventually left Van Homrigh heartbroken, when he developed a relationship with another woman.
These days, the name “abbey” features in many of the housing estates that dot Celbridge, which was is also the birthplace of Arthur Guinness. Not far from the 17th-century home built by Bartholomew Van Homrigh, Esther’s father, are housing estates called Celbridge Abbey and Abbey Farm.
In the middle of the latter estate, Weslin Construction is building a new high-end enclave called Abbey Farm Demesne. The infill development comprises six homes – two five-bed detached houses and four five-bed semi-detached properties – all overlooking a communal green down a cul-de-sac.
The scheme, which is launching this weekend, is aimed at trader-uppers and buyers downsizing from older properties. Prices for the three-storey houses, all of which span 1,700 sq ft, start at €585,000 for the semi-detached style and at €650,000 for the detached design.
The facade of each home has a combination of render and pale yellow brick, with sandstone to the surrounds and sills of the high-performance windows, black concrete tiles, and a zinc canopy hanging over a pale green front door that’s flanked by size glazing.
Outside, there is a private cobblelock driveway and a garden to the front, and a landscaped garden and paved stone patio area to the rear.
Internally, there is a living room with a bay window up front that connects to the rear kitchen/diner/lounge space via a set of glazed double doors. The kitchen/diner/lounge is extended to the rear, allowing plenty of space for an informal seating area near the French doors that open onto the patio. The kitchen area is fitted with shaker-style wood grain units, quartz countertops and upstands, appliances (subject to contract conditions), and an island unit that doubles as a breakfast bar.
There is a separate utility room off the kitchen. There is ceiling coving to the hallway and living room, and laminated flooring to the hallway, the living room and the kitchen/diner/lounge. The bathroom, guest WC and ensuites have porcelain tiling to the floors and parts of the walls, rain-style showerheads, and timber-effect washbasins.
A closed string stairs leads to the first and second floors, where there are five bedrooms – two of which are ensuite – with built-in wardrobes and a family bathroom. The master bedroom, its ensuite, and wardrobes occupy the entirety of the top floor, and this space comes with a nice alcove that could be used as a seating area or for a desk.
An air-to-water heat pump system has been installed in the A2-rated houses, which come with underfloor heating to the ground floor, and mechanical ventilation.
Abbey Farm Demesne is a few minutes’ walk from the centre of Celbridge and from the Palladian-style Castletown House and estate, which was built from 1722 for William Conolly, the Speaker of the Irish House of Commons.
There is a rail service to Heuston Station, which is just 23km away, from the Hazelhatch and Celbridge train station. The station is located 3km outside the town at Hazelhatch, and there’s a feeder bus service from the town. Dublin Bus route 67 and Bus Eireann route 120 also operate services, while the M4 motorway can be accessed at junction 6. Viewings tomorrow and Sunday, between 10am and 12pm.
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