Journey off-road into Ireland's ancient past to the Glen House, located in a secluded, lush valley on an historic estate in County Meath. Rossnaree (Ros Na Ri translates Headland Of The Kings) is a 200-acre wooded estate lying amidst the megalithic ancient temples of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth, known collectively as Brú na Bóinne and designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Rossnaree has been identified as the House of Cletty, where the pre-Christian High Kings coming from Tara would wait before crossing the River Boyne to partake in seasonal ceremonies.
The Glen House is a farmhouse that won An Taisce Ellison architectural heritage award. The house is completely secluded, with access down a private 300 metre lane. Situated on the south bank of the River Boyne next to woodlands and a stream, the glen has its own micro-climate and lush vegetation; full of ancient trees, ferns, fungus and seasonal plants including wild garlic and bluebells.
The Glen House boasts a secret 'pirate ship' called The Salty Pup on a steep bank adjacent to the garden, where children can haul themselves by rope onto a tree-deck and enjoy the magic of the forest surrounding the house. This is a home-built adventure playground in a setting like an Elsa Beskow storybook; children are happily entertained for hours. We also have a rustic bbq area and small raised patio for al fresco dining on summer evenings.
The cottage has three bedrooms. The master bedroom is on the ground floor with an en suite bathroom. There is a double bedroom with views to the Boyne upstairs and one further single bedroom.
The interior is eclectically furnished with treasures from our travels in Africa and Asia. The master bedroom features a reclaimed teak 4-poster king-sized bed from Indonesia and the bespoke coffee table was made with Kuba cloth from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We have central heating, an AGA style cooker and the spacious open plan living room and kitchen is a lovely space to enjoy meals with family and friends.
This is a beautiful, original location that will appeal to anyone with an interest in history and Ireland's myths and legends. Parts of Rossnaree's fishery were constructed by the Cistercians of Mellifont who used to operate their salmon traps in a small cottage on an island upriver from the glen, with roots in the 12th century. It is here that Finn MacCumhail is said to have cooked the legendary Salmon of Knowledge.
The glen was a key site during the decisive Battle of the Boyne, when King James' troops prematurely harried King William of Orange's advance troops at the ford at Rossnaree over 300 years ago.
The Glen House is an ideal base for exploring the treasures of the Boyne Valley; the historic village of Slane, Rossnaree fishery, Bru na Boinne megalithic complex, the Battle of the Boyne at Oldbridge, lay lines, King Cormac, the Salmon of Knowledge, Mellifont Abbey, Drogheda.
The village in Slane has a delicious German bakery, now open for breakfast and lunch, Slane Castle's cafe, a local hotel and several pubs. Boyles of Slane is well known for its great music sessions - both traditional and contemporary. We have a list of our favourite excursions locally including wonderful restaurant/pubs nearby in Drogheda so you can experience Irish culture at its best.
We are only 45 minutes from Dublin, half an hour from Dublin Airport on the M1 motorway, and just over an hour from Belfast - there are also regular buses from a bus stop 5mins drive from our house.
We do hope the Glen House proves to be a great swap this summer!