17 Weirview Lucan, Co Dublin Sale Price: €385,000 Broker: Sherry FitzGerald (01) 6231234
Ovid 19 lockdowns showed that Dublin’s river community, first sewn together 130 years ago by Hills Woolen Mills on Weir in Lucan, is still very much alive and active 35 years after the company closed.
Hills Mills – which started in the 1860s but closed permanently in 1988 – was renowned for its fine tweeds, wools, blankets, gabardines and worsteds, all manufactured right here on the banks of the River Liffey.
These were exported all over the world. Along with Shackleton’s Flour Mills nearby (which closed in 1998), these two employers were instrumental in Lucan’s growth into the suburb it is today.
Hills also happened to be an excellent provider of accommodation for its workers, as evidenced by Weirview’s pretty, distinctive waterfront terrace, which includes 20 well-kept late 19th-century houses.
Coarse Irish wool along with finer wool from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa were once shipped in large bales to Hills where the Liffey powered the huge water wheels that powered her power. Dozens of local people were involved in the production of the famous Hills Mills suits, which were exported all over the world, including back to New Zealand and Australia, where much of the fine wool originated.
Locals will tell you that the mill has been the center of working and social life in the area for generations, as evidenced by photos from the period. Jobs have been passed down through the generations and at a time when the Irish emigrated in search of work, families here became isolated.
And it was many happy summer evenings spent with friends who lived in Weirview that convinced Palmertown-born couple Jamie and Anne Conway that Weirside was the place they wanted to live. They were living in an apartment at the time and were on the lookout for rare “For Sale” signs around Weirside.
“We heard that No17 was up for sale in 2017 and we jumped at it,” says Anne. “It ended up being one of the bigger four and we went all out with supply that exceeded demand. And we were so happy to get it.”
Jamie adds, “The four were built a little bigger because they were for the managers,” says Jamie, who grew up on a Liffey weir in Palmerstown. He has family ties to Hills Mills, having lost his uncle in a tragic accident at the mill in the 1970s.
“In addition to the location right in front of the weir, we love the sense of community here. Generations of the same families who were originally mill workers have lived in many of these houses and are still here today. In many cases, families of nine or ten grew up here.”
With a girl of seven and a boy of three, the Conways have found plenty to do in the tightest lockdowns of the past two years.
“During the lockdown, we realized how lucky we were,” says Anne. “Every morning we could see the water from our bedroom. From our bedroom we saw otters, herons, kingfishers, salmon, mink and always boats.
The young lads who live here can just honk their kayaks over the wall and get in the water. Our 5km zone includes parts of St Catherine’s Park. And although you might think you’re in the country, the shops of Lucan village are just a five-minute walk away.
Jamie adds, “I love my fly fishing and I can just grab a rod and hit the water right from my door. Then we can hear this beautiful sound of running water at night.” Behind the house is a steep rock face, which is also a paradise for foxes and birds.
Anne adds: “In the summer lockdown we all sat together for drinks, there were quizzes and distanced events and when lockdown wasn’t so strict there were BBQs. It’s just such a beautiful community to live in.”
As their family grows, the Conways are reluctant to sell and Sherry FitzGerald has just put the house on the market with an asking price of €385,000. “We wouldn’t go, we just need the space,” says Anne.
Like many of the terrace houses, this one has a rustic half-door at the front. The living room at the front of the house has a solid fuel stove at its heart, set against an exposed brick wall.
To the rear is a Shaker style fitted kitchen with a large Belfast sink. A modern family bathroom has a freestanding bath with a shower head.
Upstairs are two large double bedrooms. The master bedroom has views across the weir and onto Lucan Village through two windows. Both bedrooms have their original cast iron fireplace pieces.
A back yard is surrounded by stone walls with sandstone paving and a wired and piped shed. No17 offers the chance to purchase a historic home with views that are certainly not run-of-the-mill.
https://www.independent.ie/life/home-garden/homes/riverside-in-lucan-a-revamped-385000-redbrick-on-the-banks-of-the-liffey-41408901.html Riverside in Lucan – a €385,000 refurbished red brick property on the banks of the Liffey