Travel writer's former childhood home in Lismore, Co Waterford

Travel writer's former childhood home in Lismore, Co Waterford


The travel writer Dervla Murphy is renowned for her gumption, among other things. As a child in the 1930s, she moved with her parents into a Georgian house now known as Westview, at the South Mall in Lismore, Co Waterford.

She would live there for the next 21 years, although the house at that time would test the forbearance even of a Dervla Murphy, a woman who thought nothing of cycling all the way from Ireland to India on her own armed with a handgun.

In her memoir Wheels Within Wheels Murphy described the house as draughty, distempered and “irreparably decrepit”, but it did have lovely bones, such as well-proportioned rooms, marble fireplaces and mahogany stairs. In the grounds some outbuildings had been converted to the town cinema, and beyond that was an immense garden and orchard.

Murphy has been proved wrong though. Westview may have been decrepit, but not irreparably so. The place has had a complete makeover inside and is now all light and warmth, with not a hint of distemper to be seen.

The good bones are still there of course, and have been enhanced with modern fittings such as solar panels for hot water and solid-fuel stoves for more efficient fires.

It has two main ground-floor reception rooms – a living room and a sitting room, both with shuttered sash windows and fireplaces. The kitchen is triple aspect and has a pantry.

Upstairs are four bedrooms, the main one having a walk-in wardrobe and an appealing en suite with skylights and a corner bath.

What was the cinema is now a lofted studio complete with a sauna, and beyond that is the garden, with a vegetable patch, pond and patio and still an orchard. The house is over 3,000 sq ft and the barn another 1,248 sq ft.

Westview is for sale for €525,000 with Brian Gleeson Property (058) 44200.

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