Home is where the heart is, a place where we watch our families grow and a true sense of ourselves is held within the walls of a home. As life changes some people find themselves downsizing or moving away and while it is a necessary transition, it is one met with sadness. Memories live on behind the walls of a property but as the owners leave it, they must try to take the best out of their experience and cherish it. It doesn’t matter where you live as in the most cases, it is a place your child first walked or where you laughed, cried or simply, lived. Leaving a much-loved property is one of the hardest things people must do and when reading about Howth Castle, a superior piece of property with an immense amount of history and tremendous character, you can’t help but feel for those who are moving on.
Howth Castle is one of the Dublin’s famous landmarks and it has just been sold to Tetrarch. With the sale comes news of renovation and updates that are exciting. Tetrarch Capital completed its acquisition of Howth Castle and Demesne from the estate’s long-term owners, the Gaisford-St Lawrence family. There are plans for a luxury hotel, recreational facilities and a new leisure centre to name a few. With the sprawling estate boasting stunning views of Dublin Bay, the grounds is made up of gardens, parkland and woodlands. The beauty of this historical estate can’t be overestimated, and it is known for its community spirit and place in the locality. Imagine leaving a home that is so symbolic and with not just years but centuries of history. This beautiful castles ownership is leaving a family who have held onto it for the last 840 years.
840 years of memories and with its spectacular grounds we can only imagine the shared love and memories of a home that just so happens to be a castle. A story so special that though the family are now leaving, it will live on, for years to come. Saying goodbye to such a huge part of a family is a massive deal and they attributed the need to sell, to not having the resources to maximise on its huge potential. Understandable considering the sheer size of the castle and grounds as to update or renovate would be a hugely costly feat. Luckily, all the staff who are currently employed by Howth Castle and Demesne will continue to be employed under Tetrarch’s ownership of the estate in agreement with their existing term. Welcome news for locals who rely on this for continued employment.
Tetrarch are being imaginative and creative with their plans to redevelop and reopen the Deer Park Hotel as a luxury property, and to change the golf courses. And Tetrarch have experience in such gigantic redevelopments not least with their recent experience in redeveloping the Mount Juliet estate in Co Kilkenny. Another stunning tourism hot spot and one that benefits from the Tetrarch’s scale of redevelopment and investment.
The castle surely has lots of history with plenty of tales to share after eight centuries and it is a shame the walls couldn’t talk but, in the acquisition, we must believe that improvements are to come. The importance of selling the estate was that it would find the right buyer and find its way into a deeper sense of place. Julian Gaisford-St Lawrence has been vocal about keeping the legacy in his family while securing long term prospects for the community who have always been at the forefront of the family’s sale plans. It was important to keep that resource for the city and create tourism for the area. What we can expect is a tremendous tourist resort and, a new dawn of legacy begins.
Let’s not forget how well this resort could serve the community and visitors to the area while maintaining its historic roots, heritage and superior status. Placemaking is vital and with their ambitious plans on the horizon, initial sadness turns to anticipation. Placemaking offers planning, design and management of public spaces and Howth Castle offers an opportunity to monetise on the local areas, its aspirations and potential. In an area as significantly beautiful as Howth Castle it has the capabilities to create public spaces that promote people’s health, happiness and well-being. It has the ability to build on its roots and transform itself to something rather spectacular.
Tetrarch obviously agrees and considers Howth Castle to be a fantastic site that has the prospects to become a better version of itself. Its crossover and transformation from private estate and well-known castle to hotel and grounds will be interesting to follow. With Tetrarch at the helm they have the expertise and skills to develop this type of site and improve on the current landscape. Tetrarch has developed historical sites previously too.
Moving away from such a huge property is going to take time for the family who will be moving furniture, books and china. As moving to a new house is regarded as one of the most stressful things to do in life, we can understand the anxiety such a move creates. Trinkets, possessions and other bits are going with them or being rehomed in other places but the walls and foundations that created this beautiful castle will remain in the grounds – as they should be. With new owners, new prospects and new beginnings, a new journey is beginning for Howth Castle and another journey beckons for the family of the sprawling estate.
We offer both our best wishes for the future.