If you’re looking for a glowing description of the Hill of Tara – either its surviving antiquities or its legendary purpose – better steer clear of an account by the Scottish Episcopalian minister and historian John Parker Lawson.
In his two-volume Historical Tales Of The Wars Of Scotland in 1839, Lawson touched on Tara just long enough to cast aspersions on the “apocryphal authorities” and “credulous historians” who perpetuated the myths about the place down through the ages. “Whatever structures, dignified with the names of palaces, halls, and colleges, really at any time existed, were probably of a temporary and fragile character, quite unworthy to be designated architectural, and have long ago… utterly disappeared,” he writes.
He does allow that the hill, along with the Hill of Skreen, share “the power and interest of relieving the monotony of the vast central expanse of the plain of Meath”. As the crow flies, Belper Hall is about two kilometres from the summit of Tara, and just on the outskirts of Tara Village. It’s surrounded by the lushest of Meath countryside, including 6.67 acres of its own land. That should be enough to feed the horses, which you can keep in the five stables next to the house.
Belper Hall itself is 3,326 sq ft on two floors, with four bedrooms upstairs (one ensuite). The ground floor has three reception rooms plus an L-shaped kitchen, breakfast room and family room, and another room next to the adjoining garage.
The property is close to the controversial M3 motorway, which you can join at Dunshaughlin seven kilometres away, so you’ll be on the outskirts of Dublin after about 20 minutes in the car.
It’s for sale for €785,000 with Sherry FitzGerald County Homes, Farms & Estates (01) 237 6300.