Robin Hood’s hideaway

FANCY riding through the Glen at Wicklow’s Greystones?

A former owner of the wooded, Tudor-esque family home, Woodbrook, in this Wicklow setting was the actor Richard Green, possibly the face best associated with the 1950s TV series Robin Hood, where he played the title role.

The link has a special resonance for estate agent Norman Grey of Rathmines, as the soundtrack “Robin Hood, Robin Hood, Riding through the Glen....” is a theme-song to his own character-packed childhood in Rathmines.

“Our family were from a long line of shoemakers, the late Jack Lynch, when he was Taoiseach, lived just off the Rathgar Road where my late father had a shoemaking and repair shop,” Mr Gray recalls. “It’s my abiding memory of Jack Lynch sitting on the counter in grey wool socks while an immediate repair was effected on his shiny shoes.

“He spoke of walking to school as a child in the company of the late Ben Dunne senior, Sean B Murphy to the North Mon, bringing bread from a Cork bakery, and the smile on his face when he said that.

“The Bush radio would be belting out Delia Murphy, Count John McCormack and, my own favourite, Robin Hood, Robin Hood Riding through the Glen...”.

The memories are tempered with a stark reality-check, though as Mr Gray notes “I can still smell the leather although an overfilled paraffin stove in 1968 burnt the lot down.

But, it brings me back to Woodbrook House which was the home of Richard Green the actor who played Robin Hood.”

Woodbrook House is off the New Road, and is “a spectacular historic family home.

“It was originally built as a family home for a Lucy Jane Figgis, and other residents have included Manliff Barrington, winner of the Isle of Man TT Races. Actor Richard Green, who died in 1985, lived there in the 1960s and 1970s.

“It was one of two large Edwardian houses built by New Road, and early photographs show green fields and trees between its setting and Greystones. The small enclave off New Road, Greystones could easily sit with Sherwood Forest.

“This is part of a small neighbourhood of large detached family homes near the sea but there is ample forestation as it’s a settled area,” says Norman Gray of the house, due for auction on June 5 with an AMV of €2.3 million.

The five-bed house of 2,500 sq ft is on a site of half an acre, and has had a major recent overhaul by its family who are moving on.

It has new gas central hearing, CAT 6 cabling, wiring for surround sound, the kitchen has a reconditioned Aga and new units by Bob Mooney, interior design is by Joanne O’Reilly and there are sea views off the main bedroom’s breakfast balcony.

Also for auction with Norman Gray is 4 Leinster Square, Rathmines, close to Jack Lynch’s old family home.

A period large over-basement and double-fronted terraced home, with five bedrooms, it too is walk-in condition.

Due for auction on June 4, it has an AMV of €2.35 million.


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