The Massy Woods
The lands in this area were originally granted to Walter de Ridleford after the Norman invasion of Ireland in 1169 and later given to Sir Thomas Luttrell in the sixteenth century. The Lutrell family held onto the estate until the seventeenth century when they were relinquished to a jurist called Dudley Loftus. Loftus subsequently sold the lands to William Conolly, who built the lodge now known as the Hell Fire Club on the summit of Montpelier Hill. The history of the Hell Fire Club will be told later in this guide. The Conolly family sold the lands to a politician called Luke White who built a house and gardens on the site. The estate passed to the Massy family through inheritance and their name continues to be associated with these woods, although the estate originally encompassed a much wider area including adjacent Montpelier Hill and Cruagh mountain.
The Massys used the estate to entertain guests shooting game in the Dublin mountains and to host parties during major events on the Dublin social scene. The last baron Massy - Hugh Hamon - was declared bankrupt in 1924 and evicted from the estate. He moved into nearby Beehive Cottage, entirely dependent on the modest salary his wife earned as an employee of the Irish Hospitals Sweepstakes. In the years up until his death in 1958 he could be seen in these woods, gathering firewood in what was once his estate. This lead to him earning the nickname, the "Penniless Peer".
This section of the trip roughly follows the route of the Nature Trail laid out in the estate, marked with orange waymarkers.