Situated in a perfect location, the seaside town of Greystones offers so many ways to enjoy an active lifestyle, but it also offers an array of cultural pastimes that will keep you and your family entertained and enlightened. Here are just a few of the many ways in which homeowners at the new development of beautiful houses at SeaGreen Gate can pursue their artistic interests.
Steeped in an artistic and literary tradition, Greystones has always provided more than its fair share of creative people, and been called home by many others, influenced no doubt by the surrounding landscape and the thriving cultural scene.
Samuel Beckett spent his childhood summers at the harbour, while JM Synge spent his at Rathdown House, JP Donleavy, author of The Ginger Man, lived on the seafront, while Richard Condon (author of The Manchurian Candidate), historical fiction author Robert Elegant and Irish Fairy Stories author Sinead de Valera all lived at The Burnaby at one stage. Dutch cartoon strip author Marten Toonder, who created the Oliver B Bumble series, also lived in Greystones for much of his life.
That literary tradition is alive and well today. Ross O’Carroll-Kelly biographer Paul Howard once lived in Greystones, while The Killing Snows author Charles Egan, and popular fiction authors Amy Lynch, KA Finn, JJ Toner and Ruth Fitzmaurice all call the town home.
It’s not just authors who get their inspiration from the town. Well-known musicians and actors are also commonplace. Ronnie Drew of the Dubliners lived here, and both Damien Rice and Hozier are residents, while Father Ted actor Frank Kelly and wildlife film maker Eamon de Buitlear lived here too. Saoirse Ronan is the latest artistic icon to move to the town.
With such an artistic heritage, and such a beautiful setting, it’s no wonder that Greystones has been hailed as the self-publishing capital of Ireland.
Have a Whale of a Time
Picture via The Whale Theatre
Just a short walk away from the appropriately named Yeats, the Beckett and the Wilde four-bedroom houses at SeaGreen Gate, the Whale Theatre is a recently refurbished, intimate 130-seat theatre with a unique atmosphere. Its aim is to foster culture, creativity and community, and is the home of the Greystones Players, a non-profit community drama group that aims to bring people from the Greystones area together to work in collaboration to make great theatre and to enrich the culture of the town.
Producing and hosting plays, cabaret, comedy, concerts, dance classes and performance art, The Whale offers great artistic events for the entire family, while it also hosts Greystones Film Club screenings, with membership free to everybody.
Hit the Hot Spot
Above the Beach House in Greystones harbour you will find the Hot Spot Music Club, a centre for music and live arts. Crossing all musical divides from swing to trad to flamenco, the venue provides a stage for singer-songwriters, musicians, comedians and poets to showcase their talents.
Picture via The Hot Spot
Regularly hosting the likes of Tir Na Nog, Dermot Byrne, Leo O’Kelly, Nigel Mooney, Mick Hanly, Amelia Curran and Honor Heffernan, the club has also seen the aforementioned Hozier (pictured) take to the stage. It is also home to the Universal Funk Orchestra, whose covers gigs are always a hit, while the Ukulele Pluckers group meet on weekends for a weekly jam at which all comers are welcome.
As a family-run, friendly and relaxed venue, it’s a great place to mingle with the community, take part in a workshop, discover the next big thing, or even show off your own artistic talents.
Enjoy the Art of the Community
The Greystones Art and Photography Exhibition (GRAPE) at the harbour showcases local artists, photographers, arts and crafts and artisans, offering you a wide range of styles to browse as you enjoy a perfect summer day.
Also to be found at the harbour is the Boat Yard Gallery, a collection of paintings, design, crafts, ceramics, textiles, photography and jewellery. With a relaxed atmosphere, you can browse at leisure to find the perfect item to enhance your spacious living area, your kitchen, your bathrooms or your bedrooms at SeaGreen Gate, or get inspired to create your own work of art.
On a larger scale, the Greystones Art Group, established in 1965, aims to encourage amateur artists from the community. It works to advance the artistic knowledge and skills of its members through lectures and demonstrations, and facilitates an annual exhibition of paintings and other artworks.
They provide monthly outdoor painting sessions in different venues each time, as well as monthly demonstrations, so members can hone their skills and learn from experienced artists. The group will also play a part in Culture Night 2018 in September, having previously produced a mural as a result of a public paint-in, which was displayed at the Meridian Centre, and a series of mysterious figures and faces that were placed high in the trees along Church Road to create a spectacular view.
Studio artist Tom Byrne’s Greystones Art Gallery is also a great place to view an artist at work, and to browse the many fine pieces he has created. He welcomes the community to drop in and watch as he works on a seascape or portrait, in order to gain your own inspiration, and his paintings have been bought by the likes of Gerald Kean, Bono and Louis Walsh.
Given the literary heritage associated with Greystones, it is no surprise to learn that the community also fosters a great interest in literature and history. The library in the centre of the town offers the usual depository of reading material, but it also hosts the many flourishing book clubs that encourage locals to comment on copy and chat about chapters in a friendly and inspiring setting.
Of great renown, the Greystones Archaeological and Historical Society is a very active group that promotes interest in and awareness of the historical and archaeological heritage of Greystones and the surrounding area. As well as monthly talks and lectures, the society also offers one-day and three-day trips to areas of historical interest, and publishes a journal that collects together articles of interest, often based on talks presented to meetings of the group.
Established in 1988, the society is constantly growing and is always looking for new members, so if you like the idea of finding out about the rich history of Greystones while meeting new friends and becoming a part of the community, this is the place to be.
As you can see from the above, while Greystones may be known as a culinary hotspot that provides a host of great eateries, the many cultural offerings here can also give you plenty to feed your mind, and it is all within a few minutes of the beautiful new houses at SeaGreen Gate. Homeowners at this new development can not just avail of the many activities that invigorate the body, they can also get inspiration to invigorate the mind while enjoying all this idyllic, culture-filled community has to offer.
Find out more about the new houses at SeaGreen Gate and register your interest here: