The Wicklow house of Michael Collins’ alleged lover is sold for €1.65 million

The Wicklow house of Michael Collins’ alleged lover is sold for €1.65 million

Moya Llewelyn Davies wrote from Killadreenan House to “set the record straight” about The Big Fella

Starting price: 1.65 million euros

Agent: Finnegan Menton (01) 614 7900​​

The home of the glamorous Republican activist and spy who made the controversial claim that she had an affair with Michael Collins is for sale.

The three-storey Tudor Killadreenan House in Newtownmountkennedy in Wicklow, once the home of Moya Llewelyn Davies, is on offer for €1.65 million.

Llewelyn Davies spent the last years of his life here before dying of cancer in September 1943.

The late 19th century property includes a main residence of approximately 5,600 square feet, a converted carriage house, a two-bedroom stable, stables and other outbuildings.

The hallway and the staircase.

It sits on just under 18 acres of land which includes an ornamental lake with a viewing platform and summer house.

Llewelyn Davies (née O’Connor), born in Blackrock, was the daughter of an Irish MP who married a high-society British lawyer, although they claimed to have had an open relationship.

He returned to Ireland when the Easter Rising broke out and worked actively for the republican movement, regularly supplying Collins with safe houses during the War of Independence.

She sparked controversy with her claims that she and Collins had an affair (dismissed by many historians) and through her private letters, which came up for auction in 2017.

Dining room

The content included an accusation that Kitty Kiernan was a “simple and vulgar heavy drinker.”

Although Llewelyn Davies is said to have spent the rest of her life mourning Collins after her murder in 1923, she was not a swooning caricature from a gothic novel, but an activist known for her energy, sharp intelligence and engaging personality.

Highly literate, she was a progressive thinker and atheist who believed, among other things, in sexual liberation within marriage. She has also at times been described as a stalker, a spy and a fantasist by some who knew her and others who did not.


However, for better or worse, it is the connection to Collins that puts her in the historical spotlight.

Whether or not the fluent Irish speaker actually had a physical relationship with The Big Fella, as she claimed, remains a matter of speculation, but it is generally accepted that Collins was very fond of Llewelyn Davies and that the feeling was reciprocated.

Moya Llewelyn Davies

Collins is said to have sent her flowers during her stay in Mountjoy Prison during the War of Independence, something other inmates noticed.

We will probably never know if she really had an affair with Collins. She insisted that they do it. Her son, Lord Richard Llewelyn Davies, maintained that she was “the love of Collins’ life,” according to her granddaughter Melissa, who says her father destroyed Llewelyn Davies’ memoirs to “protect her reputation and Collins’.

Michael Collins spent a lot of time at Killadreenan House

When she was just nine years old, Moya’s mother and four sisters died from a bout of food poisoning after eating contaminated mussels they collected in Seapoint, Co Dublin, a tragedy that resonated so much with Dubliners, as mentioned in the book by James Joyce. Ulises. Moya only ate a few mussels and became seriously ill, but survived.

One version says that her mother expelled her from the table for bad behavior.

During the War of Independence, she and her husband Compton Llewelyn Davies sheltered fleeing rebels, including Collins, in their town house at Furry Park in Killester in Dublin, and Moya moved weapons around the town for Collins.

They had returned to Ireland radicalized by the executions of the leaders of the Easter Rising. Moya would help Collins with his book. The road to freedom.

One of the reception rooms

Compton, who worked as legal advisor to the British Post Office and also to future Prime Minister Lloyd George, was able to advise Collins on negotiation tactics with the British leader.

They had two children and seemed to enjoy a glamorous life in London, where they were intimate with many establishment figures, including the writer JM Barrie, who based Peter Pan and the Lost Boys on Compton’s nephews.

The design of Killadreenan House appears to be heavily influenced by the emerging Tudor arts and crafts revival trend towards the end of the 19th century.

One of the dependencies

This is evidenced by the roof style, which uses tiles and is deeply pitched, along with the Tudor windows and mock Tudor detailing on the gables.

The two-storey basement property is built into a hill and has a moat around the ground floor, with steps leading up to the front door.

The ground floor has an entrance hall, reception hall and interior hallway, lounge, dining room, kitchen/breakfast room, study, office, cloakroom, cloakroom and one of the bedrooms.

The staircase to the upper floor.

The ‘garden level’ or basement has an interior hallway, family room, drying room, games room, kitchen, utility room, wine cellar, storage room and boot room.

On the first floor there are four bedrooms and two bathrooms. On the other hand, the restored stable has a kitchen-dining room, living room and laundry room on the ground floor, with two bedrooms and a bathroom on the upper floor.

Much of the interior’s original period details are intact, notably a staircase and wood-paneled balustrade on the ground floor, typical of this style of building.

There is an arched window in the living room/main lounge with window seats.

The house is surrounded by a moat.

In the basement, the cellar and drying room are still as they were when Llewelyn Davies lived there.

There is also a large barn to the east of the house on the grounds that includes a stream and a worn asphalt tennis court.

At Killadreenan, Llewelyn Davies had begun the process of corresponding with the historian PS O’Hegarty to “set the record straight” about the treaty negotiations and ensure that history did not treat Collins unfairly.

If only we had his memoirs to put an end to the story once and for all.

Killadreenan House is for sale with an asking price of €1.65 million through Finnegan Menton.