Massey Woods is a Nature Trail in south Dublin. It used to be Massy family estate, consisting of Kilakee House, acres of forest, two massive formal terraced gardens, fountains, bridges, planted tree paths (including Chilean pines, still standing, and yew walk), greenhouses (designed by Kew Gardens‘ Richard Turner) and icehoues (used for storing meat). The woods are also home to Bronze Age wedge tomb.
Massy estate was inherited by John Thomas 6th Baron Massy in 1880 and due to his reckless spending by the time of his death in 1915 the family fortune was all but spent. The estate was in debt and in 1924 Hugh Hamon 8th Baron Massy was evicted from the mansion in a brutal manner. Kilakee House was repossessed by a bank, fell into disrepair and was demolished in 1941.
8th Baron Massy and his wife were allowed to live in Behive Cottage, a former estate’s gate lodge, until Baron’s death in 1958. He was often seen collecting firewood in what had been once his family estate forest and became known as ‘Penniless Peer’. Today only the stone walls of former walled gardens, remains of greenhouse foundations and drains and one of the icehouses are still standing, overgrown and crumbling.