Wicklow home with a wine cellar and extensive gardens on the market for €3.25m
Renovated home of Irish mountaineer available for €3.25m
Published 22/05/2015 | 02:30
Whilst the Quakers - properly known as the Society of Friends - have an exemplary reputation for benevolence through Irish history, there have been some rare lapses in this legendary friendliness.
Take the case of Charles Barrington of Fassaroe House in Bray who had a friendliness slip just short of the summit of the Eiger.
One day in 1858, Barrington decided on a whim that, although equipped with just a length of rope, tweeds and hobnail boots, he would become the first person on earth to scale the Eiger Mountain in Switzerland.
Its jagged peak was the unconquered Everest of its day and even today remains a daunting prospect for hardened mountaineers.
Barrington, a mere casual tourist, was heard by locals to moan about his Swiss trip being somewhat underwhelming with little in the way of a challenge.
A group of guides facetiously suggested he try the Eiger or the Matterhorn if he was thus bored. Without ado, the Bray man decided the Eiger was nearer and immediately hired two guides to join him in the ascent of said peak.
Later that day and just a few steps short of the 4,000 sq ft high summit, Barrington is alleged to have turned to one of the guides, pulled a pistol from his pocket and warned that if anyone were to try and step on the summit first, Barrington would "blow his brains out".
They didn't test his claim and so neither one was floored by a stiff shot from the Eiger master.
Upon arriving back at his hotel later, Barrington was celebrated by the owner and a party of 30 with the firing of a cannon (they could see the flag he put there) but also berated by the mothers of his two young Swiss guides for putting their lives in danger. Barrington left in a sniff because he didn't have the money to stay and climb the Matterhorn as well.
Years later he chalked up another landmark first when his horse Sir Robert Peel romped home to win the very first Grand National in 1870.
The Barringtons were friendliness personified in Bray, where they fed the poor during The Famine years and set up a famous hospital to treat fever in Dublin's Liberties.
Perhaps it was the puny but picturesque Sugarloaf that got Barrington started - he grew up in its shadow at Fassaroe House, the Georgian home his father built in 1836 and later in life he founded a race up the mountain offering his gold watch as first prize.
Today, Fassaroe House is looking the best it has in its 189 year history thanks to the attentions of its current owner - believed to be a senior executive with a multinational firm. He acquired it since the downturn and has spent a considerable amount doing it up in the last three years.
Now the property is for sale and he could make a mountainous killing given that north Wicklow prices have shot up by more than 50pc since its acquisition.
The house spans 6,900 sq ft and stands two storeys over basement. There's a separate mews of 4,000 sq ft and private grounds of 4.5ac of woodlands, a tennis court and a walk leading to Enniskerry Village.
The main house has an sumptuous entrance hall leading to two interlinking large reception rooms which are ideal for home entertaining. There's a living room, a big kitchen/breakfast room and six bedrooms upstairs. Aside from the impressive bathroom ensuite off the main chamber, there's a luxury family bathroom.
The lower level has a seventh bedroom, a playroom and the wine cellar. The separate mews comes with three bedrooms, two receptions, a games room and its own gym, sauna and changing rooms. With Dublin city centre at hand, Fassaroe is surely reaching out to a moneybags foreign buyer.
Bray, Co Wicklow
Asking price: €3.25m
Agent: Sherry FitzGerald Bray (01) 286 6630