Inspiration behind Copper Face Jack's
Neptune House, Blackrock, Co Dublin
All Georgian villas have a back story, but few are as colourful as the history behind Neptune House in Blackrock.
It was once the country residence of John Scott, the first Earl of Clonmel, who also had a home on Harcourt Street. Scott, who was chief justice of the King's Bench in 1784, earned the sobriquet 'Copper-faced Jack' for his aggressiveness in argument and bronze skin tone.
The moniker was the inspiration for the name Copper Face Jacks, the famous Harcourt Street nightclub.
In 1916, Neptune House hosted the British reinforcement troops who landed in Dun Laoghaire with the aim of defeating Irish rebels during the Easter Rising. During World War I, it was set up as an auxiliary hospital to treat hundreds of wounded English soldiers.
After a stint as an infants' hospital, the 13,315 sq ft mansion eventually came into the ownership of Chuck Feeney, the founder of Atlantic Philanthropies. The publicity-shy former billionaire who has been giving away his fortune - including an estimated €1.2 billion to Irish causes - leased the villa to Trinity College at a peppercorn rent of £120 a year for student accommodation.
These days, Neptune House is enjoying a new lease of life as the centrepiece for a scheme of 12 four-bed detached and semi-detached houses. Six have been sold to pre-registered buyers and six will be released this weekend.
Bushnell Investments is also converting the interior of the villa itself into extra-large apartments that will have original features such as high ceilings, the original stained glass windows and ornate plaster work. All the four-beds in the current phase are laid out over three levels and extend over 1,960 sq ft. Prices range from €975,000 to €1.2m. Neptune House is 8km from Dublin City centre and Seapoint Dart Station is a four-minute walk, while the Blackrock Station is six minutes away.
Enquiries to: Sherry FitzGerald New Homes (01) 6671888.