Trip the light fantastic in old home of Copper-faced Jack
Neptune House, Blackrock, Co Dublin
If the walls could talk, Ireland's Georgian villas would have plenty of anecdotes. But Neptune House, situated between the villages of Blackrock and Monkstown, has a more colourful history than most.
It was once the country residence of John Scott, the first Earl of Clonmel, who also had a home on Harcourt Street. Scott, who became Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench in 1784, earned the sobriquet "Copper-faced Jack" for his aggressiveness in argument, penchant for duels, 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 brought in with the aim of defeating Irish rebels during the Easter Rising. During World War I, it was set up as an auxiliary hospital. After an incarnation as an infants' hospital from where the Sisters of Charity sent babies to America for adoption, the 13,315 sq ft mansion eventually came into the ownership of Chuck Feeney, the founder of Atlantic Philanthropies. The publicity-shy former billionaire let the villa to Trinity College at a peppercorn rent of £120 a year for student accommodation.
In May, the 250-year-old villa entered a new chapter of life as the centrepiece for a scheme of 13 new homes. Neptune House itself has since been carefully restored, and four extra-large apartments created within the villa have come on the market.
The show-apartment has already been sold, leaving three units available to purchase. One is a three-bed garden apartment with 2,519 sq ft of space priced from €1.5m, while a three-bed apartment that is located on the first floor has 2,249 sq ft of accommodation and a price-tag of €1.5m. A smaller two-bed apartment to the ground level costs from €1.4m. There is also a two-bed detached standalone house for sale at €900,000.
Neptune House is 8km from Dublin city centre and close to two Dart stations.
Enquiries to: Sherry FitzGerald New Homes (01) 667 1888