Minister friend of JM Barrie died a matter of weeks before he was to wed the author's sister Margaret
A RESIDENCE with both fairy tale and tragic connections, is up for sale in the Far North of Scotland.
Sir James Matthew Barrie, creator of the magical Peter Pan, “the boy who never grew up”, was a frequent visitor to the Old Free Church Manse in Bower, in Caithness during the late 1800s.
JM Barrie’s association with the minister Rev. James Winter whom he described as “his dearest friend” was sealed by the announcement that he was due to marry Barrie’s sister, Margaret. However, tragically, just six months after he had been ordained, and three weeks before the wedding, the minister was thrown from the horse he had been gifted by Barrie. The author had been concerned about the size of the minister’s parish and presented him with the horse to enable him to get round his flock more easily.
A letter by Barrie was read at the funeral. In it, the author spoke of the couple’s “love story” of four years and a half year, had begun “the hour they had first met”.
Peter Pan, Barrie's most famous work was first staged in 1904 and published in book form, seven years later.
The manse, coverted into an up-market B & B by owner, Chris Irwin who has decided to move to smaller accommodation in the area. The sale which has sparked considerable interest, both locally and further afield, is being handled by Wick property agents, Georgesons, who are inviting offers in excess of 185,000.
Built in 1844, it is set in extensive but secluded grounds of 0.7acres surrounded by mature trees and well kept gardens which play host to a wealth of wildlife, including roe and red deer, Scottish wildcats and bird including owls. A wealth of original features have been retained in the conversion providing, four bedrooms, two bathrooms, the usual offices, and a large and impressive hallway with curved staircase. Additional accommodation is provided in an annexe.
The residence commands panoramic views of the open countryside to the Morven and Scaraben hills.