Deep North Episode 26: To the Manor Born Skip to content
barónstígur reykjavík

Deep North Episode 26: To the Manor Born

The observant visitor to Reykjavík may be justified in raising their eyebrows at Barónstígur (Baron’s Way), a street in downtown Reykjavík that intersects Laugavegur. The street is in fact named after an eccentric aristocrat, the Baron Charles Francois Xavier de Gauldrée-Boilleau, who lived in Iceland around the turn of the century. His story is a rather unhappy one, filled with failed business ventures and bankruptcy. During his time in Iceland, he attempted to modernize the Icelandic fishing fleet, create a model farm at his manor by Hvítárvellir, and build a new dairy for the people of Reykjavík. Where he perceived Icelanders as a backward people who needed help modernizing, many Icelanders perceived him as a flighty and eccentric jack of all trades, but master of none. Following the failure of one of his endeavours, he likely took his own life on a trip to England in 1901.

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