The notoriously severe naval captain who inspired the most famous mutiny in history — the Mutiny on the Bounty — lived in this beautiful house in Lambeth. We're not entirely sure, however, what the austere sailor's views might be on the decorative flourishes within — although 21st century buyers will probably love it.
Charming? We’ll leave that up to you to decide. Completely eccentric? Undoubtedly, for this is one of the most eye-catching homes we’ve seen since the coastal home with a clown-themed bowling alley. Sitting directly opposite the Imperial War Museum and within easy reach of Westminster Bridge and Southbank is a historic six-bedroom property that is currently on the market via Foxtons for £2.25 million.
Where do we begin?
From the outside, the property, built in the 1780’s, looks like a completely unassuming, typical London Town house, with the addition of a blue heritage plaque outside the front door, which states ‘William Bligh 1754-1817 commander of the ‘Bounty’ lived here’.
Captain Bligh was skipper of HMS Bounty, the infamous ship dispatched to bring breadfruit plants from the south seas back to Britain, whose infamously harsh treatment of his crew sparked the Mutiny on the Bounty. 23 of the crew turned on Bligh — led by one of the senior officers, Fletcher Christian — and ordered him and his remaining loyal cremates into the ship’s boat and cast them out to sea off the coast of Tahiti.
Countless books and films have been written, most of which are happy to blend fact and fiction rather liberally. Most of the mutineers settled happily in the South Pacific, while a truly heroic effort from Bligh and his remaining crew saw them survive and eventually make it back to England.
Several mutineers were subsequently captured, repatriated and tried at court martial; and while they were found guilty, the details of Bligh’s conduct (little of which was particularly unusual in the 18th century navy) earned him a reputation for brutality that he still has two centuries later.
Fast forward to the present day, and inside, the property is anything but unassuming — and given his strictness, we’re not sure Captain Bligh would approve. The house, set over five floors, looks like an amalgamation of an outdoor bar in Soho trying to mimic beach chic, a Parisian cafe circa early 1900s — with burlesque-themed wall paper and quite disconcerting waiters decorating the walls — all thrown together with a dash of early 1990s city styling.
To top it off is the bathroom, which upon first glance appears as a library/study — until you spot the toilet in the corner, and realise that most of the ‘books’ are actually wallpaper.
A secondary kitchen acts as a shrine to Ginger Spice, with Union Jack-inspired decor covering the walls and floor.
Another room transports you to a Disney princess’s castle, with deep purple velvet draped curtains and matching velvet purple and gold decorative sofas.
Nothing makes sense. Nothing matches. Everything makes your eyes pop out on cartoon stalks. And I love it.
Kennington: What you need to know
Location: Kennington is a district in South London running between the London Borough of Lambeth and the London Borough of Southbank. Underground tube stations are located at Lambeth North Station with Bakerloo services, and Elephant and Castle, offering Thameslink, Northern and Bakerloo lines.
Atmosphere: The area is home to three significant landmarks — The Imperial War Museum, The Oval Cricket Ground and Kennington Park. There are an increasing growing number of shops, cafes, bars and restaurants in the area.
Things to do: Catch a game at the cricket ground, visit the museum, explore the local shops, or take a walk into nearby Vauxhall, which has numerous bars, comedy clubs and excellent nightlife.
Schools: Angel Oak Academy and Ashmole Primary are rated ‘outstanding’, with Archbishop Tenison’s School and Lilian Baylis Technology School as local secondary options.
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