Former Anstruther home of a Tahitian 19thc princess up for sale


28 September 2017

A flat forming part of a Georgian Anstruther mansion that was home to a Tahitian princess has gone up for sale for offers over £295,000. The property is complete with an Historic Environment Scotland blue plaque marking its fascinating history.

A property rich in history 

Princess Titua Marama, Chiefess of Haapiti was born in Tahiti in 1842, and at the age of 14 was married to an Elgin merchant, John Brander, who was 24 years her senior. A number of Scots flocked to Tahiti in the mid-nineteenth century, including Robert Louis Stevenson and painter Constance Gordon Cumming, and the princess left a strong impression when she met them. Queen Victoria’s second son, Prince Alfred was so enamoured that he presented Titaua with a turquoise and diamond pendant and ring.

After Titua’s husband died, she married George Darsie, who worked for her late husband and who was from a wealthy Anstruther family. Darsie brought her back to Scotland and the couple moved into Johnston Lodge, which had been built in 1828. They moved into the property in 1892 and lived there until her death in 1898.

From the tropics to Scotland

A pink granite gravestone in St Adrian’s Church in Anstruther marks her resting place with the engraving: “Below this stone lie the remains of Anstruther’s Polynesian Princess. Born in the lush tropics of the South Seas, she married a Fifer and came 10,000 miles across the world and ended her days in Anstruther, on the shores of the cold and stormy North Sea.”

Flat B, Johnston Lodge is part of the west wing of the building, and two other flats complete this exclusive development. Some of the period features include a Roman Doric column entrance porch, cornice work and rooms with high-ceilings. The home is spread over four floors, and features two bedrooms, a living dining room with magnificent views across the Firth of Forth and an attic room with box bay window that offers elevated sea views across to North Berwick and up to Edinburgh.

A rare opportunity

Caroline Young, spokeswoman for SPC Scotland, said: “Flat B Johnston Lodge offers a fantastic opportunity to live in a rarely-available home that comes with a blue plaque and a fascinating history of a Tahitian princess, linking Scotland to the South Pacific. The Lodge is a fine example of Georgian architecture, with an impressive entrance porch, high ceilings and cornicing. The views to the Firth of Forth are idyllic, and were no doubt enjoyed by the princess, perhaps looking out and thinking of her home across the oceans.”

Flat B, Johnston Lodge, Anstruther is marketed through Thorntons as offers over £295,000, and can be viewed on SPC Scotland.

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