Fife lodge that was home to Polynesian princess on sale for £295k


THE STUNNING former home of a Polynesian princess who lived out her days in Scotland has been put on the market for £295,000.

Johnston Lodge, an elegant Georgian manor home with scenic views over the sea, was home to Princess Titaua Marama of Haapiti.

Princess Titua, from Tahiti – the largest of the French Polynesian Islands – was brought over to the mansion in Anstruther, Fife by her second husband along with five of her 12 children in 1892.

The lodge in Fife was home to Princess Titaua

The 1828 property has since been divided into seperate homes with a two-bedroom apartment including a games room and a spacious walled garden now up for sale.

Princess Titaua – whose name means ‘Great God Whose Power Extends to the Heavens’ – was first married at 14 to a man from Elgin, Moray, John Brander.

The couple lived on the island where visitors included the writer Robert Louis Stevenson, who is said to have been very impressed with the princess.

Queen Victoria’s son, Prince Albert, was said to have been so besotted with her that he bought her a turquoise and diamond pendant and ring.

Johnston Lodge has stunning towards the Firth of Forth

However, following her John Brander’s death, the princess married George Darsie, a wealthy businessman from Fife who worked for her husband.

Mr Darsie took Princess Titaua back with him to Johnston Lodge, which would become home for the rest of her life.

Despite moving from the balmy and tropical Polynesian Island to the vastly different climate in Fife, the princess is understood to have embraced life on the east coast.

She got involved with the local church and charity work and is believed to have been relieved not have to lived the grand life of enormous banquets.

Princess Titaua is said to have credited her happiness in Anstruther to its similarities with her home, both being ‘small, tightknit and self-sufficient communities’ with many of friends and family visiting from Tahiti.

Nearly every room in the property has a picturesque view

Tragically, about a year after coming to the beautiful lodge, she developed motor neurone disease – and died on September 25, 1898, aged 55.

The Georgian mansion features a Historic Scotland blue plaque marking Johnston Lodge’s interesting past with the sellers Thorntons saying the home provides picturesque views on the nearby harbour.

The plaque reads: “Princess Titaua Marama. Cheifess of Haapiti lived here with her second husband George Darsie from 1892 until her death in 1898.”

According to the brochure, the “historic” apartment forms the “west wing” of Georgian house “built for a princess.”

They add: “A feature timber staircase leads up to the first floor” where “bedroom benefits from a deep fitted wardrobe” and also a “luxurious” bathroom.

Thorntons continued: “The attic room has a box bay window which enjoys stunning elevated sea views reaching across to Edinburgh on a clear day.”

Mature and well maintained garden grounds are laid to grass and flower beds with a variety of spring bulbs, plants, shrubs and trees providing year round interest.

A spacious garage is also included as well as ample room for off street parking and turning, all secured by the handsome wrought iron gates.

The traditional fishing village of Anstruther in the East Neuk of Fife has also landed the in recent years the accolade of UK Fish and Chip Shop of the year.