A modest brick and stucco house selling for £1.4 million (US$1.7 million) on a quiet road in Forest Hill, London, belies its regal pedigree.
The homesite was once a residence of Prince Henry, Duke of Clarence, and his longtime mistress—who had 10 illegitimate children together—though today there’s little evidence of their time there save for a plaque on the front of the home acknowledging its historic connection.
The prince eventually split with his lover of 20 years, Irish stage actress Mrs. Dorothy Jordan, whose colorful life was marked by numerous romances. He married a German princess and eventually ascended to the British throne as King William IV at the age of 60.
At the time of King William’s coronation in 1831, his former lovenest—a cottage and one of the earliest buildings in London’s south eastern neighborhood of Forest Hill—had been torn down and replaced with the family house that stands there today, according to property agency Knight Frank, which began marketing the home in late June.
There’s little public information about the homesite’s connection to the prince and his paramour, who mainly lived for many years at a royal residence known as Bushy House in Teddington, London, according to a century-old biography of the actress “The Story of Dorothy Jordan,” published in 1914.
Today, the Grade II-listed three-story house in Forest Hill spans roughtly 2,900 square feet, including five bedrooms. It’s now called “Ashberry Cottage,” a misspelling of a previous owner from the 1830-40s, Joseph Ashbarry, according to the listing agents.
The main house features two rounded bays at the front, which flood the main living room and library with light. A corridor off the ground floor leads to a sunny orangery, which opens onto the gardens at the back of the house.
There’s also an adjoining two-bedroom apartment “ideal for the multi-generational family,” according to the listing agents.