he sprawling, Grade II-listed Gothic mansion belonging to the singer Boy George has been listed for sale for £17 million.
Overlooking Hampstead Heath, Boy George has called the six-bedroom Victorian house home for almost 40 years. The singer bought the property in the mid-1980s after scoring a hit with his band Culture Club’s single Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?
The house was built in 1868 for engineer and developer Edward Gotto, who subsequently added additional wings on either side of the house.
The property was subdivided over subsequent decades into several separate properties. In the 1960s comedian Marty Feldman lived in one section.
Sam Smith bought the home next door in 2015, reportedly later selling it to his neighbour Boy George who then undertook an ambitious three-year renovation of the Grade II-listed property, joining various elements back together into one large home. The building project saw the singer embroiled in a battle with Camden Council over planning permission.
Today the house covers 5,453 square feet, with six bedrooms – five with their own dressing rooms – and five bathrooms, one with a giant skylight for a ceiling.
There’s a meditation room at the top of the tower, a mezzanine cinema room and a roof terrace.
Plans for a reported £100,000 revamp of the large garden, featuring new landscaping, a hardwood deck and stepping stones across the lawn, were revealed in the Daily Mail last year.
Most striking of all, however, is the house’s “eccentric mix of Gothic and Italianate architecture”, described by architecture writer Niklaus Pevsner as “a formidable atrocity” with its tower, enormous bay windows, elaborate detailing and vaulted ceilings.
At the centre of the house is the triple-height entrance hall, where a dramatic black staircase leads to a galleried landing upstairs. From here, all of the house’s rooms are accessed directly.
The walls are filled with sculptures and modern artwork, including a Mr Brainwash Kate Moss above the dining table and framed records in a guest bedroom.
A blown-up photo of transgender model April Ashley presides over one of the beds, and there’s a sculpted silver torso in an upstairs room, propped up on a chair with two erect penises for armrests.
Refurbished and extended by F3 Architecture and Interiors with award-winning designer Kelly Hoppen, the house, which Hoppen initially described as “very dark”, was adapted to increase natural light, adding a kitchen breakfast room with floor-to-ceiling windows leading out onto the garden.
Born George O’Dowd in 1961, Boy George grew up in Eltham in south-east London, before rising to fame as the frontman of the band Culture Club. He moved to Hampstead “a little prematurely” in his twenties.
“Nothing much changes in Hampstead which, actually, is why I live there. I remember there being a big hullabaloo about a McDonalds coming into Hampstead and there was a campaign to stop it, albeit an unsuccessful one. Otherwise, it’s pretty much the same as it ever was: quiet, affluent and leafy,” he told the Readers Digest in a 2020 interview.
Some things do change, however, and after almost four decades in the leafy north London village the singer is moving on. His house is listed with Aston Chase for £17 million.