Dave Courtney – who claims to have links to the notorious Kray twins – is the proud owner of Camelot Castle, which boasts an outside mural, jacuzzi, its own nightclub and even a ‘dungeon’
A reformed gangster has provided a glimpse into his incredible ‘castle’ in a corner of South East London.
Dave Courtney, who claims to have links to the notorious Kray twins and to be the inspiration behind Vinnie Jones’ character in the cult movie Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, is the proud owner of Camelot Castle.
The 63-year-old showed MyLondon around the sprawling white mansion, which features guns, swords, suits of armour – all said to be fake – pictures of the late Queen and a bust of his own head.
Once a former school, the home stands apart from the residential street where it is located. It is decorated with gold lion paintings and Union Jacks, as well as a sniper statue and a replica of King Arthur’s Sword in the Stone.
A fake blue plaque reads: “David J Courtney born 17.2.1959 amusing raconteur, prolific author and infamous f***er resides here.”
Meanwhile, the back of the mansion boasts a jacuzzi, its own nightclub – which is also used as a cinema – and a ‘dungeon’ where he says adult films are made and which underwear brands use for modelling.
A mural can even be found outside depicting him and his gangster “friends” as knights of the round table.
Pictures and paintings of Dave can be found throughout the inside of the mansion too, including one of him with angel wings and a halo in the front room.
He claims the painter filled half a pot of paint with Dave’s blood so that “the skin is his DNA”.
The author of nine books, who calls himself Dave Courtney OBE – One Big Ego – added: “I have got this ego. I can’t deny it. I’m an entertainer. It’s more important to me than anything criminal.”
He also collects medals, including an old OBE dating back to 1919.
Dave said: “It states in the law books it becomes an offence to call yourself an OBE if you don’t own one. But I do own one. My own friends ask what was the Queen like!”
The royalist, who queued for 13-hours with his elderly mum to see the late Queen lying-in-state, also has an image of the monarch placed outside his front door.
While giving his tour, he took a call from his mum and said: “Every good gangster loves his mum.”
Referring to his gangster past, Dave said his phone book is “scary”, but conceded that “not all of it is true” when it comes to the notorious escapades he was reported to have been involved in.
He said: “I was never as bad as it was portrayed.
“I was good friends with Krays. I had a thousand doormen working for me at one time – an army. I took credit and blame for what they did. It’s nothing to do with you but I was in charge.”
The front room of Camelot Castle features an array of guns, knives and swords – Dave says he has the fake weapons as he lives with his best friend, Brendan, who owns a film props company.
Books, old medals, military helmets, boxing gloves and even a bust of Beethoven can be found in the dining room, while the next room is centred around a pool table alongside pictures of Dave with his family and “all the boys he was active in the criminal scene with”.
The kitchen is more practical, with no memorabilia, and connects to a garden with a BBQ area and a jacuzzi.
Dave said he is “very tight” with the Plumstead locals, who may know him as the owner of a peacock that escaped and remains on the run.
He now enjoys working with charities for children with autism and ADHD, and has driven to Ukraine numerous times to bring medical supplies and food to the border.
“The myth is no longer the man,” he says.
He then recalled: “They [the Ukrainian refugees] were coming across in droves. The look on their faces made me want to cry.
“They are leaving sons and husbands behind, their house blown up. It made me want to go back. And I did.”
Dave is halfway through his tenth book and says he’s very pleased with his progress.
He said: “I’m a lucky man. If I was to die tomorrow I would die smiling. I’ve got beautiful friends. Had far too many beautiful ladies in my life. Getting here was hard but now its easy. It’s nice to be nice.”
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