A FORMER vicarage at Manaccan that once harboured the infamous Captain William Bligh of HMS Bounty fame is now open to holidaymakers.

Grade II listed The Old Vicarage dates back to the 16th century and once hosted maritime hero Captain William Bligh when, in 1803, he was wrongly arrested by Manaccan constables.

Bligh was brought to the vicarage for inspection by the residing vicar and held in the outhouse of the property - now known as "Bligh’s Prison" - with the captain concealing his identity until he spoke with the vicar.

The minister declared Bligh a gentleman and shared supper and wine with him until the early hours of the following morning, in the dining room of vicarage.

Now it has been opened up as a holiday cottage, giving holidaymakers the chance to follow in the captain's footsteps.

Linda West, business development manager in Cornwall for cottages.com, which manages the property, said its "intriguing history" made it an exciting place to say.

It was in 1787 that Bligh took command of the Bounty, as the only officer onboard - despite being just a commissioned lieutenant. It was not until1789 however, during a return voyage from Tahiti, that mutiny amongst the crew broke out. Bligh was woken at bayonet point and bound, before he and 18 of his loyal crewmen were placed on a launch boat.

Despite having only a quadrant and compass, with no charts or marine chronometer, Bligh managed to navigate them on a 3,618-nautical-mile (6,701 kilometre / 4,164 mile) voyage to Timor, the nearest European settlement, which took 47 days.

The following year he was honourably acquitted at a court-martial inquiring into the loss of Bounty, and eventually went on to rise to the rank of vice admiral in the Royal Navy before being appointed governor of New South Wales in Australia in 1806.