Unique Property Bulletin 14 July 2013

Bigger Bunker

A.K.A. The Guard House

With Lots More Hidden Below & Beyond

Bervie Bunker

Guard House & Nuclear Compound, Inverbervie (c) 2013 Shepherd

We can almost hear you say the words of disappointment at this ordinary looking building. That is the whole point – it needs to look plain and unassuming. NOT to look unique in any way. After the end of the Cold War this subterranean nuclear bunker – extending to around 10,000 square feet underground is now for sale. Plus you have a nice traditional house on top! When you look at what lays beneath, then you realise this truly is a unique property.

Rather than make an uneducated endeavour to describe this fascinating place, we would refer readers to one of our favourite websites – Secret Scotland. Nick Catford does justice to this property in his feature. He has photographs that shows what lays beneath….


Apparently the current owner has some hungry Alsatians with sharp gnashers on site, so we would recommend if you want to view, you go through the proper channels and Contact Mark McQueen at the selling agency – 01224 202800.

There is also a very eductaional article written by Steve Fox over at the Sub Brit website ….


Please note the diagrams that Steve refers to are mainly of RGHQ structures and not the underground bunker of the ROTOR type at Bervie Brow. However the trademark “Guard House” appears, and gives an idea of perspective and size of what is underground when compared to the building above ground. With Bervie Brow, 10,000 square feet – or thereabouts – is what you are buying below ground, as well as the surface building. Sub Brit and Timechamber have an excellent set of plans on their website, which may be of help in relation to Bervie Brow folk ..


Rotor Plans Sub Brit and Timechamber

ROTOR Bunker Accessed From Guard House (c) 2013 Sub Brit & Timechamber

Prospective buyers should attend one of the OPEN DAYS listed above for Bervie Brow Guard House & Underground ROTOR Bunker to ensure their own due diligence provides veracity and comfort as to what is for sale. The plan drawing immediately above is a generic representation and is NOT an exact detail of what may or may not be at Bervie Brow. By their very nature, these are, or were, very secretive establishments. Only by personally inspecting such a bunker can you have some certainty of what you may be buying.

It may be helpful to have a look at the website for a similar genre at Kelvedon Hatch in Essex …


Both Bervie Brow and Kelvedon Hatch are indicated as being part of the ROTOR protocol of buildings…


Kelvedon Hatch RSZ Genesis Man 26

Kelvedon Hatch – Now An Excellent Attraction (c) 2013 Genesis Man 26

Back to the Guard House at Bervie Brow – Agency Narrative: Shepherd Chartered Surveyors are offering a unique development opportunity with extensive underground accommodation in Inverbervie for sale.

The Guard House at Bervie Brow was constructed in the 1950’s by the British Military before being acquired by the US Navy in the late 1960s, when it was run in conjunction with the major monitoring station at RAF Edzell.

The facility lay unused throughout the 1970s and 80s until it was designated reserve headquarters for group headquarters and sector control at Craigiebarns Dundee. The station closed 20 years ago and has been used for residential purposes ever since. Offering some 10,000 sq ft of underground accommodation, the bunker is suitable for a variety of uses, including: residential development; a research and development data centre, a disaster recovery property; for whisky or wine storage as well as an outdoor activity centre.

Located three miles north of Inverbervie, 20 miles south of Aberdeen and 40 miles north of Dundee, the property is accessed from the A92 coastal route linking Inverbervie with Stonehaven and Montrose. Mark McQueen, associate at Shepherd, said: “The detached building connects to a substantial underground bunker to the rear of the main building which leads to a long concrete lined corridor with 10ft thick walls and metal sliding doors offering an unusual level of security. The unique nature of this property makes it suitable for a variety of uses, subject to obtaining the necessary consents.”

The phrase “suitable for a variety of uses” for such an underground bunker is an interesting term. What to do with this unique place? Something like the…

Bat Cave Mark Clifton RSZ

Bat Cave (c) 2012 Mark Clifton

Though are own preference is to make a major refurbishment at Bervie Brow, and follow the Kelveden Hatch adventure destination theme to make very best use, of a very worst scenario structure. To help readers, we have located a little more background from an earlier estate agent and the previous time this unusual property was for sale.

Earlier narrative: This is an opportunity to purchase a truly unique property. The property is situated in 2.68 acres of grassland at Bervie Brow, Inverbervie. On approaching the property by a shared private road you will see a sandstone constructed lodge with a slate pitched roof providing accommodation comprising:- on ground floor, Lounge, Dining Room, Kitchen, Bedroom and Bathroom with access by spiral staircase to the upper floor with a second bedroom occupying almost the entire upper floor.

However the uniqueness of the property is that adjoining the house is a subterranean structure which is believed to have been constructed as a military facility in the 1950’s as a military command centre and operated until approximately 1985. The access is adjacent to the lodge and then descends almost 18 metres by a narrow sloping corridor. It then transcends into a labyrinth of rooms with one area reflecting a Second World War plotting centre or something out of the James Bond movie Dr No.

It is intriguing to consider what private use in this day and age such a vast underground facility could be utilised for. A guestimate of its extent is at least 9,000 sq.ft on a multitude of levels. Some suggestions have been a mushroom farm or a large wine store and if the site had been in a more accessible location it would have made a superb night club. However this is when a purchaser will have the opportunity to exercise their flair and imagination!

The lodge accommodation which has a sheltered canopy along the entire length of the property comprises:

Lounge: (7m x 6m at longest) – This is ‘L’ shaped and the measurements extend to the longest and widest part of the room. Thereafter a hallway provides access to:

Kitchen: (2.7m x 2.55m) – This is a basic kitchen which, as does the entire property, require upgrading. There is an opening to the

Dining Area: (3.6m x 2.55m) – Again to the front of the property.

At the end of the hallway is – Bedroom I: (3.5m x 6.2m)

As can be judged by the dimensions this is a large double bedroom which extends to almost the entire breadth of the property.

Bathroom: (3.41m x 1.75m) – Spacious bathroom with potential for modernisation.

From the hallway you access the upper floor by a wrought iron spiral staircase.

Bedroom 2: (3.9m x 14.2m) – This is a huge room with a false chimney structure at one end. Adjoining this room is an area 4.35m x 5.1m currently housing the water storage tank.

Between the main property and the Subterranean Structure is a large area (4.6m x 4.10m) which it is believed can be improved to provide further accommodation.

Subterranean Structure – Access to the adjoining subterranean structure is from the ground floor along the aforementioned corridor. As stated there is a labyrinth of rooms with the main floor comprising a plant room, kitchen and toilet facilities and 12 other rooms of various dimensions. The main floor area is estimated to be approximately 5625 square feet with the entire outer structure having walls approximately 10ft thick. In the complex there is a room on two levels and from there travelling along the corridors, the walls of which have metres of piping, you encounter huge steel doors leading to the safe room, more accommodation, toilet facilities and kitchen area. The mezzanine floor comprises – 9 rooms extending to approximately 3437 square feet.

Outside – The extent of the land comprises approximately 2.68 acres and provides stunning views along the coast, the photographs for which only give an impression of the freedom experienced when overlooking the North Sea, surrounding countryside and the town of Inverbervie.

Services – Mains electricity. Drainage to Septic tank within property. Private water supply.

Directions – From Stonehaven travel south along the A90 to the A92 slip Road sign posted Montrose/Arbroath. Travel along this road for a distance of 7.5 miles through the village of Kinneff until you arrive at an unclassified road signposted Catterline 4 miles. Travel along this road for approximately 0.3 miles when you come to the private access roadway on the right hand side. The property is 0.5 miles along this roadway.

Please Note – Because of the intricate layout of the subterranean structure no children under 16 should attend. Again because of the layout of the property no 3rd party insurance liability cover is in place. Because the property is judged to be a “mixed” sale property that no Home Report is necessary.

Location: The Guard House, Bervie Brow, Inverbervie, Aberdeenshire, DD10 0TA.

Tenure: Feuhold (Scottish Equivalent of Freehold).

Guide: £ T.B.A. – However an earlier listing to give some perspective was at the £250,000 mark…


Contact Shepherd Agencies Tel: 01224 202800 – Mark McQueenPlease can you help the Unique Property Bulletin stay free to use by letting the estate agent know that you found their property on the Unique Property Bulletin website. Thankyou.




A Walk In The Sand


Former Sand Pit, Ashford, Kent (c) 2013 Clive Emson

Over 15 glorious acres to walk in, and when we feature one of the current TOP TEN unique properties on 28th July 2013 you may understand why this site holds such an attraction. Also, please consider our competition immediately below. It is very difficult. The Scots are not known for giving £100 notes away without a real tear-drop in the eye. A sad sight seeing a grown man cry.

With regard to this lovely field in Kent. Not that much sand to see, but what a lovely piece of Ashford for a very nice guide price.


Former Sand Pit, Ashford, Kent (c) 2013 Clive Emson

Auctioneer’s Narrative: A site set in a rural location and formerly used as a sand quarry, which over the years has now matured to be mostly grassed with woodland areas near the boundaries. The land is considered suitable for grazing, alternatively it may be suitable for other uses, subject to all necessary consents being obtained. Interested applicants are advised to make their own enquiries with the Local Planning Authority, the Ashford Borough Council, Civic Centre, Tannery Lane, Ashford, Kent, TN23 1PL. Tel: 01233 330264.

The land has two road frontages on the corner of Granary Court Road, with a gate entrance from the further end. As it was a former quarry, there are banks to the sides making it relatively well secure.

The site extends to approximately 15.5 acres (6.25 hectares).

Location: Former Sand Pit, Granary Court Road, Smeeth, Ashford, Kent, TN25 6RE.

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide: £50,000Auction Lot 12 – Auction Date 23rd July 2013.

Contact Clive Emson Auctioneers Tel: 0845 8500333 – Mr James Emson or Mr Kevin Gilbert.

Please can you help the Unique Property Bulletin stay FREE to use by letting the estate agent/owner/auction house know that you found their property on the Unique Property Bulletin website. Thankyou.

Online Brochure….



Competition – £100 Prize

Unique Property Bulletin £100 Prize Note Balmoral Castle

This nice, and very real £100 note is the Unique Property Bulletin prize if any reader can guess what the top property will be first in our Bulletin edition on 28th July 2013? £100 note number A/2 545885.

Competition HintLook Up – A Walk In The Sand

Free to enter. Just email your guess of the unusual property we are featuring as the headline for 28th July 2013. We have never see anything like it. Just email your competition entry of what you reckon the structure will be that we shall feature on 28th July 2013. Entries via ….

Click Here To Enter Competition

P.S. The answer is nothing to do with bat caves or underground nuclear bunkers! Also the £100 note is valid in the whole of the UK, but if preferred, the prize can be posted via a standard cheque. Though the current exchange rate is about £1.00 BoS to £0.94 BoE 😉



Great Library – Unique Future ?

Great Library Horton RSZ

Former Great Horton Library, West Yorkshire (c) 2013 Roy Pugh

Regular readers will know our view on these magnificent buildings of books. We firmly believe there is a game-change back the way from the e-book revolution and current economic austerity that has seen the demise of so many library buildings.

From experience we have seen how old redundant – and relatively unfashionable – buildings can be brought back to life. In fact one experience of a derelict old pub stunned us. Following renovation, we transformed it into a coffee house and internet cafe. Business in the newly reopened building really took off. Coping with the volume of customers was more of a challenge than the actual renovation…

New Life For Old Building Is Possible

On a similar basis, former libraries could be brought back to useful life. If, or when we get our paws on one of these, the local planning authority will have a triumvirate planning permission request:-

1] Coffee Shop.

2] Internet Cafe AND Library Use.

3] Residential Unit Within The Development For Owner/Manager.

We believe this three-in-one combined usage planning application proposal is a viable way to keep some useful communtiy function and achieve a nice quality work/life balance for the owner. We KNOW this is true, because we have seen it first hand with other developments elsewhere within the group of eccentrics who put Unique Property Bulletin together.

So if you are the person who buys this magnificent building, please let us know how you get on? Thankyou.

Great Library Horton Interior RSZ

Library Interior – New Life Possible ? (c) 2013 Roy Pugh

Auctioneer’s Narrative: A two storey detached former library.

Accommodation – approximate measurements – given in good faith:-

Ground Floor: 293.92 sq m (3,164 sq ft).

First Floor: 35.37 sq m (391 sq ft).

Basement: 76.79 sq m (827 sq ft).

Total: 406.08 sq m (4,372 sq ft).

Yard area to the side and rear of the property.

Location: Former Great Horton Library, Cross Lane, Great Horton, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD7 3JT.

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide: £120,000Auction Lot 109 – Auction Date 23rd July 2013.

Contact Roy Pugh Auctioneers Tel: 0844 2 722444 Please can you help the Unique Property Bulletin stay FREE to use by letting the estate agent/owner/auction house know that you found their property on the Unique Property Bulletin website. Thankyou.

Online Brochure ….



Golden Grain With Plans


Granary Cottage, Sarre Windmill, Kent (c) 2013 Clive Emson

IMPORTANT – Before you bid, please contact the auctioneers to clarify if the planning permission for Granary Cottage is compromised in any way by the exclusion of the Bakery from this sale. Or if the two developments can go ahead separately – each on a stand-alone basis.

Auctioneer’s Narrative: An attractive detached Grade II listed Granary building, also known as The Mill Shop, situated in the ley of Sarre Windmill. The existing attached single storey section may offer future potential to enhance the accommodation, subject to all the necessary consents being obtainable.

Planning Permission has been granted by Thanet District Council, ref: F/TH/11/0848, dated 20th June 2013, for change of use and conversion of the Granary to a dwelling, erection of a side extension and external staircase, subject to conditions. Listed Building Consent has also been granted ref: L/TH/13/0262, dated 19th June 2013. A copy of the Planning Permission, Listed Building Consent and proposed plans are available for inspection at the Auctioneer’s Office.

Interested applicants are advised to make their own enquiries with regard to potential future use with the Local Planning Authority, Thanet District Council, Council Offices, PO Box 9, Cecil Street, Margate, Kent, CT9 1XZ. Tel: 01843 577000.

Proposed Accommodation

Ground Floor: Entrance porch, living room, kitchen, bedroom and shower room/W.C.

First Floor: Landing and master bedroom.

Outside: Garden/parking.

Auctioneer’s Note: The Granary Cottage forms part of the Planning Permission which includes The Bakery (not included in the sale).

Location: Granary Cottage, Sarre Windmill, Ramsgate Road, Sarre, Birchington, Kent, CT7 0JZ.

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide: £75,000Auction Lot 27 – Auction Date 23rd July 2013.

Contact Clive Emson Auctioneers Tel: 0845 8500333 – Kevin Gilbert or Dave Henwood – Please can you help the Unique Property Bulletin stay FREE to use by letting the estate agent/owner/auction house know that you found their property on the Unique Property Bulletin website. Thankyou.

Online Brochure



Roman Railway ?

Railway Station Roman Bridge 1 RSZ

Roman Bridge Railway Station, Conwy (c) 2013 Strutt & Parker

Here we have over 9 acres, plus a Railway Station House with 3 Bedrooms, 3 Reception Rooms, 1 Bathroom, Period Garden, Patio, Private Parking, Fishing and Woodland.

We haven’t forgotten the many emails from fellow property eccentrics looking for former railway stations to buy. Must be something to do with the 50th anniversary of the wretched Beeching Axe from 1963 when all the branch lines of a historic national railway system were culled on questionable data.

Our edition 7th July 2013 refreshed readers as to another such property in Wales – Penmaenmawr Railway Station House which was featured in our Bulletin from agency details at £127,500, and then a few months later sold at auction for £75,000. Don’t Cry For Me Station Steamer (apologies to Tim Rice).

The best that we can do is learn an IMPORTANT and valuable lesson that cash is king right now, and there are genuine bargains to be negotiated for in order to secure that unique home – An Earlier Example.

This week, we continue our rail journey for the portion of readers keen to live by the tracks. Our offering is the former Station Master’s House at Roman Bridge. Please click on the link below for a myriad of pictures showing this finely renovated home, set in a splendid 9 acres of beautiful land.

Located on a single track country railway line, reputed to be ‘the least used station in Wales’, Station House dates back to 1879 and has been fully renovated in recent years to provide spacious family accommodation with superb valley views. A rare feature of the property is that trains between Blaenau Ffestiniog and Llandudno Junction stop ‘by request’ at Station House.

Railway Station Roman Bridge 2 RSZ

Sublime Setting – Roman Bridge Railway Station (c) 2013 Strutt & Parker

Location: Roman Bridge Railway Station, Dolwyddelan, Conwy LL25 0JQ.

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide: £450,000.

Contact Strutt & Parker Agencies Tel: 01244 354880 – Martin Haden. Please can you help the Unique Property Bulletin stay FREE to use by letting the estate agent/owner/auction house know that you found their property on the Unique Property Bulletin website. Thankyou.




Architecturally Unique

Top of the Hill 1

Top of the Hill, Roedean, Brighton (c) 2013 Savills

A little like the UFO from the film ET this marvellously inventive, architect designed home is at the very high budgetary end of what we generally feature. What do you reckon – is this an “O3” or an “E3” ?

We know quite a few readers are in this financial arena, and are determined to cater for the full financial spectrum of unusual property buyers. Aptly named “Top of the Hill” this is a truly inspirational house.

Agency Narrative; Top of the Hill is a magnificent luxury new home, occupying a larger than average plot that is uniquely situated at the crown of one of Brighton’s best addresses. The property has spectacular views over Brighton Marina and the coast beyond. Top of the Hill will be finished to an extremely high standard, with accommodation planned to be perfect for luxury living and entertaining. Built to an exacting specification including Lutron lighting system, whole house audio system, luxury kitchen by Underwood Furniture and under-floor heating throughout. There is also the opportunity for the buyer to choose the final finishes subject to budget.


Elevated location with sea views

Penthouse-style master bedroom

4 Bedrooms, all en suite

Office/ guest suite

Swimming pool

Brighton station 3 miles

On the ground floor will be an impressive reception hall, three reception rooms, a kitchen/ breakfast room and a ground floor guest suite with private access, also suitable for use as a home office.

The planned penthouse-style master suite will occupy the entire second floor and comprises bedroom, walk-in wardrobe, en suite, and has its own terrace with panoramic sea views. There are four bedrooms situated on the first floor, all with en suite bathrooms and three with private balconies. The property benefits from excellent outside space with terrace, swimming pool, beautifully landscaped gardens and direct access to East Brighton golf course.

There is a secure basement garage and wine cellar.

Top of The Hill Simon Carey RSZ

Bottom of the Hill – None Too Shabby Either (c) 2013 Simon Carey

Location: Top of the Hill, Roedean Crescent, Roedean, Brighton, BN2 5RG.

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide: £4,500,000

Contact Savills Tel: 01 44444 6000 Pam Buckley or Sophie Wysock-Wright – Please can you help the Unique Property Bulletin stay FREE to use by letting the estate agent/owner/auction house know that you found their property on the Unique Property Bulletin website. Thankyou.

Online Brochure ….



and finally …..

Try Before You Buy

Treehouse 4

Try A Tree House Holiday – The Tree Bridge Beckons (c) 2013 Quality Unearthed

It is a source of near distress when we receive an email containing the words: “I wish” or: “If only” in a plaintiff manner. As folk seem to believe that owning or living in an unusual home is beyond the reach of many.

Our first unique home. Indeed where, in 1987 the Unique Property Bulletin was actually born cost something along the lines of a guinea a year (21 old fashioned shillings or £1.05). It was purely anominal amount. The owner of the island wanted someone used to security around. The tenant – a plod – wanted a sanctuary as the Hamish MacBeth lifestyle was fine, but a place of proper off-duty time was needed – and this suited both parties…

Old Coastguard Station

The Old Coastal, Island Based Lookout, Argyll (c) 1988 Russ McLean

So we have evolved our online Unique Property Bulletin to now include a regular taste – an affordable way – in which to see and experience what unusual type of home best captures your own spirit and wishes.

This week we feature a holiday destination in a tree house. This really does capture the imagination. A proper treehouse bridge, and an actual place to stay that has a tree trunk growing up the middle.

Treehouse 3

Try A Tree House Holiday – Wonderful Experience (c) 2013 Quality Unearthed

We heartily recommend you check out this unique holiday website…


Tree House Holiday Enquiries – Tel: 01348 830922.

Quality Unearthed, Cerbid, Near Solva, Pembrokeshrie, SA62 6YE


Previously on Unique Property Bulletin …

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