Unique Property Bulletin 4 August 2013

Bridge, Beauty & Broadband ?

Bridge House 3

Penmaenpool Toll Bridge & Toll House, Gwynedd (c) 2013 Strutt & Parker

Firstly, we don’t know for sure if there is Broadband available at Penmaenpool Toll Bridge & Toll House. You will need to check that out for your own reassurance. However, our point is this looks like an ideal lifestyle away from the drudge of commuting that afflicts so many folk. Albeit with a certain irony. You may be one of the lucky ones to leave the daily smog, fume and frustration filled commute to work. But if you don’t get that wonderful wee money making ticket machine out in time, then it will be your good self causing all of the traffic jams on your very own bridge.

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Thank You Kindly – Clickety Click – Cash & Bridge Boards (c) 2013 Strutt & Parker

Of course we are directing folks imagination to the beauty, but also the possibility of doing almost exactly what the chap on the other end of these very words you are reading is doing? Taping on a keyboard – enjoying the process, the freedom, even the sunshine outside of the windows so much. Two years ago I could barely work email, and at 50 the thought of learning the internet was daunting. But it is both liberating and eye opening. The freedom that such a lifestyle gifts you, plus the numbers. The writing on this website sure isn’t William Shakespeare. Mostly the photographs and building content drives the Unique Property Bulletin website. But the numbers! 25,000 readers of an obscure website. This volume is still mind boggling.

So let your own mind consider boggling your life? Have a good old think. Look at the pictures of this amazing bridge. See the scenery. Imagine the taste and smell of that fresh air. Combine that with something you are deeply passionate about and can be turned into an online project [this particular website is an exception in that it is free and a not-for-profit endeavour – there are plenty of other revenue producing websites in the Tayport stable].

Bridge House 2

Penmaenpool Toll Bridge – Scenic Splendour (c) 2013 Strutt & Parker

There are of course reasons why you can’t just up sticks and move to a completely different life, but when you balance all, is the sheer adventure of it not worth considering?

Something to think about during your coming week? Especially if like many of us, you end up finding yourself in that “rut”. Where so many things seem so routine and boring.

Enough of me tapping away here at the computer. Let’s take you across that bridge to the estate agent to explain more about this truly unique home and lifestyle. A job as a Bridge Master, and of course the little home that is included within the deal. Though don’t forget you will likely need an additional source of income – and what better way than a Broadband based internet business with a subject or matter that is at your very heart.

 Bridge House 7

Old Fashioned Charm (c) 2013 Strutt & Parker

Agency Narrative: Penmaenpool Toll Bridge is a Grade II listed structure of timber construction dating from the late 19th century. Built by the Penmaenpool Bridge Company to replace the ferry it provides a very well used shortcut for the motorist and pedestrian alike over the Afon Mawddach. On the southern end of the bridge is the Keepers Cottage, believed to date from 1910, it has been extensively improved over the years and now provides a unique living space.

The Dolgellau to Barmouth railway did for many years stop at the station close to the bridge and the building now forms part of the George III Hotel. The old track bed has been used to create the route of the Mawddach Trail as travelled by Julia Bradbury in a recent BBC TV series. The business is currently operated on a day to day basis by a small group of toll keepers but the keepers cottage does give the flexibility to provide on site accommodation for an owner occupier business venture. Alternatively, the cottage could be utilised as a unique holiday home or holiday let. In addition to the cottage there is a toll booth, office and store, together with the section of road from the northern end of the bridge to the A496 Dolgellau to Barmouth road. Open Monday to Saturday 8.30am till 6.30pm and Sunday 10am till 4pm all year, apart from a few days over Christmas and New year, the bridge is well used by both vehicle (limited to 1.5 tons) and pedestrian travellers.

The town of Dolgellau provides a wide range of amenities and educational facilities. It is also the focal point of the local tourist industry. The holiday destination of Barmouth and Fairbourne provide a wide range of leisure interests including boating, fishing and narrow gauge railway. Communication links are very good with the A494 and A458 providing links from North Wales to Cheshire and Shropshire.

Location: Penmaenpool Toll Bridge & Tollbridge House, Penmaenpool, Dolgellau, Gwynedd, LL40 1YD.

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide: £195,000.

Contact Strutt & Parker Agencies Tel: 01244 354880 Mr Martyn Haden. Please can readers 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.




Harbour Master’s House, Suffolk

Harbourmaster 1

Harbour Master’s House, Suffolk (c) 2013 Neals Estate Agency

To continue our waterside theme, we follow on from Bridge Master to Harbour Master. Though this building has retired from it’s original purpose. Now it has been refurbished to a high specification, with wonderful views. The price is a little on the high end of the spectrum, but the location is within the commute to London area, and as our friend Brian Milligan, from the BBC, recently wrote, the cost of a coastal view can be a matter for significant debate…

BBC Coastal View Article – Brian Milligan

Harbourmaster 2

 Harbour Master’s House – Modern Interior (c) 2013 Neals Estate Agency

Back to Harbour Master’s House at Ferry Quay, Woodbridge. Agency Summary:-

Riverside Location.

Large Living Area.

2 Bedrooms.

Extensive Open Plan Area.

Utility Room.


Space for Cars.

Agency Narrative: Harbour Master’s House occupies a wonderful position alongside the Quay and has far reaching views over the tidal River Deben, providing an ever changing outlook. This can be enjoyed both from within the property or from the recently installed oak and stainless steel balcony, which spans virtually the whole width of the house. Not only does Harbour Master’s House virtually have “its feet in the water” but it is also close to the station, making it ideal home for permanent occupation or for holidays and commuting.

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Harbourmaster’s House, Splendid Balcony View (c) 2013 Neals Estate Agency

For those who do not know the special character of Woodbridge it is indeed a very picturesque place to live. The narrow streets in the core of the town are lined by a variety of buildings with independent and specialist shops trading alongside the nationally known retailers. There are hotels, pubs, restaurants, medical facilities, a library and schools for students of all age ranges in addition to the river, railway station and cinema. Woodbridge is only eight miles from Ipswich, the county town, and within striking distance of the coast at Aldeburgh, Thorpeness and further north at Southwold. There are also excellent opportunities to play sport, to ride and to walk in the picturesque Suffolk countryside while for those keen on the arts the proximity of Snape Maltings Concert Hall will be of special appeal.

Location: Harbour Masters House, Ferry Quay, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP12 1BW.

Tenure: Long Leasehold for a period of 125 years from 1st March 2012.

Guide: O.I.R.O. £700,000.

Contact Neals Estate Agency & Auctioneers Tel: 01394 382263 – Please 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.




Boathouse Enigma ?

Boathouse 1

The Boat House, Pembrokeshire (c) 2013 J.J. Morris

Completing our first three waterside listings for this week we have a curious little gem: The Boathouse. Of particular interest to regular readers of the Unique Property Bulletin, and especially our core membership who make a study of planning regulations, we have a “Section 52” piece of legislation. A Special Feature Article will cover that sort of thing in due course. In fairness we require to draw readers’ attention to this important caveat which significantly impacts upon the use of this particular property.

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The Boat House – Interior (c) 2013 J.J. Morris

For now provide the summary of this diminutive building, which as been very well finished, given the original incarnation:-

Stunning Location overlooking the Beach and Cove at Abercastle.

Single Storey Building which is classified as a Warehouse and Stores.

Terraced Garden inc. lawned areas, paved patio & a Boat Storage area on the lower terrace.

Within 50 yards or so of the beach and having direct access onto the Coastal Path.

Section 52 Agreement Restricting Occupation to 21 nights in a continuous period or periods in any one year or 42 nights in aggregate.

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The Boat House, Nearby Beach (c) 2013 J.J. Morris

Hardwood Pedestrian door to:-

Open Plan Room with a Kitchenette at one end, with a range of floor and wall cupboards, single drainer inset enamel sink unit with mixer tap, built in Hoover Single Oven/Grill and a Hoover 4 Ring Ceramic Hob, Frigidaire Refrigerator, cooker box, 8 downlighters, electricity fuse box, TV Point, 14 Power Points, 2 windows, Cotswold stone (style) slab floor, uPVC double glazed patio doors with double wooden and glazed doors to fore opening onto a paved patio from where superb Coastal Sea views can be enjoyed over the Beach and the Cove.0

Rear Hall with a Cotswold stone (style) slab floor, 4 downlighters, coat hooks, shelves, electricity meter cupboard, 6 power points, door to exterior and door to:-

Bathroom with white suite of painted panelled Bath with Shower attachment, Wash Hand Basin and WC, Triton Ivory 2 electric shower over bath, 3 downlighters, window with roller blind, Airing Cupboard with shelves housing a pressurised Hot Water Cylinder and Immersion Heater, Heated Towel Rail/Radiator, part tiled surround, access to Insulated Loft, Limed Oak floor, wall mirror, glazed Shower Screen and part tiled surround.

Externally: Adjoining the property at the rear is Lean-to Tool/Store Shed. Steps lead to a pedestrian gate which leads out onto the access lane. To the side of the property is a paved patio and lawned garden from where coastal sea views can be enjoyed over the beach and the cove. There is a small lawned area to the side and to the rear is a further lawned garden together with a sitting area and steps leading down a lower terrace, where there is a small paved patio and an insulated Garden/Store Shed 10’ x 6’ overall with a solid oak floor and 2 power points. Adjacent to the coastal foot path is a lower garden area which is utilized a boat storage area. There is direct access from the lower terrace onto the coastal path which leads down to the Beach and The Bay.

Outside Power Points. Within a short walk of the property and adjacent to the access lane is a parking area. The parking area does not form part of the property, and is not on the Deeds. There is a double gated access to the property off the lane which would allow for off road parking of a small vehicle

Location: The Boat House, Abercastle, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, SA62 5HJ.

Tenure: Freehold Subject to Section 52 Agreement Restricting Occupation to 21 nights in a continuous period or periods in any one year or 42 nights in aggregate.

Guide: Somewhere Between £150,000 and £200,000.

Contact J.J. Morris Agencies Tel: 01437 760440 Please 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.

Online Brochure ….



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All you need do to reciprocate is kindly recommend a friend Google 3 words on the internet:

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This would be more help than you might imagine. Thankyou.


Windowful Windmill Tower

Windmill Notts 2

The Mill House, Barkestone, Nottingham (c) 2013 Chesterton Humberts

A very competetively priced converted Windmill Tower for sale. Lots of windows. Lots of light. Straight to detail. Agency Summary:-

Stylish Versatile Windmill Conversion.

3 Bedrooms over 4 Floors.

Stunning Views Across Vale of Belvoir.

Nice Private Rear Garden.

Agency Narrative: The Mill House offers a rare opportunity to purchase an individual house within a sought after village in the Vale of Belvoir. Dating from the early 19th century the property was converted in 1989 into a versatile home. Ground floor reception room and kitchen, Master bedroom and bathroom to the first floor, two further bedrooms to the second floor and living room / observatory to the third floor with views over the Vale of Belvoir, rear garden and outbuildings.

Windmill Notts 3

Curved Wall Character Bedroom (c) 2013 Chesterton Humberts

Immediately to the rear of the Mill is an enclosed walled courtyard patio which has a small brick outbuilding with pitched roof which has power and light and is useful for storage of garden utensils. Pantiled roof enclosed brick wall. Leading through there is a further small brick outbuilding currently used for storage of refuse bins, and leading through to a lawned rear garden which is completely private and not overlooked at all.

Rear Garden: An enclosed and private rear garden, mainly laid to lawn with well established and mature stocked borders with a variety of mature shrubs and fruit trees. The garden is enclosed by panel fencing to two sides with a hedge at the rear. To the front there is a pedestrian gate leading out to the front where there is flagstone and tarmac drive with off street parking for two cars.

Windmill Notts 5

The Windmill Garden (c) 2013 Chesterton Humberts

Location: The Mill House, 20 The Green, Barkestone, Nottingham, NG13 0HH

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide: £250,000

Contact Chesterton Humberts Agency Tel: 01159 505 444 – Please 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 Mews of Mills

 Mill Arlington 1

Arlington Mill, Cirencester, Gloucestershire (c) 2013 Savills

Not sure what the collective noun for a group of mills should be. We are going with a mews. Alternate suggestions welcome. The point? We have a few mills in this week’s edition of the Bulletin. If this splendid building could talk it would possibly say “does my buttress look big in this”. For those who need some advice from harsh experience answering such questions: Never ever even glance. The correct response is “of course not, your buttress looks fine”. Sorry that will probably have a few emails coming in. But whatever your view about political correctness, the buttress on the gable end of Arlington Mill is surely a magnificent edifice. Anyways, an apology from here – enough rambling and onto the description.

 Mill Arlington 2B RSZ

Arlington Mill – Delightful Retained Features (c) 2013 Savills

Agency Summary:-

6 Bedroom Converted Mill House

Grade II Listed Property

Garage & Driveway

Full of Character & Retained Features

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High Specification Interior (c) 2013 Savills

An exciting Mill conversion in ‘one of England’s prettiest villages’. Bibury is located in the heard of the Coln Valley. Arlington Mill is Grade II Listed and steeped in history. Recently the Mill has been the subject of an extensive renovation and improvement programme. It is now a stylish home, retaining much character and charm, offering spacious and flexible living accommodation over 4 floors.

Mill Arlington 4

Comfortable Family Kitchen & Feature Fireplace (c) 2013 Savills

There is also an attached one bedroom cottage providing secondary accommodation with its own front door. To the rear of the property there is plenty of parking and a double garage. Beside the garage there are additional garden and lawned areas, together with a walled private sunny courtyard directly approached from the Mill and views across the adjacent mill leat and River Coln

Location: Arlington Mill House, Arlington, Bibury, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 5NL.

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide: £950,000.

Contact Savills Agencies Tel: 01285 627550 – Mr Anthony Coaker. Please 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.




Lots of Lodge – Little Money ?

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Auchenskeoch Lodge, Dumfries & Galloway (c) 2013 Wilsons Auctioneer

A little messy. Not just a property renovation, but there is also some work to be exercised on sorting out title deeds and planning permission elements. But for all that, there is a lot of potential for relatively little money here.

The Auchenskeoch Lodge conversion has hit the rocks big time. Not least the financial hazards that can beset some conversions. One finished flat has been sold and is NOT included. However the phoenix doth lurk here. There are FIVE potential homes remaining and all being sold as ONE LOT. They are requiring completion. To utilise the relevant terminology, this is a “Financial Institution Instruction”. If you can get your head past the misfortune that has gone before, possibly ameliorated by the fact is likely to be a bank manager getting most of the flak – albeit the previous developer has had some serious heartache, then there is life to be breathed back into this project.

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Auchenskeoch Lodge, Dumfries & Galloway (c) 2013 Wilsons Auctioneer

Auctioneer’s Narrative:-

Detached Former Hunting Lodge in approx 6 acres.

Unfinished conversion to 6 flats (1 sold and NOT included) 5 remaining.

Two 3 Bedroom Flats and Three 2 Bedroom Flats.

Grounds include Gardens, Paddock and Woodland.

Beautiful rural location 6.2 miles from Dalbeattie.

To be sold as seen. No Completion Certificate.

Auctioneer’s Summary: Substantial former Hunting Lodge set in the beautiful rural Dumfries and Galloway countryside. Surrounded by 10 acres of paddock, woodland and gardens. The property has been converted in to 6 flats one of which has been sold and the remaining five are still to be completed .To be sold are two 3 bedroom flats and three 2 bedroom flats. The 10 acres of ground are shared with the owner of the sold flat.

There is unlimited potential here, for completion or forming a superb family country home. Demands personal viewing to fully appreciate the value offered.

Location: Auchenskeoch Lodge, Dalbeattie, Dumfries & Galloway, DG5 4PG.

Tenure: Feuhold (Scottish Equivalent of Freehold).

Guide: £125,000. Auction Date: 22nd August 2013 – Though please remember the possibility this may end up and F.T.S.A.A.

Contact Wilsons Auction House Tel: 01294 833444 – Mr Paul Bott. Please can readers help the Unique Property Bulletin stay free to use by letting the auctioneer know that you found their property on the Unique Property Bulletin website. Thankyou.




Architecturally Unique

Martello Tower Y Before

Martello Tower Y “Before” (c) 2013 Edmund Sumner & Piercy Architects

A few weeks ago we made a modest structural change to the Unique Property Bulletin. This new “Architecturally Unique” part was added. The response from readers has been much appreciated. Not least but this Bulletin needs to evolve to meet the needs of our readers. One significant issue, and very strong appetite, is to see and study how others have transformed the classic shell or almost ruinous structure into something magnificent. In addition to starting from scratch with a blank piece of architects paper and drawing up something fabulous. That is probably why the very best of property programmes such as Kevin McCloud’s Grand Designs – here was one for sale – and George Clarke’s Restoration Man remain so enduringly popular [George Clarke & Laird Henderson’s Ice House feature is the third property down from the top].

This week we are featuring RIBA Manser Medal 2010 Shortlist Nominee Piercy & Company and the wonderful Martello Tower Y restoration and conversion.

Martello Tower Y 8 Martello Tower Y (c) 2013 Edmund Sumner & Piercy Architects

Further detail of the Martello Tower Y Project …

E-Architect – RIBA Manser Medal Shortlist Narrative

This has to be one of our all time favourite conversions. The essence, and the scale of the task are very well summed up by narrative from the architects directly:-

Converting a Napoleonic defence tower built in 1808 into a 21st Century private residence was a demanding brief. As a Scheduled Monument on the At Risk register and located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the planning negotiations were matched in complexity by the on-site logistics. The completed conversion won the support of English Heritage who heralds it as an exemplar of how to convert significant historical buildings.

 Martello Tower Y Architecturally Sublime

Sublime Architecture – Old Meets New (c) 2013 Edmund Sumner & Piercy Architects

PLEASE NOTE: The Martello Tower featured in this week’s Bulletin is NOT for sale. We are including it as an example of what can be achieved with an unusual or unique building from the acquisition of an old broken down pile, to a pristine 21st Century home which you have a nice shiny (or sometimes antique) set of keys for.

Unique Architects For This Week’ Bulletin

Piercy & Company

70 – 74 City Road
London, EC1Y 2BJ

Tel: 020 7490 7546

Piercy Architects – Martello Tower Y – Project Webpage

Also with much appreciation to:

Edmund Sumner Photography

Martello Tower Y Interior A

 A Good Reason To Restore Unique Buildings (c) 2013 Edmund Sumner & Piercy Architects


Try Before You Buy …..

Unique Holidays & Rentals

Mill Hunsett For Holidays 4

Hunsett Mill Holiday Destination (c) 2013 Hunsett Mill

This Week’s Unique Holiday Recommendation:

Short, sharp and simple. We wish we were here! Hunsett Mill

PLEASE NOTE: This mill is NOT for sale. Each week we finish the Unique Property Bulletin edition with a unique holiday destination so that readers who are minded to, can experience a particular genre or style of building before buying, or committing huge amounts of energy into a restoration project.

Incidentally given the listing immediately above this one, it is worth mentioning that the newbuild element at Hunsett Mill was the RIBA Manser Medal 2010 for the best new house in UK.

We don’t need to duplicate what is already on a first class website. All the information you need for a unique holiday from this week’s Bulletin can be found at..


Alternatively the contact details are via:-

Hunsett Mill, Chapel Field, Stalham, Norwich, Norfolk NR12 9EL.


The Try-Before-You-Buy should be a firm principle for anyone looking to live in an unusual type of home. From first hand experience we saw a couple very keen on moving to an island, but it wasn’t the ideal home that they had hoped for. So whenever we can we recommend folk try before they buy. What better way than spending a weekend, a couple of weeks or even a couple of months at a unique home to see if it suits. Ideally spend a short while in the middle of summer, then the same in the middle of winter. That way you can see for real, whether your choice is right for you, and your style of life fits in with it.


Previously on Unique Property Bulletin …

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