Unique Property Bulletin 9 June 2013

Island Coastguard

Former Coastguard Station, Walney Island (c) 2013 Barrow Borough Council

With thanks to one of our readers we were given the heads-up about a Walney Island wonder. This former coastguard station is available for purchase via TENDER which has a deadline of 12 noon Friday 28th June 2013.

It seems appropriate somehow to include this. The Bulletin is put together over the course of a week – today is 6th June 2013 (in preparation for Sunday 9th’s edition), and there is a commemoration going on in memorial, right now of the D-Day Landings. To refresh the magnitude of this event in a modern context, Steven Spielberg’s epic, and disturbingly graphic film Saving_Private_Ryan won several Oscars. The film is a way that newborn generations might have an insight into what has gone before. Though talking with anyone of WWII time who fought and served in that war, most will not, or are very uncomfortable speaking about those horrors and their experience. Perhaps a generational thing. Perhaps something profoundly difficult. Even seven decades later.

Next years, the 70th anniversary, will probably be one of the last few great memorial events of World War II as the generations of surviving service personnel grow thinner. Maybe an idea to mark it in your diary: 6th June 2014. Seventy years.

Back to Walney Island and one of the many structures guarding this coastal country. This large tower with a wonderful seaview atop sits in approximately 0.38 of coastal land. This stark monolith of a structure may not seem much, but it has a huge amount of potential. We have a special love of these old sentinels. It is from actually living in one of these coastguard lookouts that the Unique Property Bulletin was born over 25 years ago…

Old Coastguard Lookout, Argyll (c) 2005 Russ McLean

Ours, as the old photo above illustrates, was a modest affair. There are a varied range of towers – not just coastal. One example which shows just how such utilitarian edifice can be transformed by an adveturous architects imagination is …..

Clathymore Air Control Tower Conversion (c) 2012 Stephen Country Homes


Back to the possible Grand Design lurking on Walney Island in Cumbria ….

Council Narrative: For Sale by Informal Tender. Former Coastguard Station, Walney Island, Barrow in Furness. Walney Coastguard Tower is the only remaining building of the former Fort Walney artillery battery, which is situated on the highest part of the island at 21m above sea level. The coastal battery defences were constructed circa 1911 for the Lancashire and Cheshire Royal Garrison Artillary and “defensive light emplacements” can still be found along the islands shoreline.

The property is to be sold freehold with vacant possession. The freehold interest with vacant possession is offered for sale by informal tender.

The deadline for submission of all offeres is 12 noon on Friday 28th June 2013.

All offers should be made in writing and Addressed to Mr P, Huck, Executive Director, Barrow Borough Council, Town Hall, Duke Street, Barrow in Furness, Cumbria, LA14 2LD. Please see the attached guide for further information.

Location: Coastguard Station, Mill Lane, Walney Island, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, LA14 3YQ.

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide: Not Indicated. Could be £1,000 ? Might be £250,000 ? Lucky Dip. Please let us know how you get on?

Contact Barrow Borough Council, Tel: 01229 876362 – Mr David Joyce.

Online Details ….





Got A Lot Of Gothic

Erskine Church, Dumfries and Galloway (c) 2013 Richard Dorrell

This is a lot of property. A detached former church with lapsed planning consent to convert into four townhouses. All for a remarkable guide price of £37,500. The price is far from astronomic, writing of which, Langholm has the Clan Armstrong Centre with the famous astronaut Neil Armstrong having been a celebrated associate and esteemed visitor…


Neil Armstrong Day At Langholm – Friday 14 June 2013

You may need an astronaut’s head for heights to get in about that netting and scaffold that encapsulates the lunar module type attachment on the Spire !

Auctioneer’s Narrative: A category B listed Nineteenth Century building. Erskine Church occupies a prominent position in the High Street of Langholm, Dumfries and Galloway. Dating from 1867, the church is of a Gothic style with a square tower and broach spire. The rectangular plan building consists at present of the main chamber (with balcony level) and smaller ancillary rooms to the rear. The building is basically wind and watertight but the internal fabric and some external features are in poor condition.

Erskine Church – Perspective From The Bridge (c) 2013

Detailed Planning Permission (although now expired, is usually a formality to reinstate) and Listed Building Consent has been granted for converting the church into four town houses on three and a half levels to a design by Smiths Gores Architects and Building Surveyors Team. The building is split vertically with two houses to the front and two to the rear. The main living spaces are in the roof and are well lit by roof lights. The entrances to all four units are from the front. There are small back yards for each house to the rear. Services includes, mains water, electricity and drainage.

Location: Erskine Church, 9 High Street, Langholm, Dumfries and Galloway, DG13 0JH

Tenure: Feuhold (Scottish Equivalent of Freehold).

Guide: £37,500Lot 33 – Auction Date 20th Jun 2013.

Contact Wilsons Auctions Tel: 01294 833444 – Mr Paul Bott.

Online Brochure ….



Netley Castle – Kings & Queens Apartment

Netley Castle, Southampton (c) 2013 Savills

We don’t list that many apartments within unusual properties, but the external appearance of this wonderful castle is eye catching to say the least. To top it off, the waterside location tipped the balance. Into this week’s Bulletin it has come.

The luxurious and finely finished interior of this stately 4 bedroom apartment within the castle meant it was definitely something that would appeal to several of our readers who have expressed a specific interest in this style genre. Especially one where all the restoration and planning permission headaches have been resolved.

Netley Castle – Unique Upper Terrace (c) 2013 Savills

Agency Summary: 2 Reception Rooms; 4 Bedrooms; 3 Bathrooms; Conservatory; Terraces; Garage (with sail loft); Communal Gardens of about 3 acres.

Netley Castle has historical connections dating back to the Tudor dynasty and has been visited by Queen Elizabeth I and King Charles I. It was transformed in the 1880’s to a Victorian Gothic style castle, adding the castellated wings and towers on each side, and in 1999 the castle was converted into luxury apartments, with the penthouse part of the new build addition completed in 2001.

This imposing penthouse has substantial accommodation arranged over 2 floors and is presented neutrally, in excellent decorative order. This exceptionally light and spacious dwelling, has superb, far reaching views across Southampton Water, which can be enjoyed externally, from 2 of the 4 terraces and internally from most of the rooms.

Coastal Castle – A Truly Fine Home (c) 2013 Savills

The apartment is exceptionally well appointed and offers tremendous storage, parking, garaging and the use of a unique dining hall, which is part of the original castle and can be utilised for family functions and meetings. The kitchen/breakfast room has a range of wooden units and is well fitted with major appliances and provides space for a breakfast table. The impressive drawing room has a feature fireplace and is light and spacious with views across Southampton Water. There are a number of period features which have been added to this modern apartment to continue the theme of the building and these include cast iron period style radiators and panelled doors leading from the entrance hall. The apartment is served by both the staircase and the lift. A good size dining room has a door to a terrace which can be used for evening dining.

Very helpful floorplan diagram…


On this floor, bedroom 2 has an en suite shower room with a walk-in shower and terrace. The master bedroom also has an en suite bathroom. The second floor is accessed by a wide spiral staircase and leads to the guest bedroom with an en suite. The mezzanine level could well be utilised as a separate flat comprising a kitchen, conservatory, sitting room/bedroom 4 and an extremely large southwest facing terrace overlooking Southampton Water. The second floor of the apartment has independent access from the communal hallway which could be used for either storage or independent access. A particular feature of the apartment is the excellent security it provides, together with the privacy a penthouse offers, whilst retaining an expansive and pleasant feel once within the grounds.

Location: Netley Castle, Abbey Hill, Netley Abbey, Southampton, Hampshire, SO31 5FA.

Tenure: Long leasehold.

Guide: £1,350,000.

Contact Savills Agencies Tel: 01962 841842 – Alison Benson




Bulletin Bus Adventure

A big thankyou to all the readers who have emailed about the anticipated Bulletin Bus adventure that we hope comes to fruition. At the current time we have put aside a dedicated webpage …

Bulletin Bus Blog

However, the driving assessment from the bus company helping on this has not yet been arranged, so it may be a few weeks before any new comes through on that front. There is a link to the right of this page for members who are curious to keep up to date, to look in on progress.


Frog & Thatch / Penny School

The Old School & Cottage, Buckinghamshire (c) 2013 Countrywide & John D. Wood

This fits several of our criteria – a former school, a picturesque thatched cottage, even has a frog in there somewhere. The title sounds like an Old English Pub – though for the avoidance of doubt this is, or was a Penny School.

This fine looking building Failed To Sell At Auction (FTSAA), and now awaits a prospective purchaser keen to make the best of a good buying position that an FTSAA presents.

Auctioneer’s Narrative: A pretty Grade II listed two bedroom thatched cottage steeped in history with additional one bedroom former school. The cottage dates back to the 18th century but may be considerably older.

Old World Interior Charm (c) 2013 Countrywide & John D. Wood

The property was improved when the current owners bought it over thirty years ago and county archaeologists have done further investigation on its history finding what is believed to be the site of a Roman barbeque in the sitting room and cupboard next to the inglenook fireplace which is reputed to have been a priest hole.

Adjacent to the cottage is The Penny School which is currently a one bedroom annexe with the garage to the front which has a useful studio above it.

Now Where’s That Frog – The Cottage Garden (c) 2013 Countrywide & John D. Wood

Situation: Cuddington is a popular and sought after village steeped in history on the borders of Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. Thame, Aylesbury and Oxford are all easily accessible and the Thame and Haddenham Parkway station is a mere two miles away and offers quick links to both Marylebone and The Midlands

The Cottage – Ground Floor: Sitting Room, Dining Room, Kitchen.

First Floor: Landing, Bedroom 1, En Suite Cloakroom, Bedroom 2, En Suite Bathroom, Study/Bedroom 3.

The Penny School – Ground Floor: Sitting Room, Kitchen, Bathroom, Bedroom, Garage. First Floor: Studio.

Rear Garden.

Location: The Old School & Cottage, Frog Lane, Cuddington, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP18 0AX.

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide: £650,000 – Formerly Lot 114 – Failed To Sell At Auction 6th June 2013.

Contact Countrywide Auctioneers Tel: 0870 2401140 or

Joint Agents John D. Wood Tel: 01865 311522

Online Brochure ….



Cornish Chapel

 Chapel St Georges Alder King

St George’s Chapel, Truro (c) 2013 Alder King

Here we have a very large area – approximately 7,956 sq ft (739 sq m) former Methodist Chapel in Truro, Cornwall for sale.

Agency Narrative: St Georges Chapel comprises a substantial 3 storey former Methodist Chapel which has most recently been used to accommodate a school. Internally the accommodation includes a ground floor area which would originally have been a mainly open plan area but which has been divided into various areas with partial height partitions There are also several single storey extensions to the main building which accommodate ancillary accommodation including toilets. The first floor comprises the main original worship area which again has been subdivided in part to accommodate its most recent use. The second floor provides a traditional galleried seating area open and overlooking the main chapel area below. The Chapel organ remains in place although we cannot confirm whether it is in working order.

Externally there is a small yard area with pedestrian gate access to one side of the property.

Accommodation: The property has been measured in accordance with the RICS Code of Measuring Practice and the following approximate gross internal measurements calculated:

Measurements: Ground floor (square feet) 3,797; Mezzanine Entrance 114; First Floor; 2,256; Second Floor 1,789; Approximated Total: 7,956.

Location: St George’s Chapel, St George’s Road, Truro, Cornwall, TR1 3JD.

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide: £ Please Contact Alder King: 01872 222174

Contact Alder King Agencies Tel: 01872 222174 – Mr Tom Duncan.

Online Brochure ….



Loch Lomond & Luxurious YMCA

YMCA Loch Lomond

Auchendennan House, Loch Lomond (c) 2013 Savills

After last week’s seemingly popular (given the emails we received) YMCA building, we have another YMCA. Though this is steeped in wood panelled luxury, and a location famous the world over. A large property set in approximately 57 famous acres. Holding many interesting options for an unusual place to call home. This time an exceptional Category A Listed Baronial Mansion on the banks of Loch Lomond.

Agency Narrative: Auchendennan House by John Burnet – built in 1866 for Mr George Martin, one of the many Glasgow-based East India merchants of the time. In 1882 the house was inherited by John McLellan Martin, son of George Martin, before it was sold to chemical manufacturer William Chrystal who owned it between 1898 and World War II.

John Burnet (1814-1901) practised as an architect predominantly in Glasgow. His early work is modestly classical, including Elgin Place Congregational Church (1856) and the Italianate 61-63 Miller Street (1854). His later designs include the exuberant Italian Renaissance Clydesdale Bank, St Vincent Place (1870) and the beautifully restrained Cleveden Crescent (1876).

YMCA Loch Lomond Grandeur

Auchendennan House – Galleried Grandeur (c) 2013 Savills

Auchendennan House has a dramatic roof line with turrets, castellations, cones, pyramids and ogees and splendid tourelles. Burnet designed it to take full advantage of its wonderful views over Loch Lomond towards Ben Lomond and beyond.

For over 65 years it has been a youth hostel of the SYHA, offering holiday accommodation to tourists from all over the world. Whilst its bedroom/dormitory accommodation is quite utilitarian in its presentation, its magnificent main reception rooms are remarkably intact, retaining their proportions, period features and character.

Backpacker’s Ultimate Guide review ….


Location: Auchendennan House, Loch Lomond, Argyll, G83 8RA.

Tenure: Feuhold (Scottish Freehold Equivalent).

Guide: £1,500,000 or £55,000 a Bedroom!

Contact Savills Agencies Tel: 0141 222 5875 – Mr Andrew Perratt.




and finally …..

Try Before You Buy

Coastguard Dungeness Kent Richard Law

Former Coastguard Lookout – Dungeness, Kent (c) 2013 Mr Richard Law

Having lived on an island for the majority of my life, I have often suggested the mantra try before you buy. Island [or whatever your favourite genre] can often be an idyllic, turquoise water, sun blessed paradise. But then the drama of the weather may bring things into an alternate focus with a bump.

We started this week’s Bulletin with a potential coastguard lookout tower awaiting new life, and possible conversion.

We end with a sort of try before you buy – it looks wonderful, and so, we bet, are the views from the top of this fabulous coastguard tower conversion.

The owners are looking for a long term tenant in this particular example. Though it is certainly possible to find former coastguard towers to rent for a holiday experience. Just email us via the [back to normal] Unique Property Bulletin Contact Page and we can suggest one or two other destinations you might like to rent for the experience. Always a good idea to try before you buy. Especially if you are looking to buy a shell of a building for renovation. It can be inspirational to see beforehand, what the finished conversion may look like. Also keep your spirits up during such a conversion project.

If you do buy the coastguard station listed at the top of this page, please consider letting us know how you get on. Thanks.

As for the last listing this week, further information, including rental details from….



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