You literally can’t get more waterfront than this—360 degrees of waterfront, located just 1 hour from London!
From the listing description:
Number 1, The Thames, otherwise known as Grain Tower Battery, was built around 1855. … The property is of course in need of complete renovation but could be transformed into almost anything (STPP) – a private residence, an off shore hotel, a houseboat community, outdoor pursuit centre, film location, nightclub, casino to name a few!
And in case you’re having a hard time imagining some of those possibilities, they’ve included some helpful renderings:
Personally I’d go for the classy, see-through pub:
More from the listing:
Planted on a spit of land on the Isle of Grain, it can only be reached at low tide. The bomb-proof 150 year-old estuary gun emplacement is a kilometre off the Isle of Grain shore at the strategically important point where the Thames meets the Medway. The original tower is similar in design to the Martello towers which were first constructed as a defence against Napoleon in the early 19th Century.
So… parking might be a slight issue, but you’re set for home security.
This very unique property can be yours for just £500,000 (about $830,000)!
So I’m showing this listing to my husband and he asks, “Gun emplacement? Does it come with guns?” Then we look at each other and come up with the same answer at the same time… This is Britain – of course it doesn’t come with guns. Oh well, there goes half the charm. We’re also pretty sure “bomb-proof” of 150 years ago is not the same as bomb-proof in 2014. Still losing charm at a good clip…
Then there’s the bit about… the smell. A century and a half of marinating in both sea water and whatever Londoners saw fit to toss into the Thames? No thank you. Not even of the most pristine of shore sites smells very nice at low tide, but the city dump legacy of the Thames has only been overcome in the last few years: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/8059970/The-clean-up-of-the-River-Thames.html. Heaven knows what sort of toxic plaque has seeped into this structure.
So, yeah… good luck with doing… whatever with this place. If it works, it’ll be cool as hell. But I have my doubts about success. A particular paraphrase just keeps circling through my mind. “Yeah, but it’s a damp cold…”
“The value is in the land.”
So to speak… :-D
I was thinking of your points and trying to imagine bringing heavy equipment across all that mooshy low-tide mud when I realized that the most straightforward way to deal with removing the graceless rectangular add-on and the stair-flights tower would be explosives – which cast the whole project in a new light. :D
Hey, today is Looney Listing’s 2nd anniversary!
@Marty E.: Sunday or Monday? 24th or 25th? ‘Cause the 24th was my niece’s 25th birthday!!
I can’t think of anything good for a private endeavor here. It’s not immediately accessible. If you were to build a new above-high-tide causeway and parking area, it’s at the end of a long haul through an industrial area. Additionally, there’s nothing intrinsically attractive about the location. If you want to draw people out, you have to build whatever will draw them and make it cost-effective enough for them to want to pay to come. I don’t see it.
@Emerald63: I officially launched the site on August 24, 2012.
@Marty E.: Awesome! Thanks Marty, for the info and the site!! :D
@Frodo: Unless the “private endeavor” aims at actual privacy. Looks like a superb lair for a Bond villain, like Javier Bardem’s industrial ghost island in “Skyfall.” And it has the added convenience of being just down the road, er, river from MI6 HQ.
@Emerald63: Oh great, now I have Bond music in my head. LOL
Say, they could put together a video to sell this place with that music playing in the background.
The building is called the Grain Tower Battery and was part of the Grain Fort (now mostly gone). The Grain Fort has it’s own Wiki page:
The best article on the Battery I could find is here:
Some good photos:
The typical tidal range at this location is around 15-17 feet. It is completely exposed to strong winds/waves from the east, and is vulnerable to serious flooding in strong north winds- which are pretty common in the winter. As a consequence it is- as you can see from the links above- a ruin. It was privately purchased from the Crown in 2005, placed back on the market in 2010, and it’s been there ever since.
@Frodo: I can see no practical use for the property either.
@Emerald: I don’t think you’d get any privacy here; at high tides, especially on weekends, the tower would be surrounded by small boats gawking, jet skis racing each other around the tower, etc. At low tides the curious would hoof it over the sand spit for a closer look. Plus, the Thames and Medway Rivers are the two busiest industrial waterways in England…