Talk about home security! 19th century bomb-proof gun tower called Number One, The Thames built after the Napoleonic Wars goes on sale for £150,000

  • Post category:news
  • Reading time:4 min(s) read

  •  Military building defended nation during the First and Second World Wars
  •  Martello tower like structure on a spit of land called ‘a first’ by auctioneers 

A 168-year-old gun tower that sits in the river with the address No One, The Thames, is up for sale.

The military building defended the nation during the First and Second World Wars, from the mouth of the River Thames in Kent.

Estate agents Savills are now promoting it as a ‘a unique and peaceful position with far reaching sea and coastal views’.

The ex-army site is only accessible twice a day, at low tide via a causeway and owners and guests will have to use a boat at any other time.

Auctioneers expect the Martello tower-like building will fetch £150,000. They added the property, on a spit of land between the River Thames and River Medway, ‘is a first.’

A 169-year old gun tower with the address Number One, The Thames has been put up for sale for £150,000

A 169-year old gun tower with the address Number One, The Thames has been put up for sale for £150,000

The military building is only accessible twice a day via a causeway at low tide

The military building is only accessible twice a day via a causeway at low tide

It was the last gun tower of its kind to be built, constructed to protect the nearby military dockyards against French invasion.

Anglo-French tensions ran high in the 1850s and the nation feared a naval attack.

The tower guarded the key link between the Thames and Medway rivers, which led to Royal Navy Dockyards in Sheerness and Chatham.

However, artillery technology quickly improved and the construction became obsolete in the mid-19th century, almost immediately after it was completed.

By the end of the century it was transformed into a defence against raids by fast torpedo boats.

Decades later it was altered again – new, quick firing guns were added during World War I and World War II.

The property off the Isle of Grain, built in 1855 was decommissioned in 1956 and will go under the hammer on September 20 this year.

The former army site helped protect the nation during the First and Second World Wars

The former army site helped protect the nation during the First and Second World Wars

It is around four-and-a-half miles from the nearest train station of Swale but any potential buyer would need to spend a large amount to repair and return it to its former glory.

The new asking price is a significant drop from when it went on sale nearly three years ago for £1.9 million, having previously sold for £500,000 in 2014.

Savills Auctions Director Jeremy Lamb said the sale is rare adding: ‘There is always excitement when unusual lots come along as they have a special power to capture the imagination.

‘We’ve had water towers and military sea forts in our sales in the past, but this gun tower is a first.

‘A blank canvas with heaps of history and phenomenal sea views, not to mention its coveted No. 1 the Thames address.

‘Historically, rare lots like this have seen significant interest in our auctions.

‘Last summer the hammer came down on Bull Sand Fort in the Humber Estuary at nearly 10 times guide price after attracting bids from around the world and the year before that we auctioned a water tower in Essex which has since received permission for residential use and a chance to design a once in a life time property.’

The tower occupies a 'unique and peaceful' position one mile east of the village of Grain

The tower occupies a ‘unique and peaceful’ position one mile east of the village of Grain

A spokesperson described the potential buy as ‘atmospheric.’

They said: ‘The tower occupies a unique and peaceful position with far reaching sea and coastal views. The village of Grain is approximately one mile to the west.

‘The tower is atmospheric internally with a series of rooms, exposed brick work and concrete.

‘Of interest to developers and occupiers, the tower represents a unique opportunity with potential for alternative uses or development subject to the necessary consents.’




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