Baker Windy Miller

Baker Windmill, Essex (c) 2012 Strutt & Parker

This is a gorgeous hexagonal windmill thought to date from 1674. One of the last three examples of a smock mill remaining in Essex, now Listed grade II. This was an operating windmill until 1912 from when it fell into disrepair, and was then restored and converted into a private residence in 1981. The current vendors completed their restoration of the windmill in 1999 including the restoration of the majestic sails which are fully operational.

Baker Windmill Interior, Magnificent Features (c) 2012 Strutt & Parker

The windmill itself has been converted to fabulous accommodation which is complemented by the converted Victorian steam mill with further additions offering more traditional accommodation and rooms. Much of the original workings of both mills have been retained and incorporated within the accommodation giving a real feel of the past and heritage of this magnificent residence.

The Mill stands within grounds extending to about 10 acres, accessed via electrically operated gates and displaying sweeping expanses of open lawn studded by sapling and mature trees.

Baker Windmill Interior Packed With Character (c) 2012 Strutt & Parker

Baker Street Windmill sits in open countryside just to the west of the traditional south Essex village of Orsett. The village provides a useful range of everyday amenities including a village store with Post Office; a number of pubs and restaurants including the Whitmore Arms, The Foxhound and The Kings Arms. At the heart of the village is the Norman Church of St Giles and All Saints together with its cottage hospital.

Summary Description:-

Reception Hall; Drawing Room; Sitting Room; Dining Room; Study; Games Room (in Mill); Kitchen/Breakfast Room; Cloak Room; 2 W.C.s; Conservatory; Cellar; 2 Principal Bedroom Suites; 2 Further Bedrooms; Family Bathroom; Bedroom 5 (in Mill); 2nd & 3rd Floor Mill Rooms; Double Garage; Utility Room; Gardeners W.C; Pool House; Gardens and Grounds (approximately 10 acres); Swimming Pool.

Location: Baker Windmill, Stifford Clays Road, Orsett, Grays, Essex, RM16 3LX.

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide: £1,500,000.

Contact Strutt & Parker Agencies Tel: 01245 254606 – Antony Bromley-Martin.

Online Brochure ….


Good Price – Why No Sail

Blackthorn Windmill, Oxfordshire (c) 2012 Sylvia Hayes.

You can go for months without any windmills – especially when readers have been specifically asking for these types of unusual building – and then two come along at once. If our first listing at Orsett in Essex is not quite your cup of tea (especially with the price bracket), then how about this interesting former windmill at Oxfordshire? OK no sails, but it has a beautiful milltop total surround landscape view. Also the price is something to get your windmill sails in a spin. Compared to Orsett windmill at £1,500,000, this albeit smaller scale mill home is at a positively bargain price at £395,000.

Blackthorn Windmill – Full of Character (c) 2012 Sylvia Hayes.

The windmill is Grade II listed 17th century. The stone walling is 5ft thick at the base and 18 inches at the top. The original copper roof was removed in 1942 for the war effort. It Now has a lead roof rather than cooper as this reduces the sound of rainfall.

Blackthorn Windmill – Wonderful Lounge & Views (c) 2012 Sylvia Hayes.

Originally Blackthorn had two windmills the east and west mill. Not much left of the west mill only about 7ft high now. The east mill – Blackthorn Windmill was fully restored in 1997.

Agency Description: A stunning windmill conversion enjoying 360 degree panoramic views over farmland. The property enjoys many period features including exposed beams and stonework. Flexible accommodation over five floors. The property also enjoys a large detached garage and garden. The property now has planning permission for a ground floor extension to provide a generous kitchen/breakfast room.

Blackthorn Windmill – Interior (c) 2012 Sylvia Hayes.

It may have no sails, but at this price and for the quality renovation it certainly deserves a sale.

Location: The Windmill, Blackthorn Hill, Bicester, Oxfordshire, OX25 1TJ.

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide: £395,000.

Contact Property Solutions Tel: 01280 822888.

Online Brochure ….


Wharf & Water

Leamington Wharf Berth 5 – This Narrowboat NOT Included (c) 2012 Rettie & Co

A reader emailed earlier this week to say that she has a new job in Edinburgh and needs something unusual and economic to live at. City rents are often high, and property purchase prices too. So here is a little out of the box thinking, whilst still in the city.

?Leamington Wharf Berth 5 – Site Plan (c) 2012 Rettie & Co

Seller’s Description: Lease for a 3-Year Period. Bid Price is an ANNUAL amount. Leamington Wharf- A Canal-Side Home at the Heart of Edinburgh, just a short walk from Princes Street, Edinburgh Castle and the city’s West End.

The mooring is located on a quiet stretch of canal next to the picturesque Leamington Lift Bridge. It is just down the towpath from Lochrin Basin, an established waterfront area that boasts a vibrant mix of cafés and restaurants. It is the perfect base from which to enjoy everything that the city has to offer. For those who work in Edinburgh, Leamington Wharf offers the opportunity to ‘go green’ and walk or cycle to work.

Importantly the geographic footprint of the canal flows as per the Union Canal Map ..

Including the amazing engineering marvel at Falkirk.

Maximum Narrowboat Size: 19m x 2.2m – Maximum Draft 1.02m (subject to approval). Equivalent to approximately 62 feet LOA by 7’2″ Beam and 3’4″ Draft.

Leamington Wharf – Surroundings (c) 2012 Kim Traynor

This berth in Edinburgh is for sale via Ebay. You will need to buy a boat too – an example narrowboat listed below. Hopefully this represents in interesting response to the challenge presented to us by our reader. City centre living, unusual home, and at a competitive price when compared to other places to live nearby. Especially as this is a fairly exclusive location to live at.

Leamington Wharf – Lochrin Basin Surroundings (c) 2012 Eileen Henderson

The winning bid is the ANNUAL mooring fee and the lucky bidder who secures this mooring will enter into a three-year leasehold agreement with Scottish Canals. Our Managing Agent will be in contact with the winner soon after the auction closes to facilitate the smooth transition into their new lifestyle. Agreement to the site rules & regulations – please see link on Ebay website – and signing of the lease must be completed within 28 days of the auction ending.

Please note, this is a residential mooring only, the boat shown is ‘Blue Hue’, Scottish Canal’s showboat and is NOT included in the price. Successful bidders will have to purchase their own. The mooring is for residential purposes only, and may not be used for any other purpose, including, but not restricted to; business use, holiday homes or rental use, nor may the mooring be sublet. The mooring owner may allow the mooring to be transferred in the event of a Customers’ boat being sold. This will require prior notification and authorisation by Scottish Canals and a levy will be applied.

Please read the Ebay listing and relevant links to satisfy yourself as to the rules and due diligence. More information via…

Hopefully we have proposed an interesting way to our enquiring reader to live in an unusual city centre location, and for around £10 a day.

Location: Leamington Wharf, Lower Gilmore Place, Edinburgh, Midlothian, EH3 9QP.

Tenure: Leasehold.

Guide: £3,500.

Contact Tel: 0141 354 7535 or francis . polding [at] scottishcanals . co . uk

Online Brochure ….



Something For Your Wharf

57 Foot Narrowboat For Sale (c) 2012 JD Boats

This is an example of a quality narrowboat that is likely to be in keeping with the Leamington Wharf listed above. There are cheaper narrowboats, but our reader did mention she would prefer something that didn’t need too much renovation.

General Description:- 57ft Cruiser Stern 4+2 berth boat. Built 2002 by Canal craft Boatbuilders to standard 10,6&4mm steel sixes. Fitted out by J.D. Boat Services (Gailey) Ltd. Just been repainted in dark blue and cream.100 gallon stainless steel water tank under the front well-deck. Master bedroom with permanent double bed is at the front.

Narrowboat For Sale – Interior (c) 2012 JD Boats

Bedroom 2 is at the rear of the boat which can be 2 single or 1 permanent double, Both bedrooms have underbed storage and a wardrobe. 3rd bedroom is in the saloon which converts to a double bed with out using the separate dinning table (which is stored against the hullside). All beds have fabric covered mattresses 6ft 6ins long.

Narrowboat For Sale – Interior (c) 2012 JD Boats

The saloon is fitted with a TV/radio cabinet complete with CD radio and shelf for TV & DVD player.The galley has been fitted with a 4-burner cooker with split level hob, oven and grill, 12V electric refrigerator, stainless steel sink and drainer, cupboard storage units, laminated work surfaces and ceramic water filter tap.

Two bathrooms the main bathroom with a ‘hip’ shower, the 2nd bathroom is at the rear of the boat with the airing cupboard with a hot water tank and shelves above. Both have wash basins, water flushed Mansfield toilets with 70 gallon holding tank and the surfaces are fully laminated for ease of cleaning.

The boat is fully central heated with radiators is each room/area. There is a 800 watt Victron inverter suitable for small electrical appliances including a hair dryer.
A rear door, to the side, with three external steps leading to the back deck alongside a heated lobby area with a rail for waterproof clothing. The engine under the back deck is a four cylinder Shire 2ltr water cooled, with Single lever controls.

Location: Wherever you lay your head.

Tenure: From Stem To Stern 64/64ths.

Guide: £41,950 (recently reduced in price).

Contact JD Boats Gailey Ltd., Tel: 01902 791811.

Online Brochure ….


Small Cop Plot

The Last Post ? Sheffield (c) 2012 Knight Frank

Maybe not so small. This former police post may be diminutive, but a very general rule of thumb for buildings are 12 detached per acre. So with approximately 0.10 to 0.14 acres, and of course subject to navigating the planning process, it might be possible to extend this into something more spacious, and certainly interesting.

Location: The site is situated fronting directly onto Fulwood Road close to its junction with Manchester Road (A57), one of the main arterial routes through the City into Sheffield city centre.

The surrounding area is predominantly residential in nature, being one of Sheffield’s most sought after residential locations.

Description: The site extends to approximately 688 sq m (0.14 acres) and is triangular in shape, fronting directly onto Fulwood Road and backing onto Manchester Road. The former police post is a single storey brick built office set beneath a pitched roof. To the front is a hard-standing area for 2 car parking spaces which can be accessed directly from Fulwood Road.

Location: Former Police Post, Fulwood Road, Sheffield, Yorkshire, S10 3BT.

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide: To Be Advised.

Contact Knight Frank Agencies Tel: 0114 272 9750 – Elliot Rose

Online Brochure ….


Chop Shop

Former Public House AND Flat – £45,000: Stoke-on-Trent (c) 2012 Pugh & Co.

Chop Shop – Sounds like an unusual title, and at first sight this building not that unique. Please bear with us. We have actually done this type of project. One of our earlier efforts…

Real Dragons’ Den Turning A Corner

The theory is sound – and often very profitable. It can also be a lot of fun, and lead to an unusual lifestyle.

The current listing is for the closed public house and flat in Stoke-on-Trent. Even in the boom times, mortgages were hard to come by for mixed, or semi-commercial use. Often buildings which had a residential component had a rarefied set of buyers who were able to put a huge deposit down on this mixed use project. Frequently in these circumstances the chronic lack of buyers causes the price to plummet. Occasionally the overall price for the flat AND the commercial part becomes LESS than the flat is worth on it’s own. Result: free shop. Or in this case a free pub. Now with mortgages very very rare, this sort of thing is extremely hard to finance. One solution is to split the two properties. The residential part usually becomes much easier to arrange a mortgage for. Hence the title of this listing – the chopping of a building into two units.

Closed Pub Interior: Stoke-on-Trent (c) 2012 Pugh & Co.

Of course there are building warrants and planning permissions, but we have found this sort of project to be fantastic. Indeed one of the most interesting was a former public house with a flat above which we bought for a song, and then converted the pub into a coffee bar. It shocked us on many levels. Apart from meeting lots of new and interesting people who were pleased a closed down building was reopened, the real eye opener was the first five months of business £40,000 worth of coffee was sold. Who would ever have thought such large numbers were involved in selling coffee!

Closed Pub Interior: Stoke-on-Trent (c) 2012 Pugh & Co.

General Summary:-

Basement: Storage 26.81 sq m (288 sq ft)

Ground Floor: Main Bar / Lounge, Games Room, Toilets 100.25 sq m (1,078 sq. ft)

First Floor: Two Bedrooms, Lounge /Kitchen, Shower Room.

Location: Jovial Foresters, 17 Marsh Street, Hanley, Stoke on Trent, ST1 1JA.

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide: £45,000 to £55,000 – Lot 75 FAILED TO SELL AT AUCTION – 29 November 2012. Maybe try a really cheeky offer starting with the number “3”.

Contact Pugh and Company Tel: 0844 2 722444.

Online Brochure ….


Watermill Race

Watermill Home At Huncote (c) 2012 Strutt & Parker

The Water Mill at Huncote has accommodation over three floors, extending to about 4,500 square feet on a gross internal basis. The striking property is constructed of brick, and incorporates single, two storey and three storey elements, alluding back to the building’s past industrial heritage.

The Mill is positioned within attractive grounds, with equestrian facilities, including a yard with stabling for four, detached garage block and office suite, and approximately 9 acres of mature gardens and pasture, with woodland copse, ponds and double bank frontage to Thurlaston Brook.

Watermill Race – Water Feature (c) 2012 Strutt & Parker

The water mill was converted to steam in the late 1800s, when the wheel was replaced by a steam engine, with the ground grain being used as feed for the horses at the nearby Croft Quarry. When those horses were replaced by mechanised vehicles in the 1950s, the mill finally closed. The mill lay redundant for almost half a century, before its loving restoration and conversion in 2004 into what is a fabulous residential property.

Location: The Water Mill lies just south of Huncote, about 8 miles to the south west of Leicester City Centre, and within easy reach of the excellent motorway network in the Midlands linking to Rugby, Northampton, Coventry, Nottingham, Derby and Birmingham.

Watermill Interior (c) 2012 Strutt & Parker.

General Summary: 5 Bedrooms; 5 Bathrooms; Reception Hall; Drawing Room; Dining Room; Living Room; Study; Family Kitchen; Utility Room; Boot Room/Shower Room; Approximately 9 Acres.

Location: Mill House, Croft Hill Road, Huncote, Leicester, LE9 3GR.

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide: £1,000,000.

Contact Strutt & Parker Agencies Tel: 01858 438710 Mr James Abbott

Online Brochure ….


Please remember, in addition to our weekly Unique Property Bulletin every Sunday at 9pm, our latest monthly feature to help you find some very unusual places to consider as a unique home…

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and finally….

Bygone Not Gone

Southsea Pier – Still For Sale (c) 2012 Clive Emson/Nash & Company

On 25th November 2012, in the Bulletin, we reported a forthcoming auction of Southsea Pier. It didn’t sell, and was guided at around £190,000. As a Failed-To-Sell-At-Auction property, perhaps it is now time for some unique person to go and take a look? An interesting adventure to be had, and perhaps some haggling on price too.


However you get on, and with whichever building you might buy, please consider letting us know about your unique adventures?

You can do this via an email – just click HERE Thank you.