Ordinary To Extraordinary

Strathy Lighthouse Engine Room (c) 2001 Unique Property Bulletin.

Please Note: Engine Room For Sale £75,000 (Pictured Left) – NOT Lighthouse Tower.

It isn’t enough to just write the Unique Property Bulletin. The friends, family and colleagues over the past 25 years have had a strong and enduring wish to turn words into action. More than this – to share the interest and enthusiasm that seems to spark off of anyone joining in with this sort of unusual property search.

We want to make this anniversary online Unique Property Bulletin edition a little bit special for you, our growing band of readers. To narrate a fact based account of how the ordinary can be a way to achieving the extraordinary. To find a way to making YOUR unique property dream a reality. So we start with this week’s first listing.

Strathy Lighthouse Engine Room Lounge (c) 2012 Katie Burns.

Don’t worry if a lighthouse building isn’t your first choice in unique style of property. This week’s Bulletin, and in fact the monthly special has a range of different style buildings ..

Unique Property Feature – New December Issue

This Unique Property Feature is all about making YOUR unique property dream become a reality. We cannot guarantee this, but shall do our best. Evidenced by lots of solicitor conveyancing settlement statements proving success in past unique property purchases. We shall make every effort to show anyone with the interest how to find and fund their individual preference of unusual home – whether that be a watermill, coastguard station, windmill, or indeed any of the properties listed at the foot of this webpage.

Strathy Lighthouse Main Attraction – The View (c) 2012 Katie Burns.

So what do we have – and why – for this week’s first unique property? Well we actually owned this building a decade ago. The Old Lighthouse Engine Rooms (now converted to a flat). It was sublime. One of the secrets about the northerly location is in the summer it is hot and sunny, but no crowds because few people realise the north coast of Britain is near to the Arctic Circle and it stays light all day and most of the night in summer. The writer of this has had sunstroke – twice – it is that deceptively hot.?

Strathy Lighthouse Bath & Double Shower Room (c) 2012 Katie Burns.

General description:-

Nicely converted former Lighthouse Engine Rooms within the Strathy Point Lighthouse Complex. Every window enjoys a spectacular view. The accommodation cosists of Bedroom, Living/Dining Room, Kitchen Area, Bathroom with roll top bath plus separate double shower. The refurbishment includes underfloor heating and double glazed windows. An overused phrase, but a viewing is needed to fully appreciate this smart conversion with awe inspiring views from one of the finest locations in Britain.

 Strathy Lighthouse Engine Room “Before” Renovation (c) 2012 Katie Burns.

Location: The Engine Room, Strathy Point Lighthouse, By Thurso, Caithness, KW14 7RY.

Tenure: Feuhold (Scottish Equivalent of Freehold).

Guide: £75,000.

Contact : Strathy Lighthouse Engine Room Questions Via This Link

Please note, we no longer own this building, but have listed it for the friends who bought it from us. We would be delighted to help provide any further information above and beyond the narrative in this listing. Just contact us for more detail, photographs, plans, etc


So what do we mean by the title Ordinary To Extraordinary?

Hopefully this week’s Unique Property Feature and the related weblinks will help……


The ultimate aim of this odyssey is to have a very affordable base in whatever geographic location you prefer – Northern Scotland, Southern England, West Wales and even Southern France for some winter sun. All have unique properties to discover nearby. The principles behind this unusual thesis are sound and proven.

For the first www.hotelroomownership.co.uk base (£22,000 per room fullshare) in the North we have the following unique properties located nearby at very competitive prices – and we wouldn’t have discovered them, nor bought the prime example of the Strathy Point Lighthouse Complex illustrated above, had we not had an earlier base nearby and physical presence in the area. Unique property found as a result of the methods employed in this month’s Unique Property Feature – Example 1:-

Partially Renovated Achingale Mill: £39,000 (c) 2012 Wilsons

Example 2:-

Former Railway Station, Lairg: £85,000 (c) 2012 Munro & Noble

Example 3:-

 Former Police Station & House, Castletown: £69,000 (c) 2012 Bill Fernie

That goes for the further adventures after Scotland. The ones to come, possibly on the Isle of Wight near the English Riviera, or the Island of Anglesey in Wales, and ultimately the Cote d’Azur -Southern French Riviera. Each starts with a very economic and asset backed hotel room owned, and then a solid sleuthing exercise for the desired unique property nearby.

This may seem odd, but many years ago we accidentally discovered a method of finding and funding unique property purchases that have led to many adventures.

If you care to join us, especially the hard core group at unique property, there are 9 of the 14 rooms still available – the first 5 hotel bedrooms have gone within a week of this project being launched so if you are at all curious, please read the Unique Property Feature and Hotel-Room-Ownership pages, and if they lights your candle please have a look at the hotel rooms on offer (plus a Bargain Bar & Flat).



Last but not least for this section, please feel free to ask any questions:-



Mission Possible

The Old Mission Hall, Isle of Wight (c) 2012 Clive Emson / Scotcher & Co.

This detached Victorian building was originally constructed as a Mission Hall and is situated a short walk/drive from the centre of East Cowes and all of its amenities, including a ferry connection to Southampton.

Planning Consent has been obtained for conversion of the existing building to form a pair of semi-detached dwellings. It is considered that the building could suit a number of future uses, subject to all the necessary consents being obtainable.

The Old Mission Hall Interior (c) 2012 Clive Emson / Scotcher & Co.

Existing Accommodation: Main Hall and raised Sub-Hall, Kitchen and Two Cloakrooms with W.C.s. Outside: Garden to the front and side of the building.

Planning Permission was granted by the Isle of Wight Council, under ref: P/01223/11, dated 3rd November 2011, for alteration and conversion of the former community hall to form two dwellings, subject to conditions. A copy of the Planning Consent and proposed plans are available for inspection at the Auctioneer’s Office. Tel: 0845 6001265. Interested applicants are advised to make their own enquiries with the Local Planning Authority, the Isle of Wight Council, Seaclose Offices, Fairlee Road, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 2QS. Tel: 01983 823552.

Location: St James Mission Hall, Falcon Road, East Cowes, isle of Wight, PO32 6SF.

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide: £85,000 to £95,000Auction Lot 106 – Auction Date 12/12/12.

Contact Clive Emson Auctioneers Tel: 0845 6001265 or Scotcher & Co on: 01983 822288.

Online Brochure ….



Loo Liked By Ladies

Tunbridge Wells Waterloo (c) 2012 Barnard Marcus Auctioneers

This may seem a really odd thing. But a precedent was set by a lady called Laura Clark making a leaky building positively palatial as featured in the Daily Telegraph …..

Telegraph Article – Laura’s Loo House

So what do wee have here? The bricks and mortar of another peesta resistance, especially the view from the loo …

Tunbridge Wells Waterloo View (c) 2012 Barnard Marcus Auctioneers

If you study Lara Clark’s seemingly eccentric idea for a subterranean home, she has shone light and brilliance on her London underground loo conversion project. Especially when you study the numbers. She paid less that £20,000 for a London Loo in Lambeth, and the project cost about £65,000 to complete. At this price, and with the style and imagination shown by Laura, loo conversions may come into vogue.

For our current listing today, we have a most spectacularly guide priced £10,000 offering. There aren’t many things like this that you can spend a penny on and buy so much.

Brief Description:- Detached Former Public Conveniences Building 260 Square Feet Development Potential Subject to Planning Permission.

Loocation: Former Public Conveniences at Pennington Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN4 0SJ.

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide: £10,000. Lot 105 Barnard Marcus Auction – 18 December 2012.

Contact Barnard Marcus Auctioneers Tel: 020 8741 9990.

Online Brochure ….



Bastle Bewilderment 

Bastle House, Cumbria (c) 2012 Smith Gore

A confession – we had to look this one up as none of us had a clue what a Bastle House was. The only suggestion being something one might buy in a side street Soho shop! The proper definition appears to be “a type of construction for fortified agricultural building found along the Anglo-Scottish border, in the areas formerly plagued by border Reivers” Looks like we Scots were revolting a bit way back when!

A nice selection of illustrations of the Bastle House genre appear at …. 

Bastle House Vernacular Photographs Etc.

As for the Bastle House at 1 Low Nest, Alston, this is described by the agent in their narrative:-

A charming 17th Century former Bastle House with adjoining barn in a delightful secluded setting.

Accommodation in brief: Entrance Porch, Kitchen/Breakfast/Family Room, Sitting Room, Four Double Bedrooms, Family Bathroom.

Adjoining substantial stone barn Garaging, Driveway and Gardens Low Nest is a charming former bastle house occupying a most stunning position down a quiet no-through country lane. The house sits in a private position, with only one neighbouring property down the same lane. Adjoining is a substantial barn on three levels with the potential to convert into further accommodation or suitable for a variety of uses, subject to the necessary planning consents.

Externally, the property has a substantial adjoining barn with potential to create further or separate accommodation, subject to the necessary planning consents. The house has parking for several cars and gardens to the side and rear with breathtaking views over the valley below.

Bastle House Views, Cumbria (c) 2012 Smith Gore

Internally, Low Nest has immense charm and character with the potential to modernise and create a substantial family house, holiday cottage or second home. The open plan kitchen/dining/family room provides a fantastic space, ideal for modern day living. A separate sitting room has an open fireplace and south facing views. There are four double bedrooms (the master with a walk-in wardrobe), all served by a spacious family bathroom.

Location: 1 Low Nest, Alston, Cumbria, CA9 3UJ.

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide: OIRO £250,000.

Contact Smith Gore Agencies Tel: 01434 632404.

Online Brochure … 



Hear Ye, Hear Ye

Former Town Hall, Cumbria (c) 2012 Pugh & Co.

Democracy is dead, long live democracy. Or so Cleisthenes might have said. There is something profound about the loss of town halls. Government has been centralising, even regional centralisation, for decades. A lot to do with economies of scale and efficiency savings. Whatever the debate on that, we have here a curious building that might lend itself to a house conversion with a twist. Having managed a similar lifestyle building change ourselves, we would suggest considering a planning application for change of use to a dual function. Part of the building for residential use, and part as a coffee shop. In 1688 Edward Lloyd opened a Coffee Shop in Tower Street, London. Such was the gathering of a particular demographic of the community way back then that from such small coffee shop beginnings, the world’s largest insurance organisation grew – http://www.lloyds.com/lloyds/about-us


 Former Town Hall Interior Example (c) 2012 Pugh & Co.

This is the loss of a Town Hall, but perhaps the seeds of something that serves a significant part of the community. Just a thought. Not least but this is a huge lump of building for £70,000. If you went on parallel lines to Lloyds and your home/coffee shop combo developed well, you might just have a golden nugget in this one.

Auctioneers Narrative:-

The property is situated within Egremont town centre on Main Street at the junction with Market Street. Egremont is located approximately three miles to the west of the Lake District National Park and 4½ miles south of Whitehaven town centre.

Description: Vacant two storey former Council offices. The accommodation is arranged over ground and first floors and comprises a mixture of offices ranging from smaller individual rooms to larger open plan spaces, together with kitchens, WC’s and ancillary accommodation.

Accommodation – approximate measurements:

Ground Floor: 123.70 sq m (1,332 sq ft)

First Floor: 104.63 sq m (1,125 sq ft)

Total: 228.33 sq m (2,458 sq ft)

Location: Former Town Hall, Main Street, Egremont, Cumbria, CA22 2DB.

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide: £70,000 to £90,000. FAILED TO SELL AT AUCTION. Get your haggling hat on !

Contact Pugh Auctioneers Tel: 0844 2 722444.

Online Brochure …. 



Dixon Of Dolphin Hill

 Former Police Station, Dolphin Hill,Winchester (c) 2012 Lambert Smith Hampton

Alright you will have to be of a certain age to understand who the wonderfully decent Dixon was. The actor, Jack Warner’s brilliant and iconic portrayal of a traditional British Bobby is all over the internet 40 years since appearing on television …..


This particular building listed is to complete a promise to a reader looking for a police station to convert in the Winchester area.

The former Hampshire Police Station for sale here, comprises a detached two storey house with single storey annexe of 2,105 sq ft plus 4 garages, on the outskirts of Winchester, on a site of 0.12 acres (0.049 Ha) approx.

Other than that the detail is very sparse. Not even a guide price is given. Some information on this weblink …


Location: Former Police Station, 1 Dolphin Hill, Twyford, Winchester, Hampshire, SO21 1PU.

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide: £ None Given – we wish they would give guide prices please.

Contact Lambert Smith Hampton Agencies Tel: 023 8033 0041.

Online Brochure … 



Please remember, in addition to our weekly Unique Property Bulletin every Sunday at 9pm, our latest monthly feature to help locate property is now out. This special anniversary edition proves how we did and YOU CAN  find and fund unique property to buy. For example this former Gaswork House on the Island of Ailsa Craig ….


 Gaswork House, Ailsa Craig Island (c) 2012 Unique Property Bulletin

£19,000 (2001 price) 

Our current monthly FEATURE has been uploaded and is now available via this link ….

Click Here For Special Anniversary FEATURE


Click Here For Previous Bulletin


and finally….

Mill Winding Down

Rossett Water Mill (c) 2012 Mr Gareth Hughes

Regular readers may recall this wonderfull watermill at £1,250,000. In April we featured it and the price reduction to £1,100,000. We can advise that the price has been further reduced to an interesting £890,000. Telephone 01244 570069 or 01266 660412. Further online details….


and some narrative at ….



However you get on, please consider letting us know about your unique adventures?

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


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If we have missed anything, please email suggestions via our website….

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