The Keys To The Kingdom

Example – This Radome & Seaview Property: Sold For £19,000

Would you like one of the secrets as to how we find unique property – location skills that might help you too?

Former RAF Saxa Vord Radar Station (c) MoD

For better or worse, lots of these government owned properties are being sold off due to austerity and cutbacks. Having seen fine buildings become derelict, I believe it behoves many of us to bring them back to meaningful and useful life. 

For this edition of Unique Property Bulletin we have a treat that will be news to quite a few of our readers.

A dry read, but for property aficionados, the big red book is a mouthwatering index of interesting places to buy if, or rather when austerity nudges them onto the for sale list.

We hope this helps spread the word amongst like minded folk, such as our readers. Many of whom are just itching to buy an old, closed government building and restore it. Possibly to an unusual home, perhaps to an interesting hotel, or even a bit of both, a commercial premises for you to run an internet site from, with a house next door to live in.

The Online Red Book Has Over 1,000 Detailed Pages of Government Owned Assets

Seemingly just lines on a sheet of paper, but your domestic dwelling delight may be hidden in the detail 

From all over the UK- London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast, Cornwall, Kent, Wales. Everywhere!

A while back, we got our paws on this massive, telephone directory style index that detailed the assets of the UK. Ministry of Defence bases, radar stations, HM court buildings, job centres, hospitals, airports, universities, museums, forestry buildings, laboratories – a whole range of interesting structures with a steady stream of buildings being sold off. We got a close up glimpse of something which, under normal circumstances we would have bid upon…

MoD Saxa Vord – The Unique Radome Structure. Fascinating

This initial example we have here is something distilled from the pages of the great big red book. In the year 2012 this large area of land and buildings, replete with accommodation block….

RAF Saxa Vord Included A Large 3 Storey Accommodation Block

… was sold for £19,000. Yes you read that correctly: nineteen thousand pounds. Okay this was remote north, but many readers are looking for a place of sanctuary far from the madding crowd. At £19,000 for the buildings, you can actually consider purchasing your own transport and get a pilot included to give you flying lessons until you pass the private pilots licence exam (click here). Many flying clubs have a great deal of fun, but I’ve always noticed some are a little light on having a good destination for flying to – so how about buying your own runway and airport home!

A Unique Property Bulletin Member’s Birthday Present 🙂

The present was a flying lesson – not the airplane! Though after the treat for this junior member’s years’ of free volunteering, he is now looking to trade in his motorcar for a G-BNOF 

IMHO forget paying £300,000+ for a pokey little one bed flat in the city. Instead, consider buying something exotic (Saxa Vord at £19,000) and purchase a plane with just some of what you save in big city prices by living at your own beautiful and fabulously remote MoD air base. If in doubt, have a chat with your local flying club. I’ve always found the aircraft set a great bunch to socialise with – tons of enthusiasm and a lot of love for flying (here). We are just adding some flight destinations into the mix.

From the big book of national assets, we’ve seen other parts of the UK hundreds of miles from Saxa Vord go for similarly low prices.

In this edition, the Unique Property Bulletin is delighted to give readers the heads-up. That big red book, crammed with 1,000 pages of government buildings was originally priced at £72.50. We know, we bought a copy and it was incredibly good value for money.

Better still: for this edition of Unique Property Bulletin we can confirm for your delectation and domicile detection endeavours, the…

National Asset Register is free to access online.

So if you are in the mood to property sleuth and truffle hunt out that amazing new place to convert to your unique home, read on…

The Full Article Appears Later In This Edition.


Regular Bulletin Listings Now Follow


Bargain Barns With Planning

Old Barns, Albion Court, Cilfynydd, Pontypridd

We start this Bulletin with a cheap and cheerful pair of old barns for renovation. A thank you to Andy for sending these into share with folk who are looking to buy a barn.

Old Barns, Albion Court, Cilfynydd, Pontypridd

Planning permission has been granted to convert this pair of old barns into three homes.. Application numbers: 06/1478/10 &12/1165/15 allows the existing barn 1 to be changed into two dwellings and barn 2 into one single dwelling.

The planning allows for conversion and associated parking. This development project is located on the outskirts of the historic town of Pontypridd and is accessed via a modern housing estate in Cilfynydd.

Location: The Old Barns, Albion Court, Cilfynydd, Pontypridd CF37 4JA.

Guide: £65,000. For both barns as one option. Alternatively just one barn can be bought for a lesser amount.

Further Details: Click Here

Google 3D Streetview: Click Here

Google Map Location: Click Here

Archived Details For Future Reference: Click Here

Contact Allen & Harris – Tel: 01443 237667. Please can folk let the estate agent know you found this old barn for sale in the Unique Property Bulletin. Thank you.


Romeo and Juliet House Potential

East Dereham Water Tower, Norfolk

Somewhere, someone, perhaps you, will soon have an amazing adventure with this water tower building. A little bit of the Shakespeare balcony and romance in store.

East Dereham Water Tower, Norfolk

At first sight this is an interesting project. Then your eyes gravitate to the price guide of £190,000 – several folk will tune out, but wait a moment.

What if we advised it had been for sale at auction previously for £60,000. Are you curious? We haven’t seen that much change that can merit a whopping £130,000 increase. Yes it is seven years of capital appreciation, but is this Wonga Water that are selling the place at hyper inflated prices?

A little research by any reader interested in this may be a very good idea. Here are some pointers and links…

17 Feb 2010 – this square water tower was listed for £60,000 for sale direct from Anglian Water Services Ltd – Click Here.

11 Feb 2011 – listed with Rightmove for £80,000: Click Here.

Earlier Auction Entry At £60,000 – February 2010

It is all very well relying on solicitors and architects for wise counsel, but that does not abrogate any of us who buy these unusual places from doing our own homework.

Plus it might save us a few grand. Please don’t barge in saying: but you only paid…. We had one reader who was quite offended by this approach when a brash young man waved an extract from a web search facility showing what she had paid for her house 10 years earlier. It cost him a deal. Delicately does it on the negotiation front.

East Dereham Water Tower, Norfolk

Agency Narrative: Grade II Listed Victorian Water Tower – the square brick built structure (not the white UFO looking thingy). Planning Permission to convert to a residential dwelling.

East Dereham Water Tower, Norfolk

Built around 1881 with plans for an exceptional dwelling. Four storeys. One of only two surviving water towers of its type in Norfolk, it has long stood unused and has been decommissioned.

Address: ‘East Dereham Water Tower’, Cemetery Road, Norfolk NR19 2EU

March 2017 Guide: £190,000Do some research, it might save you tens of thousands of pounds.

Further Details: Click Here

Google 3D Streetview: Click Here

Google Map Location: Click Here

Archived Details For Future Reference: Click Here

Contact Hammondlee Agencies – 01362 69 66 33 – Click Here To Email


Important Communications

Email is great, but we have discovered between 5% to 10% are going astray in spam folders. Or worse – ending up at the lost property office for the vast webworld. All very well if you are sending a random picture of Aunt Mildred at her wedding in 1892.

Spammed Emails: Not so good if your next home depends on good communications.

If you’ve emailed Unique Property Bulletin – or our syndicate property club – and haven’t received a reply within 24 hours, please…

Text Us On: 0793 557 2803

We aim to have our email replies out within 4 to 8 hours of receipt, but as the Bulletin is run entirely by volunteers, we cannot guarantee that our regular rummage in the spam folder for lost messages will find the ones that do get lost in the internet ectoplasm. So if you don’t get a reply, we are not being rude – the email system is just creaking. A bit like Aunt Mildred!

If in doubt, send us a text with your email address and we will get on the case. Thanks.


Somerset Sanctuary

Detached church for sale

The Old Chapel, Misterton, Crewkerne, Somerset

This is a small but nicely formed former Baptist Chapel dating from around 1876. It is located on the pretty village of Misterton in Somerset.

The detached property is of traditional construction with stone elevations having brick dressings under a pitched slated roof. To the rear is a modern extension providing ancillary accommodation.

The Old Chapel – Interior Is In Reasonable Condition

The property would need a change of use planning g permission to convert it into a home

Address: The Old Chapel, Middle Street, Hillview, Misterton, Crewkerne, Somerset, TA18 8LZ.

Guide: £100,000

Further Details: Click Here

Google 3D Streetview: Click Here

Google Map Location: Click Here

Archived Details For Future Reference: Click Here

Contact Perry Bishop & Chambers – Tel: 01285 367132. Please can folk let the owner/agent know you found this old church for sale in the Unique Property Bulletin.


Unique Interiors

Just for inspiration

If you have constipation – just look down! This interesting design feature should help evacuate your bowels 🙂

If you have any unique ideas in this direction and would like to share them, please get in touch: click here.

Whilst on the subject of loos, here is our next U.P.S. club outing…


Property Club News

Old Loo Purchase & Refurbs – What Do You Do?

Unique Property Club Number 20 – Purchase Due To Complete 9th March 2017

Between 1998 and 2007 we ran 18 unique property clubs. Then came the banking crisis so after a chat amongst the members we took a sabbatical. The one year pause became two then three! A few of us did soldier on until 2010, but this austerity malarky has been a major drag on unique property club outings.

The good news is that during 2016 we worked hard to reboot the property club syndicates. It has taken some time to get the legal formalities up to date and compliant with post-banking-crisis rules, but we are now at the exciting stage of our next…

1] Purchase Completion

2] Imaginative Upcycling

3] Resale & Exit Route

The small WC building Unique Property Club 20 has just bought is probably the most challenging project to find a good up-cycled use for. Really! What on earth can you do with an old crapper! The genius person who is in our top ten top architects, Laura Jane Clark gave her loo a heroic shot (here). We will of course share the adventures of the next property club project with readers in the weeks and months to come. Ours is a relatively small building, but has really helped us overcome some big obstacles for rebooting the unique property clubs – to sort out all of the legal protocols and compliance paperwork now required to have future property adventures function properly.

The old loo is likely to become a dog grooming salon. Seems more fitting than sipping a latte at a gent’s ceramic urinal as pictured above. Although fair play to the team who refurbished the old underground loo into an eatery. The publicity they garnered was very good. Also the food is apparently top notch too (click here).

We will let folk know how our own version of a Sir Thomas Crapper project pans out.

On a broader subject of unique property clubs in general – moving forward, we are at an advanced stage with unique property candidates 21 and 24. At least one will now go ahead. The best of the two and most likely to work through to exit-route with speed and grace is a lighthouse compound…

A Lighthouse Station Just Like This Is Being Bought By The Unique Property Club

Unique Property Syndicate 24 – 5 Former Lighthouse Keepers’ Houses

Regular readers, and especially unique property syndicate members will know about our completed and very successful purchase of the Strathy Point lighthouses back in 1999. The property consisted of five houses, but was being sold as one whole block. Our property club bought the lot for £60,000 and the syndicate solicitors split the title up into single lighthouse keepers’ houses. These were much more manageable financially. The gross profit was almost unbelievable, But we’ve published the HM Land Registry Deeds and that proves the veracity of these numbers. Plus it was a wonderful experience full of excitement and a great unique property. Hence our keenness to buy another lighthouse compound, Split it into manageable single houses and resell. Ideally yours truly and at least one other member wouldn’t mind getting “stuck” with one of the buildings. Although getting a nice wedge of resale profit back too has a strong attraction 🙂

Strathy Point Lighthouses. Unique Property Club Number 3 – Click Here For Video

In 1999 we bought this lighthouse compound for £60,000 and in the same year sold each of the individual lighthouse keepers houses…

Total Inbound funds: £121,000. Gross Profit: £61,000.

So with great excitement we can advise our offer for the next lighthouse compound has been accepted.

There is still a little room left in this one for members wishing to join in. Also, as always we have a “first reserve” list. That is where folk go on standby in case anyone drops out. Well worth being on standby as we often have a gap opening up between folk reserving a spot on any given property club outing, and the actual point where we all send the funds into the solicitor.

By the way, whilst on that topic, please can new property club members NOT send us any money or cheques. ALL funds are handled by the solicitors. Between 1998 and 2007 it used to be a good principle of best practice for our unique property clubs – now it’s the law!

So that’s the unique property club news for this edition. Although, last but not least it’s worthwhile mentioning: with the wonders of the internet we now have 251 unique property club members and if you would like to join in the news updates about unique property clubs, please feel free to join our mailing list

Click Here To Subscribe For Property Club Syndicate Updates


Little Money – Lots of Flats

The Old Newport Baptist Church, Alexandra Road, Newport, Gwent

A big thank you to Andy for sharing this property with our readers, A former Baptist Church being with planning permission to convert into five one-bedroom self-contained residential apartments although alternative schemes and uses may be considered, subject to all necessary consents being obtainable.

Location: The Old Newport Baptist Church, Alexandra Road, Newport, Gwent. NP20 2JE

Guide: £65,000

Further Details: Click Here

Google 3D Streetview: Click Here

Google Map Location: Click Here

Archived Details For Future Reference: Click Here

Contact Clive Emson Auctioneers – Tel: 01392 366555. Please can folk let the auctioneer know you found this old church for sale in the Unique Property Bulletin. Thanks.


Annual Bulletin Fundraiser – 2017

In return – hints on how to find unique properties

All Flavours of Buildings + Near To You

Our regular readers are awesome. Each year they help keep this not-for-profit Unique Property Bulletin website on the go. With modest donations and also sending in details of unique properties to share with others. Plus wonderful emails and eccentric discussions about unusual places to live. So this edition we relaunch our annual fundraiser for this year – 2017 – with a neat twist. We have a tasty article to give back to you. So please consider helping the Bulletin keep the old finances and accounts balanced. Just £3.65 for the year. Not mandatory, but those that help are really appreciated. A big thank you and wet sloppy kiss for all who do 🙂

If you are a new reader, please consider joining in and popping a few quid across. This site is run by volunteers, and £3.65 from sufficient numbers of our extended family of readers does keep all the bills paid. This year, in return we have a special article for those who donate…

Click Here For “Secrets”

Especially useful for locating extra unique properties in your local area, and/or the place you are seeking to live.



Premature Enunciation

UKWMO Underground Bunkers

Two UKWMO Bunkers coming up for sale imminently – well as soon as we can muster.

UKWMO ROC Post Ashwell For Sale (c) 2015 Owner's Collection

Typical UKWMO Bunker Surface Entrance.

Easy to miss. It’s just a concrete box with a steel lid on top. But what lurks beneath?

The last edition of Unique Property Bulletin we advised of a reader who has asked us to help him sell two UKWMO Bunkers that he owns. We were a little premature in the announcement of more UKWMO bunkers for sale. The owner is still sorting out photographs etc.

When we get the details to share, they will be posted in the Bulletin without delay. Several hundred of these were built by the government (example list click here). As time goes by and many are filled in by farmers etc., and the value is going up.

Click Here To See An Illustration of A Typical UKWMO Underground Bunker

Courtesy of the talented Mr Bob Marshall


Isle of Man – Standing Stone House

Rock & Roll – Isle of Man

Not too unusual at first sight – then you see the back garden. Your very own standing stone included in the sale. To help make our point with the Standing Stone house – it’s not just the property, but the place that can be unique, we illustrate a little local character. Firstly there is that frisson of the exotic – when you have to take a ferry to get home…

Once off the ferry, you have some brilliant ways of getting around; from the antiquated and genteel pace of a horse drawn double deck tram…

To the hectic pace of an Isle of Man motorcycle TT. As a result, the ton-up gardeners on the island will trim your hedge for free…

On bin day you may even have the irrepressible Guy Martin around to help out. Though he can only use one hand because the other always has a cup of tea in it…

It isn’t just boats, trams and motorbikes that feature strongly on this island. The destinations are pretty good too. From the world famous Laxey Wheel…

This veritable smörgåsbord of unusual elements brings us to the relatively ordinary house for sale…

But even the plain façade here has something unique about it in the quarter acre back garden….

This standing stone in the back garden is legendary and reputed to have been the furthest-thrown giant’s quoiting stone that landed on Cronk Skibylt.

For local folk, the quoiting stone is nothing more than an animal scratching post, for irritant cattle on a midsummer’s day. But when delving into Manx history the stone has more relevance. It exudes magic and mystery by repute. Dating from the Bronze Age, about 3000 years ago. As legends and myths go, the story reveals that the stones were once at the bottom of Mount Barrule at the foot of a giant’s cave! These stones were believed t be playthings for the giants of Mann!

“There were three giants on South Barrule, and they contested who could throw their stone the furthest. One giant threw one to the four roads, the second giant threw his to the Ballacreggan field, and the third threw his as far as Cronk Skibylt. The giant who threw his to Skibylt threw it the furthest.'”

So whether you are on the top patio deck with sea views over roof tops, or private back courtyard – even perhaps wandering around the ¼ acre of back garden of your new Manx home having a barbecue, there is a ton of history to chat about. Alternatively take your shirt off and have a good old back scratch against the ancient stone monolith. Though our own favourite part is the fact this house has a study…

All in all, there is quite a package to do, see, and enjoy about this Manx island home.

Location: Cronk Road, Port St Mary, Isle of Man, IM9 5AS

Guide: £449,000

Further Details: Click Here

Google 3D Streetview (before a fresh coat of exterior masonry paint applied): Click Here

Google Map Location: Click Here

Archived Details For Future Reference: Click Here

Contact Harmony Homes – Tel: 01624 835252. Please can folk let the owner/agent know you found this island standing stone + home for sale in the Unique Property Bulletin. This helps us help you.


To The Manor Born

One of our readers has just launched a website to follow her passion of manor houses. So we are popping a quick link for all those who enjoy the Penelope Keith style of life…

Click Here For Manor Houses Plus


The Real Life Sith

In a galaxy far, far away…

Tigh Na Sith, Valasay, Isle of Lewis

A Bulletin reader sent this small island property to share. It’s more the location and unique crossing that caught our eye. So of the dozens of nominated properties each month, and the fact we have a finite amount of space in each edition, this one has been included for the unusual place where the new owner would live. That and a rather interesting lifestyle.

Tigh Na Sith, Valasay, Isle of Lewis

As to Star Wars and Sith Lords? Not so much. Just the name of the place. But it does have that ring about it. Also, it might seem like another galaxy away in terms of distance.

The Closest You’ll Get Is Star Gazing. No Stellar Wars.

Idyllic living can have interesting challenges as to access. A couple of solutions – You could buy your own helicopter (not as expensive as you might imagine when compared to the saving on the amount of property you have included: 1.48 acres), or you will need your own boat. Failing which it is the transport of choice by the bulk of islanders – the ferry. Having lived most of my life on islands, there is still something magical about getting on a ferry to go home…

Ferry Journey Home To Tigh Na Sith. Maybe Even Cruise In

You Have A Delightful Bridge To Reach Home

Water All Around
This is ideal for someone who loves boats.

Agency Narrative: Detached Home with 3 Bedrooms and 2 Reception Rooms Tranquil island location Panoramic sea views. About 0.6 hectares (about 1.48 acres) in all. Situated across a sheltered lagoon on Great Bernera; part of the Outer Hebridean Island of Lewis.

Even The Local Airport Has A Picturesque Outlook

Tigh Na Sith enjoys a genuinely idyllic setting. The house dates from about 1910. It has been extended by the current owners to provide very comfortable, contemporary accommodation including a delightful spa style relaxation suite with indoor pool and sauna. There is a modern kitchen and refurbished bathroom and shower room. The property is surrounded by very pretty garden grounds and from the first floor is access to a large deck with panoramic views of the Atlantic. In addition to Tigh Na Sith, the option exists to purchase additional land by separate negotiation.

When Home Work Becomes  A Pleasure

Adjoining the Island of Harris to the South, Lewis is the largest of the Western Isles and home to the highest number of inhabitants. The town of Stornoway, the largest town in the Hebrides, has a population of approximately 8,000. Stornoway is also home to the island highly acclaimed secondary school, there are also primary schools, a university and hospital, as well as a wide range of shops, cafés and restaurants.

Splendid Comfort – Indoor Pool

Although The Outdoor Swimming Is None Too Shabby Either

The relatively flat but varied landscape with it s sandy beaches, machair and peat moorland, makes Lewis a popular destination for visitors. It is also a haven for bird watchers and wildlife enthusiasts who enjoy the vast array of seabirds as well as otters deer and eagles.

Tigh Na Sith, Valasay, Isle of Lewis – Modernised & Comfortable

Yet With A Nod To The Old Ways: Wonderful Oven Range

Other attractions include museums, art venues and a brewery, as well as famous local delicacies including Stornoway black pudding, kippers and smoked salmon. Lewis also benefits from regular flights from the island’s airport to Inverness and Glasgow and ferry services through Caledonian MacBrayne which now include Sunday sailings.

Address: Tigh Na Sith, Valasay, Isle of Lewis, Eilean Siar, HS2 9NB

Guide: £310,000

Further Details: Click Here

Google 3D Streetview: Click Here

Google Map Location: Click Here

Archived Details For Future Reference: Click Here

Contact CKD Galbraith – Tel: 01463 224343. Please can folk let the owner/agent know you found this small island home for sale in the Unique Property Bulletin.


Hobbit Home

Garden Office Perhaps?

Just for fun, here is an offering from one of our shorter readers. Estimated at about £4,000 and, subject to planning (if needed: click here) this might well prove to be a wonderful place to write up a new novel you have in you.

Click Here For Hobbit Style Homes


Try Before You Buy

Please note, the unusual property in this listing that follows is NOT currently for sale. It is featured so that readers who like this flavour of abode can study whether it is possible to live here for a while, and if that works out, then graduate to somewhere that you can buy and live permanently. From experience Unique Property Bulletin believe it is important to stay a while at the more exotic or remote places to establish whether such a lifestyle suits you and vice versa.

Treehouse Delight

Do you have an old oak tree to create something sublime, such as this?

Treehouse With Style

Our friend Amanda from London sent this property link in to share with readers of Unique Property Bulletin. A first sight I thought maybe it was in Canada, perhaps even France. Or the glorious Lake District and Cumbria. But no. Upon closer examination, it is a couple of hours from Bulletin HQ. In fact we’ve driven past it when our old office was located in Argyll! So this is definitely on the “to visit” list.

Treehouse Balcony – High Tea – Literally. Plus Mesmerising Views Over The Water.

This is a millennia away from roughing it as a kid in the old rickety thing that Dad built. This fine example is actually a treehouse favoured by newly weds for their stay at the Lodge on Loch Goil, Argyll, PA24 8AE.

Creature Comforts – Thought Perhaps A Log Fire Is Out of The Question.

There is room for guests to visit with you up in the tree branches. Might just be worth making a visit and staying at the Lodge for a nice weekend to gain a powerful piece of inspiration from this exquisite and finely detailed treehouse.

Click Here To See More Treehouse Information


Unique Property Competition

Sponsored By The Real Dragons’ DenClick Here

Guess The Name?

If you can email the correct name of this ball topped tower to us by 30th April 2017 you will win one of three copies of Unique Property Manual. Trebling your chances of a prize from previous competitions. What is the name of this unusual building…

Click Here To Enter Unique Photo Competition Entry Contact Page

The first three correct answer drawn from our competition box after midnight on 30th April 2017 will win.


Architecturally Unique

Please note, in each edition of the Bulletin we feature the work of a unique architect. These properties are usually NOT for sale, but are included to help inspire readers as to the talent that abounds when the mind of a good architect meets the imagination of a unique property person. Something that little bit special is often created by the synergy. Also please don’t worry if the architect is a long distance away from your building site – modern technology has systems expressly designed to bridge what were once significant obstacles to remote design. With broadband, you can acquire international flavour in the blink of an Ipad. Enhanced by Skype and CAD, most things are now possible.

The Cement Factory

From Cement Factory To La Fábrica Home

In 1973, Ricardo Bofill came across an old cement factory. His professional mind was immediately engaged and La Fábrica was started. Now, 44 years later, the vast building has been completely transformed into remarkable unique home.

La Fábrica – Monumentally Magnificent

The wonderful series of amazing photographs on the Bored Panda website have garnered 4,700,000 views. This gives some gravitas to the incredible work and love of his profession instilled into what, by any other measure, was just an old utility building.

Incredible Features of La Fábrica

Flora & Fauna Meets Industrial Cement. A Fabulous Outcome: La Fábrica Home

There is hope in this work for any and many who have a good imagination and enjoy finding new life for old properties..

Our Commended Architect

For this Unique Property Bulletin is… 

Ricardo Bofill

Click Here To See The Full Portfolio of Photographs


Feature Article…


The Keys To The Kingdom

Would you like one of the best secrets to how we find unique property? We hope you do, and that by so doing, we help you too…

The Big Book of UK Property. Many Buildings Now For Sale.

(c) HMSO. Reproduced Under Government PSI Licence C2010002126.

Our hope is that for you, this edition of Unique Property Bulletin gives something interesting to get your property locating skills into. Either in your area, or at a location where you would like to live. With the government’s National Asset Register (NAR) there is a very detailed analysis and index of UK buildings. These range right across government departments with a vast array – Agriculture & Fisheries (waterside assets); Culture, Media & Sport (tourist offices); Lord Chancellors Dept (HM Court buildings – active disposals 2017). In all there are 17 chapters in this major book with 546 pages. The online version has 19 chapters and 1,100 pages and was £120. Now it is free and online. For this article we can but concentrate on fraction of the book’s content; so the MoD section stood out and that is the core of our narrative and illustration below.

National Asset Register Online Version Contents Page

A full array of Government Departments
With the ubiquitous austerity many unique buildings are being sold off.

The size of some NAR MoD buildings/estates may seem overwhelming and you might think they carry a million pound price tag and several acres, but we suggest, based on evidence, there are some interesting bargains to be bought. One example that we salivated over for a while was a Radome and related radar RAF crew accommodation buildings – a whole MoD Base was sold for £19,000. As an asides, if this actual set of buildings interests you, why not contact the current owners. A helpful guide to do this can be found in our Manual (click here).

MoD Saxa Vord Worth Studying. There Will Be More Like This For Sale

Photo Courtesy of Mike Pennington

The other side of the country was another MoD base. For a time this had the second longest runway in Europe. Indeed it is still used as a backup for transatlantic airliners such as 747 jumbo jets. Recently the place has been mooted for a space port landing facility. Yet it was sold for £1 – yes that’s correct, just ONE POUND.

MoD Base At RAF Machrihanish. Sold For One Pound

Two questions arise:-

1] how did that big runway and RAF air base go for a quid? and

2] will there be anymore like that?

For the answer to question one, you don’t get off that easily. We will let you have some fun finding out how a massive base gets sold for £1. As to the second question on other bargains? We can’t guarantee that there will be any bargain pound sales, but we reckon there will be other RAF Saxa Vords. There is a rumour about something interesting in the Devon area. It was reportedly sold in 2012, back up for auction in 2014 and then went quiet! With over 1,000 pages of government buildings there must surely be something close to you that will be of interest?

Devon Bunker Was For Sale In 2012, Then Again In 2014. Again Maybe? Hint Here

Massive Underground Maze of Rooms – Will It Be For Sale Again?
You might have some fun following this one to see if the current owner would sell again?

The National Asset Register has a vast list of buildings and leads. But more than that….

The very important fact must be emphasised – that even when a State owned asset has been sold off, it can very well come back up for sale again. So we reiterate the value in contacting current owners (helpful smaller guide: click here).

Early copies of the National Asset Register cost £72.50. It was a stonkingly big, telephone directory sized paper volume. A heavyweight read. Literally. Full of many buildings owned by the UK taxpayer, from the Palace of Westminster to Stonehenge.

Westminster Palace – What Would It Sell For?

We always struggle to list London buildings; so dynamic and fast moving is the property market within the M25 that when we do feature something, it is usually sold within 2 or 3 days of our publication going online!

It maybe a redundant question to ask what the Palace of Westminster might sell for as it is unlikely the MPs and Lords will countenance a move to a purpose built parliament elsewhere. There is sound logic in reforming the Palace of Westminster. Instead of the taxpayer spending £7,500,000,000 to refurbish this building, why not sell it off for £2,000,000,000 and spend one billion building a new purpose built parliament elsewhere. By my arithmetic, the UK would be £8.5 billion pounds ahead. The Palace is Grade 1 Listed and a UNESCO world heritage site so wouldn’t be going anywhere near t a wrecking ball. Any renovation by the private sector would require to be managed to an exceedingly high standard.

Houses of Parliament – A Large Chunk pf London Worth Billions?

As an non political person I’ve no real skin in what happens to the Palace of Westminster, but after the fire of 1834, parliament was offered Buckingham Palace as an alternative site. This was declined and the new building which is such an iconic part of London was built on the old site. My point? Change happens. The governments of all colours have reformed just about everything else. So how about reforming this building? Reform it to an alternative site and save an austerity weary nation almost ten billion pounds!

Digressed a bit there, but always have radar in tune to London, simply because the Bulletin struggles to find buildings in the capital that stay around for any duration.

Meanwhile, on the theme of radar, we move onto an amazing former RAF base at Bawdsey Manor where the UK version of radar was pioneered…

Former MoD Base At RAF Bawdsey Manor, Suffolk

Not the usual idea of a military base! Sir Robert Watson-Watt pioneered the invention of radar in this building.

This wonderful 142 acre estate with many buildings is close to our hearts. It was virtually the first main unique property syndicate outing we embarked upon. That was 22 years ago. Our club members pulled enough in to bid for this historic and scenic coastal MoD estate, but we were pipped to the post by the current owner.

Former MoD Base At RAF Bawdsey Manor, SuffolK

Aerial picture shows the vast peninsula for sale

Sadly in October 2016, two decades later at this main manor house, and having sold off around a million pounds worth of peripheral buildings, the guy that outbid us for RAF Bawdsey Manor was placed into the hand of an administrative receiver…

Latest Chapter In The Former MoD Base At RAF Bawdsey, Suffolk

Someone is going to have an interesting adventure in Suffolk during 2017 and beyond. There are many buildings included in this sale – ranging from the original ones built by Sir Cuthbert Quilter…

One of The Original Bawdsey Manor Estate Buildings Included In The Current Sale

During the war, the estate was taken over by the government for research into radar and more utilitarian buildings were built to house the service personnel. There are two large blocks of this design included in this sale…

WW2 Buildings At Bawdsey Manor Estate

This particular MoD base captivated the original members of our property-club all those years ago. There is enough to write a treatise on this place outwith the main content of this National Asset Register article. Indeed Gordon Kinsey did just that for RAF Bawdsey Manor (click here). For those considering an MoD property we would recommend studying RAF Bawdsey as a good example on how these projects can work. 

Bawdsey Manor, Woodbridge Suffolk. An Exceptional MoD Property For Sale

Of course the MoD facility at Bawdsey Manor was sold off to private hands many years before publication of the National Asset Register. Even so, our thesis still stands. There are many buildings like this in the big red book. All the properties above were owned by the government at some point our other. With the NAR you effectively have the source code to all that. The keys of the Kingdom.

So in concluding this article we would set a challenge for readers of Unique Property Bulletin

1] Have a read through the free online National Asset Register yourself for you and your family. If you spot something interesting, research in more depth. Enjoy the process of finding an amazing place that you may end up buying.

2] If you spot something you think fellow readers of the Bulletin might like to study, please email us and we shall start the ball rolling (here)

Last but not least of course, here are the free weblinks to help you find something that sets your pulse racing…

Click Here For The Online National Asset Register

or via…

Click Here For The PDF Version of The NAR

If you are old school and prefer the paperback version, they occasionally appear on Ebay or Amazon… 

The National Asset Register

If you find anything interesting and buy it, please let us know how you get on (here). Good luck in your adventures of NARnia.


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