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Victorian Fort Borstal on River Medway for sale with Savills for £1.5 million


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A Victorian fort used in various film and music video shoots has been put up for sale for £1.5 million.

Designed to hold the high ground southwest of Rochester, Fort Borstal was the base of an anti-aircraft battery during the Second World War and has an extensive network of underground tunnels and rooms.

Could this be your new home? Photo: Savills
Could this be your new home? Photo: Savills

The fort is believed to be the last under private ownership and the auction is described as an "utterly unique opportunity".

Set within around 50 acres in total the Fort - of polygonal design - enjoys panoramic views overlooking the River Medway and even has Napoleonic pathways within the grounds.

The Fort itself extends to approximately 8.30 acres and comprises The Guards’ House, a two-bedroom home which has the ability for further accommodation to be created, and the Former Officers’ and Sergeants’ Mess, which has undergone a recent refurbishment and provides spacious living accommodation.

At the front The Guards’ House is a small turfed garden and to the side are four former large water tanks, two of which have been converted to workshop space and they could provide interesting additional accommodation.

Within the heart of the fort lies the Officers’ and Sergeants’ Mess which, partly built into the defences, comprises a wide entrance hall off which there is a spacious kitchen and a drawing room, both with feature arched windows overlooking a courtyard.

A hallway inside the expansive Fort property. Photo: Savills
A hallway inside the expansive Fort property. Photo: Savills
Inside the fort there are various living areas and break rooms. Photo: Savills
Inside the fort there are various living areas and break rooms. Photo: Savills
The kitchen area. Photo: Savills
The kitchen area. Photo: Savills

There are two bedrooms and a shower room that houses a recycled shower.

On the first floor lies the main bedroom with steps up to the ramparts which enjoys views over the Medway valley.

At the centre of the Fort are nine former casemates - once used as billeting for the soldiers based there - which are currently being used as stabling and storage.

There is also a large parking area to the east of the site which has recently been renovated along with a small secure compound that is currently let.

The owners, who are looking to downsize after a labour of love spanning two decades, have used the unique layout and size of the subterranean network to create a number of spaces that have been used in various film and music video shoots in recent years.

One of the main bedrooms inside the property. Photo: Savills
One of the main bedrooms inside the property. Photo: Savills
A bedroom inside Fort Borstal. Photo: Savills
A bedroom inside Fort Borstal. Photo: Savills
A kitchen area. Photo: Savills
A kitchen area. Photo: Savills

To add to the intrigue, the tunnels lead down to the old magazine chambers where the owners have created their own private bar and entertaining area.

Chris Spofforth, who leads Savills rural south east team, said: “Without question, this is one of the most unusual sales I have been instructed on in my career.

"Not only does it have a wealth of history, Fort Borstal also presents an utterly unique opportunity to acquire a one-of-a-kind site that offers an exciting renovation or redevelopment project that brings with it an array of possible future uses.

"This spectacular and diverse property, the like of which may not be seen again, is complemented by the viticulture, equestrian, natural capital and leisure potential of the sale, subject to the necessary consents.

“Communications across Kent have improved significantly in recent years and the area is particularly popular, not only in terms of the property market, but with both domestic and international tourists with its proximity European transport links and to the Heritage Coast.

"There is such outstanding variety and opportunity within Fort Borstal and we are anticipating a very high level of interest from across a wide spectrum of potential buyers.”

At the front The Guards’ House is a small turfed garden. Photo: Savills
At the front The Guards’ House is a small turfed garden. Photo: Savills
The fort property is set within around 50 acres. Photo: Savills
The fort property is set within around 50 acres. Photo: Savills

Last year, Kent's Heritage Coast was named one of the best places to visit in the entire world according to travel experts Lonely Planet, who named the Kent coast as the 4th best region to visit in their prestigious annual "Best in Travel" awards.

Viewings for Fort Borstal are strictly by appointment through Savills. For more information click here.

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