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Sevenoaks: Home still lit by gas in Hillingdon Avenue to be sold at auction

By Claire McWethy

What is thought to be one of the last remaining houses in the country without electricity is set to go under the hammer, on behalf of two charities.

Estate agents from Ibbett Mosely who visited the gas-lit semi-detached home, in Sevenoaks, said it was like going back in time as little had changed since the 1920s when they turned up to value it.

The house, in Hillingdon Avenue, has been in the ownership of the same Baldock family for 70 years and the last resident, Ms Baldock, left the property to Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation when she passed away.

The house is still lit by gas
The house is still lit by gas

The organisations will now share in its value when it is sold at auction later this month.

Dr Robert Wickham, senior Partner for Ibbett Mosely, said: “We visit thousands of houses every year and haven’t come across gas lighting for decades and it’s incredible that the former owner was living in the house with no electricity in this day and age.

"It was particularly surprising to find a completely unmodernised house in central Sevenoaks."

Inside the gaslight home
Inside the gaslight home

Gas lighting of buildings and streets began early in the 19th century. It was widely used until after the First World War, when electric emerged as the predominant source of light in the home.

Mr Wickham added: “We are determined to achieve the best possible price for the charities concerned.

A gas lamp. Stock image
A gas lamp. Stock image

"It is a wonderful opportunity for a first time purchaser or a keen DIY enthusiast to buy at a modest figure and enjoy the improvement that will be achieved. Rarely does one find such an opportunity within the southeast in a prosperous area such as Sevenoaks.”

A neighbour has reportedly given a reason for the lack of modernisation, saying the owner's father did not want the property to be upgraded to electricity as he thought it was "too dangerous".

Houses in Hillingdon Avenue when fully modernised generally sell in the range of £450,000 to £500,000. The guide price for this one is £275,000 to £340,000.

The auction takes place at 2.30pm on Thursday, November 16 at The Auction House in Argyll Road, Sevenoaks.

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