The Spitalfields Historic Buildings Trust, which rescued some of the East End’s most endangered buildings in the 1970s, is this month to unveil the results of its biggest-ever restoration project.
Shurland Hall on the Isle of Sheppey will go on the market with a price tag of £2 million - making it the most expensive house ever offered in what is a remote corner of north-east Kent.
The building was originally the gatehouse to a grand Tudor house, where it is thought Henry VIII spent his honeymoon with Ann Boleyn. Until the trust intervened it was close to collapse having been left unoccupied since the Second World War when it was commandeered as an army billet.
With the help of a £300,000 grant from English Heritage, £1 million of the trust’s money, and a £600,000 loan from the Architectural Heritage Fund, the Hall has been rebuilt as a five-bedroom, three-bathroom house.
It is being sold as a shell so the new owner can fit out the kitchen and bathrooms to their taste. The house comes with a walled garden and nearly 10 acres of land. Below an unprepossessing iron shed are the remains of a Tudor brick barn, which has planning permission for conversion into several cottages.
For many visitors, the Isle of Sheppey has an end-of-the-world feel about it and much of its landscape is blighted by heavy industry and the march of electricity pylons, which stride across an often bleak landscape. But, Shurland Hall, on the outskirts of the village of Eastchurch is set in a hilly rural enclave and from its top floors has fine views across water meadows to the sea.
A new bridge on to the Isle of Sheppey, which opened in 2006 has cut the journey to the City via the M20 to about an hour, so the trust is hoping its latest offering may attract a City buyer with a City bonus to spend.
After the three-year restoration programme, the trust’s Tim Whittaker, says he hopes Shurland Hall will be sold to an owner who can cherish it: “We are really chuffed to have done this. Other people had tried but we were the first to put a realist plan in place.”
For more information, call Jackson-Stops & Staff (020 7664 6644).