Big surprise hiding inside historic site

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An uninspiring drab brick fort that was once made to keep Britain safe from Napoleon hides an incredible surprise in its interior.

The 19th-century tower on the British coastline doesn’t look like much from the outside, but the three-bedroom property has been described as “one of the most original and soul-stirring modern homes in Britain”.

Inside the fort is a mix of modern and rustic architecture. Picture: Rightmove
media_cameraInside the fort is a mix of modern and rustic architecture. Picture: Rightmove
The elegant spiral staircase is a highlight of the house. Picture: Rightmove
media_cameraThe elegant spiral staircase is a highlight of the house. Picture: Rightmove
The skylights in the house warm up the rustic interior. Picture: Rightmove
media_cameraThe skylights in the house warm up the rustic interior. Picture: Rightmove

With a modern-day drawbridge, two elegant spiral staircases and a wraparound roof terrace, this stunning property is now on the market for $2.2 million.

Situated by the Sussex coast, the views of the sea from this award-winning property are breathtaking — especially since the area is classed as an Area of Outstanding Beauty.

The Martello Tower Y has been described as an “exemplary” property, which was built 200 years ago to protect Britain against the Napoleonic invasion that never came.

The mix of modern and rustic architecture inside make the house unique along with its high brickwall interiors and beaming skylights.

Climbing up the metal staircase, viewers enter into the unusual home where there is a wood-burning stove to cosy up to in the living room.

With high vaulted ceilings, the property has a lot of charm. Picture: Rightmove
media_cameraWith high vaulted ceilings, the property has a lot of charm. Picture: Rightmove
The fort is set in the Sussex countryside. Picture: Rightmove
media_cameraThe fort is set in the Sussex countryside. Picture: Rightmove
The spectacular property has won many awards. Picture: Rightmove
media_cameraThe spectacular property has won many awards. Picture: Rightmove

Each of the three bedrooms is situated between the inner funnel wall and the outer curved wall, while lightwells are found throughout the property.

The spectacular property has its own terrace, which has 360-degree views of the surrounding sea and countryside.

The roof extension, in the words of the designer Duncan Jackson, “echoes the sculptural interior of vaulted brickwork creating congruency between the contemporary and historic”.

Before it was converted into a house, the tower would have been used by troops and coastguards during wartime until it was decommissioned in the 1870s.

Rightmove property expert Miles Shipside said: “This strikingly unique tower is one of the finest conversion projects I have ever seen.

“It beautifully combines its rich history and modern finishes with effortless charm.

The three-bedroom house is on the market for $2.2 million. Picture: Rightmove
media_cameraThe three-bedroom house is on the market for $2.2 million. Picture: Rightmove
The fort was built more than 200 years ago. Picture: Rightmove
media_cameraThe fort was built more than 200 years ago. Picture: Rightmove
Log fires give the property a warm ambience. Picture: Rightmove
media_cameraLog fires give the property a warm ambience. Picture: Rightmove
The roof extension has 360-degree views of the surrounding landscape. Picture: Rightmove
media_cameraThe roof extension has 360-degree views of the surrounding landscape. Picture: Rightmove

“The innovation is second to none and I am hugely impressed by how sensitively the collaborators have dealt with the property. It’s a real gem.”

After the conversion in 2010 by the architect Stuart Piercy, the property has been given a string of prestigious accolades, including the RIBA Award of 2010.

Other forts built in the same period have also been on sale after being converted into stunning houses.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission

Originally published as Big surprise hiding inside historic site

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