Number 1 The Thames up for sale: is it the UK's best address?

Number 1 The Thames

As addresses go, a property which has recently hit the market has a decent claim to being the best address in the UK: it's Number 1 The Thames. The home itself is pretty impressive too: the 150 year old gun emplacement is on a spit of land, off the Isle of Grain in Kent, and is only accessible via a causeway at low tide. At high tide the property is entirely surrounded by water.

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The Grain Tower Battery was built around 1855, and is a bomb-proof gun emplacement. It's situated about a kilometre off the shore, at the strategically vital point where the river Thames meets the river Medway.

The property is currently on the market for just £500,000, but anyone taking it on will have to prepare themselves for an incredible amount of work - in conditions which could be described as a little challenging.

It's not just that the building is a shell and will have to be completely revamped in order to be a reasonable home or business. It's also the fact that it's a kilometre through the mud at low tide and through the water at high tide.

And even if you overcome all the obstacles, and invest all the millions required, you're eventually left with a former gun tower in the middle of a river in Sheerness - which is going to have limited appeal to most people.

However, we cannot discount the fact there are people out there with both the imagination and the funds to make this work. There will be plenty of people who would have seen a run-down Victorian watertower in Kennington as an impossibly impractical place to live, which couldn't possibly justify an asking price of £380,000. However, Leigh Osborne and Graham Voce didn't think so.

They snapped it up, and were featured on the Grand Designs programme spending £2 million transforming it into a dramatic home - featuring a 360 degree view of the capital, a lift serving the tower, and the largest sliding doors in the UK. When they eventually came to sell it last year, they failed to get the £6.5 million they were originally asked for, but did manage to double their investment. Who knows perhaps this gun tower is just waiting for a similar lease of life.

But what do you think? is it worth the effort? Are you tempted?

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