WWII radar base up for sale: it's much more beautiful than you'd expect

Seaside manor up for sale for £5 million

Bawdsey Manor from the sea

A Suffolk mansion with a fascinating wartime history has come on the market with a price tag of £5 million.

Bawdsey Manor was home to the world's first fully operational radar station and coordinated the RAF's response during the Battle of Britain.

It was targeted by the Luftwaffe, and survived a dozen bombing raids thanks to earth revetments, a reinforced roof and concrete walls.

The Grade II* house sits in 144 acres with its own beach access, and comes with a number of quay-side cottages and other buildings, as well as a water sports centre, slipway and café.

A reception room at Bawdsey Manor

There are formal gardens that are listed in their own right, and features such as a cliff garden built with man-made rock, an octagonal tea house and a sunken garden created from the remains of a Martello tower.

Built in the late nineteenth century, Bawdsey Manor was bought in 1936 by the Air Ministry for £24,000.

The house then became a research station, with stables and outbuildings converted into workshops and a number of receiver and transmitter towers built.

It continued to be used as an RAF base until 1990, when it was sold and became a boarding school for international students - although the transmitter block was turned into a museum.

Plaster ceiling at Bawdsey Manor

Up for sale through agents Knight Frank, the much-turreted building extends to more than 27,000 square feet, including a galleried Great Hall with panelled walls and leaded windows.

Other large reception rooms include one with leather-lined walls, and there are numerous elaborate plaster ceilings and original fireplaces.

The property's said to be in excellent condition, and is available as a number of lots. While it may still have a future as a school, it's more likely to become a hotel, wedding venue or conference centre.

Artificial cliffs at Bawdsey Manor

Properties with wartime connections are coming on the market more frequently, as the Ministry of Defence sells off its surplus land.

Two years ago, the former Brompton Road London Underground station, which was used as a Second World War command centre, was sold for £53 million, and is now being converted into luxury flats.

Recently, it was announced that 13 Ministry of Defence sites were to be sold for housing, including RAF base in Bedfordshire, several barracks around the country and ex-World War Two airfields in Oxfordshire and Wiltshire.

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