Savills | Hill Road, Rocherster, ME1 3NT | Property for sale
23.88 Ha(59 Ac)
Offers over £1,500,000($1,815,750)

Hill RoadRocherster, ME1 3NT

  • Freehold

Key features

  • Former Victorian fort with outstanding views over the River Medway and countryside beyond
  • Defensive fortress built to protect Chatham dockyard
  • Former Guard House with 2 bedrooms, with the potential to create further living space
  • Former Officers' and Sergeants' Mess which has been recently refurbished with three bedrooms and spacious living accommodation
  • Extensive network of underground tunnels and rooms
  • Scope for a wide variety of uses (subject to planning)Around 50 acres of south west facing chalk slopes with viticulture, equestrian or natural capital potential
  • Council Tax Band B

Genuinely Unique

About this property

  • Standing high above the Medway valley at the end of Fort Road lies Fort Borstal. This unique opportunity offers extremely exciting potential to a wide range of potential buyers.

    The Guard House

    A spacious single story dwelling (1.900 sq.ft). The entrance leads into a hallway off which there is a bright sitting room and two double bedrooms. Further on there is a good size pantry/utility space and a bathroom with a walk-in shower. To the rear of the house is a long ‘galley' kitchen with stairs leading up to the ramparts of the Fort.

    To the side are four former large water tanks (1.418 sq ft) two of which have been converted to workshop space they could provide interesting additional accommodation. To the front of the Guard House is a turfed mature garden. The location of the original drawbridge could potentially be reinstated if desired for an additional access.

    Former Officers' and Sergeants' Mess

    Located within the heart of the Fort lies the Officers' and Sergeants' Mess, this is a truly striking building partly built into the earthen defences. It has recently been refurbished and is now the main dwelling (3.019 sq ft). Entry is through the front door to a grand hall with a beautiful black and white tiled floor. Either side of the hall lie a spacious kitchen and drawing room with feature arch windows overlooking the old former parade ground. There are two double bedrooms on the ground floor with a walk in shower, separate WC.

    On the first floor lies the master bedroom with steps leading up to the ramparts which enjoy views over the Nashenden Down Nature Reserve and one of the best outlooks in the whole of Medway.

    Fort Borstal

    Fort Borstal is surrounded by a 12ft concrete wall with firing slots, below which to the front of the Fort is a dry moat.

    At the centre of the Fort are nine former casemates that were used as billeting for the soldiers. They are currently being used as stabling and storage, these offer an exciting opportunity for further uses subject to the necessary consent. To south of the Fort lies the former Officers' Mess that has recently been used for stabling. There is a large parking area to the east of Fort Borstal along with a small secure compound that is currently let.

    Along with the buildings above and below ground there is an extensive network of tunnels and rooms that would have been used to store ammunition in previous years.

    The vendors have used the unique layout and size of the subterranean magazines to create Christina's Bar along with the red room stage, both of which have been involved in various film and music video shoots.

    On top of the Fort lie six former gun emplacements that overlook the river medway commanding some of the finest views.

    The Fort area extends to about 8.3 acres.

    The Land

    The land at Fort Borstal extends to approximately 50 acres much of which is separated into grazing paddocks with small wooded shaws. The soil is chalk based and slopes towards the south west so could be used to create an interesting viticulture enterprise. Alternatively the land could be seen as an environmental enhancement site for buyers looking for natural capital and biodiversity opportunities.

    Equestrian Potential

    There is planning permission for a menage, lunge arena and 19 stables. The permission has been implemented in part.

    View payable Stamp Duty for this property

Local information

  • Rochester 1.9 miles, Gatwick Airport 45 miles, M25 13 miles, central London 34 miles (driving distances approximate)
  • Rochester Station is Station is approximately 2 miles with services to London St Pancras, London Bridge, Victoria, Cannon Street, Charing Cross. Ebbsfleet International is 12 miles distant with regular direct services to London St Pancras from 19 minutes

Additional information

  • Situation
  • Fort Borstal is within 2 miles of local schools both private and state, the High Street with its independent shops, restaurants, cafes, Norman castle, Cathedral, riverside walks and mainline station with high-speed services to London several London termini. There is also good access to the A2, M2, M20 and M25.
  • Background
  • Believed to be the last privately owned fort of its kind and truly unique. Fort Borstal was built following the 1859 Royal Commission on the Defence of the United Kingdom. Construction started in 1875 and the fort was completed around 1895. It was one of a series of four forts that ringed Chatham. It is of polygonal design and was not originally armed, but an anti-aircraft battery was based there in the Second World War.
  • Chris Spofforth, who leads Savills rural agency team in the south east and is handling the sale, says: “Without question, this is one of the most unusual sales I have been instructed on in my career. Not only does it have a wealth of history, Fort Borstal also presents an utterly unique opportunity to acquire a one of-a-kind site that offers an exciting renovation or redevelopment project that brings with it an array of
  • possible future uses. This is a spectacular and diverse property, the like of which may not be seen again.''
  • Directions: ME1 3NN From central Rochester head south on the Maidstone Road. Turn right into Priestfields, then turn left onto Cookham Hill before bearing right onto Hill Road. At the end of Hill Road turn left into Fort Road and the entrance to Fort Borstal Is on the right after about 200 yards. Note: there is a 6' 6” height restrictor at the entrance so viewers with taller vehicles are advised to check their height and enter the property at their own risk
  • EPC Rating = E