And now for something completely different. The chance to live in The Gazebo Tower in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire.
Yes, it is your chance to live in what looks like a mini castle, but it is undeniably a local landmark and a property with a bag of character. Houses like this don’t come up often.
The Gazebo Tower, which was originally named Collins Tower, is a grade II-listed building, built in Palace Pound in 1833 along with the Mock Gothic Walls as part of the construction of Wilton Road.
It was built as a viewing point over the picturesque Herefordshire market town, as well as being one of several developments undertaken by the ‘Town Improvement Commissioners’ and the ‘Turnpike Trustees’, to continue the work by the famous philanthropist, John Kyrle, to ‘beautify the town and its surrounding landscape’. So old, but perhaps not as old as you might initially think.
It is arguably the county’s most famous folly tower and offers panoramic views across the famous horseshoe bend of the River Wye, the Black Mountains of southeast Wales, the iconic spire of St Mary’s Church, Chase Wood and Ross-on-Wye’s assorted architecture.
In 2001, Herefordshire Council, which owned the tower, put it up for sale. It was described as ‘an empty shell’, with its own floor accessible by ladder. When it was purchased, its new owners initially used the tower as a picnic spot, taking in the views as they ate. But after a couple of years, they decided to make more use of it.
They asked three architects to draw up plans to transform the tower’s interior, choosing a design by Tony Davis Associates from Halesowen in the West Midlands. That design aimed to make the most out of the natural light while keeping each circular room ‘sizeable’. It was completed in 12 months back in 2008.
I suspect little has changed since, with perhaps the exception of the furnishings and fittings.
The kitchen and cloakroom are on the ground floor, and a spiral staircase winds up to the lounge on the first floor. The walls between the staircase and the rooms are fitted with fire-retardant glass to let in light from the original arched windows.
The bedroom on the second floor has an en-suite wet room, and another spiral staircase takes you up to the battery-operated roof hatch and, of course, the 360-degree view of Ross-on-Wye and the surrounding countryside over the tower’s turrets.
In recent years, the Gazebo Tower has been used as a holiday home, as well as being an open house to raise money for charity. There is potential as a holiday let still I imagine. But it would also be a very quirky home, should you like the idea of living in something as quirky as this all year round.
Whatever you do with it, The Gazebo Tower is on the market with Hamilton Stiller Estate Agents right now with a guide price of £425,000.
Images and details courtesy of Hamilton Stiller. For more details and to make an enquiry, please visit the website.