No 1 is part of an 1820s terrace of eight officers' houses designed by one of Britain's foremost engineers, Sir John Rennie, and George Ledwell Taylor, architect to the Navy Board. The terrace makes a fine composition, the vista Thamesward terminated by the fine masculine dockyard church, built in yellow brick and sandstone and entered through a grand portico of free-standing Ionic columns.
The houses, too, are just as masculine, solidly built by dock workers, their 100 foot gardens protected on either side by robust dock walls. A bonus is the remarkable state of preservation: all the houses in the terrace were tenanted by navy officers from the time they were built until the Royal Dockyard closed in the 1960s, and thereafter they were occupied by tenants of the commercial dock. As a result, the internal features, maintained in shipshape condition by the Royal Navy, are almost completely intact - instead of moving in furniture for each new occupant, the Navy provided fitted furniture, all of which is still there. For the house detective, it offers the perfect clue to how the houses were originally used.
It's hardly surprising, then, that Naval Terrace, and the wider historic dockyard, are attracting the attention of architectural historians and restoration buffs who scent an opportunity to repeat the experience of London's Spitalfields, where prices were once affordable but now border on the stratospheric. Indeed, the Spitalfields Trust has been quick to buy one of the Naval Terrace houses. It's a chance too to buy into an area redolent of the glory days of the Royal Navy. Sheerness dockyard was originally laid out in 1665 and the present layout dates from the first two decades of the nineteenth century. There is still a wealth of historic buildings, twenty-five of them listed. 1 Naval Terrace benefits from being at the end of the terrace, with the extra windows on the side elevation allowing light to flood in to the later Victorian bay and from the roof (accessible to those with a head for heights) there are fine views across the Thames estuary to Southend and, in the near distance, to Sheerness-on-Sea's bathing beach, just five minutes' walk away.
Accommodation includes five bedrooms, three principal reception rooms, four bathrooms and a kitchen/utility room. All the internal features are intact, from the dogleg staircase with its continuous mahogany handrail, iron balusters and soaring skylight to the panelled shutters and the cosy kitchen range, still used by the present owner to make delicious rice puddings and to heat her smoothing iron in true eighteenth century fashion. For those who prefer more modern conveniences, a 24 hour Tesco is within easy walking distance.
- Property Type:
- Number of Bedrooms:
- Property Size:
- - 3262 square feet
- - 303 square metres
kitchen/Breakfast Room: 10'7'' x 14'7'' (3.3m x 4.3m) Dining Room: 13'11'' x 10'7'' (4.2m x 3.2m) Store Room One: 7'4'' x 6'10'' (2.2m x 2.1m) Store Room Two: 7'11'' x 7'11'' (2.4m x 2.4m) Store Room Three: 11'7'' x 7' (3.5m x 2.1m) Hallway: 13'11'' x 9'4'' (4.2m x 2.8m)
Reception One: 14'4'' x 11'2'' (4.4m x 3.4m) Reception Two: 14'4'' x 11'2'' (4.4m x 3.4m)
Bedroom Three: 14'7'' x 11'6'' (4.4m x 3.5m) Bedroom Four: 14' x 11'4'' (4.3m x 3.5m) Dressing Room: 12'5'' x 7'10'' (3.8m x 2.4m) Spare Room: 16'6'' x 7'10'' (5.0m x 2.4m)
Bedroom One: 14'2'' x 12'6'' (4.3m x 3.8m) Bedroom Two: 15'3'' x 10'8'' (4.7m x 3.3m) Bedroom Five: 12'3'' x 8'4'' (3.7m x 2.5m)