Prisoner of war camp tower has been totally transformed into £1million home

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An old prisoner of war camp water tower – which doubled up as a secret communications fortress in the Second World War – is on the market for a cool £1.2 million.

The historically significant building has been renovated beyond recognition into an i mpressive five-storey four-bedroom property.

Tucked away in rural Essex, this water tower just outside of Braintree was a high-tech Marconi signalling hub that acted as an early warning system for the American-operated Wethersfield airbase and other local airfields.

It stood empty for a number of years until 2017, when current owner Jon Oakley and his wife spent several hundred thousand pounds converting the building into the contemporary home it is today.

Jon said: “Both myself and my wife have local businesses and had driven past the derelict water tower at High Garrett for many years. Being avid followers of the Grand Designs TV programme, we always discussed that one day we would love to convert the tower and the land into something very special.

“Once funds allowed us to and when the property came to the market, we immediately made an offer and the rest is history. We had great help from the local heritage department and local residents to get it looking like it is now.”



Now a five-storey home set in an acre of manicured lawns, the property has all the trappings of luxury
Now a five-storey home set in an acre of manicured lawns, the property has all the trappings of luxury

POW Camp

The water tower was originally part of a renowned prisoner of war camp that opened in the summer of 1938. The site housed 700 Italians and was the headquarters for several other POW camps in the area.



The historically significant building has been renovated beyond recognition into an  impressive five-storey four-bedroom property

Jon even found US Air Force knives and ink pots as well as helmets and empty gas mask boxes in the garden during the renovation.

Now a five-storey home set in an acre of manicured lawns, the property has all the trappings of luxury, such as open plan living, en-suite bathrooms and a whole floor dedicated to a dressing room.



The property has all the trappings of luxury, such as open plan living, en-suite bathrooms and a whole floor dedicated to a dressing room.
The property has all the trappings of luxury, such as open plan living, en-suite bathrooms and a whole floor dedicated to a dressing room.



The property has all the trappings of luxury

In one particularly classy touch, the header tank and entrance gates have replicas of the original mouldings that would have stood on the site nearly 100 years ago.

Rightmove’s property expert Miles Shipside said: “This landmark property is a piece of living, breathing history. It’s unmistakably unique and I’m so delighted that it’s been expertly and delicately transformed into a modern family home.”

The property is listed for sale with Zoe Napier Barns and Unique Conversions.



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