A gorgeous 19th century property in Hastings Old Town, East Sussex, has gone up for sale for £1.5million – and it’s got some pretty unusual features to justify that price tag.
The house is built into the sandstone bedrock of the West Hill, overlooking stunning views of the shoreline, and was part of a network used as a bomb shelter during World War II.
And it has its very own cave. That’s where the bathroom is, because where better to lounge in a bathtub than a cave?
In its former life, The Grade-II listed West Hill Villa had links to the network known as St Clements Caves, which have served as a hospital, an air-raid shelter, a ballroom, and a music venue.
The earliest written reference to the caves tells the story of a couple who lived inside the area in 1783, then in the 1820s they were rediscovered.
In 1864 the caves became a tourist attraction, until World War II, when they served as air raid shelters.
Finally, the villa was built on the side of the caves, complete with a 90ft orangery where Captain Cook kept plants during his voyages before they were transported to Kew Gardens.
Now, West Hill Villa is a secluded – and very cool – home that spans over 2,928 sq ft.
Inside, the ground floor features large arched windows offering sea views, and access to that famous orangery.
The orangery is home to a fish pool, grapevies, banana trees, and other exotic plants, so it’s pretty special.
To the rear, the ground floor has areas within the caves, including the stunning bathroom and a dedicated meditation area.
There’s also a large kitchen, which leads you to an internal couryard with wine storage.
Head up the spiral staircase and you’ll find the first-floor galleried mezzanine, which could serve as a dreamy office space or a second living room.
This floor also has a bathroom and a secret staircase that takes you up to the third floor, where there are two bedrooms (both with sea views, of course, and iron balconies).
Go up to the fourth floor and there are two more double bedrooms complete with original Georgian features, such as sash windows, plus a storeroom flooded with natural light from the skylight, another bathroom, and a utility room.
Outside, the home has a south-facing garden with a lawned terrace, a vegetable garden, and a raised seating area where you can sit and take in the seaside surroundings.
The property is for sale through Unique Property Company, with an asking price of £1.5million.
The listing describes it as ‘probably the most beautifully situated house in Hastings Old Town’.
‘This is a home unlike any other and has a romance about it – partly because of its history and partly because of its unique position and remarkable internal accommodation,’ it adds.
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