With more than half of first-time buyers prepared to bunk it in a barracks, we pick out the quirkiest homes on sale.

  • By Annabel Dixon

    March 7, 2016 11:50
  • Do you fancy spending time in jail? Cooking dinner at the altar? Or watching TV in a spot where life-changing surgery once took place?

    If the answer's 'yes', you'll be joining a growing queue of buyers thinking outside the box when it comes to finding a new home.

    According to estate agents Your Move and Reeds Rains, more than 50% of all first-time buyers are willing to snap up a home in a former barracks, school or church in order to get on to the property ladder.

    Of course, converted historic buildings can carry significant cachet - and we should know. Here at PrimeLocation, we have a cornucopia of unusual properties for sale, from the kooky to the downright baffling. And buyers are prepared to pay big bucks to get their hands on a slice of history. 

    Here’s our top 9 unusual homes on the market right now:

    1. This former church in London’s Kensington has been transformed into a modern, spacious home, featuring no less than three walk-in wardrobes, a gym and kitchen with Corian Concrete work surfaces. But its key features remain intact – just check out the vaulted ceiling and original stained glass windows. The buyer of this heavenly four-bedroom home will need deep pockets – it costs a cool £10m.  

    Former church.

    2. Decorated by fashion designer to the stars, Ashley Isham, this ex-tram shed is definitely at the more unusual end of the property spectrum. A substantial five-bedroom home is hidden away behind these modest-looking walls in north London. Isham's asking £4.35m for it. 

    Former tram house in London.

    3. Fancy going back to school? This Grade II-listed former school house in Durham dates back to 1850. There’s no mistaking those Gothic-style arched windows. But it’s been brought up to date to create a three-bedroom home with a £399,996 price tag.

    Former school.

    4. If you're not averse to spending time in jail, then look no further. This one bedroom student flat at The Bridewell has hit the market for just £50,000 nearly two decades after the property was decommissioned as a prison. The development offers a little more luxury for current residents, including cycle storage, laundry and gym – and it's über secure, of course.

    Former jail.

    5. This takes some beating! It’s little surprise that this Grade II listed former hunting lodge with a listed tower in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, has been mentioned in leading design books. It is decked out with limestone, oak, marble, slate, stainless steel and glass - and features a media room, roof terrace and swimming pool. It's on the market for £2.5m.

    Former hunting lodge.

    6. This Harrods depository has one of the most plum addresses, in London’s Knightsbridge. The 19th century building was once used to store some of the capital’s finest goods, including wine, chocolate and clothing. Nowadays, it’s divvied up into luxury flats with all the mod cons. And this particular two-bedroom home costs £4.95m. 

    Former Harrods depository.

    7. Once one of the most advanced brain surgery centres in the world, Atkinson Morley Hospital has now been redeveloped into six mews villas close to the charming Wimbledon Village. A four-bedroom home at this chic enclave costs £2.9m.

    Former hospital in Wimbledon.

    8. This Grade II listed former mill has been extensively renovated and modernised yet still retains original features, including exposed stonework, oak beams and roof trusses. The five-bedroom house near Stroud, Gloucestershire, comes with a three-bedroom holiday cottage for £1.95m.

    Former mill.

    9. The original façade of the Maltina bakery in Southwark, south east London, has been incorporated into this new mixed-use development. But don't be fooled. Valentine Place includes warehouse-style homes too. A one-bedroom flat costs £810,000.

    Valentine Place, SE1.

    Which of these historic properties would you live in? Tell us by posting a comment...

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