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PHOTOS: Britain's only desert is on the market for €2m

Looking for a fixer-upper?

THE DUNGENESS ESTATE, a barren 468-acre landmark located on the south coast of England, has gone on the market for £1.5 million (about €2 million).

The estate, listed by Strutt & Parker, lies near Kent. It’s the only location in the country to be officially classified as a desert by the Met Office.

The eerie landscape, which last went on the market over 50 years ago, has become a tourist attraction famous for its bleak features unlike any other part of Britain.


The desert’s distinctive and undisturbed landscape is mostly shingle, sand and patches of overgrown foliage, with scatterings of old fishing huts, houses and railway coaches.


Despite it being seemingly deserted at first glance, the site is teeming with wildlife. It’s considered to be of international interest and conservation importance for its “plant and invertebrate communities” and birdlife.


One of the few, and largest, functional structures in the area is the famous Dungeness Power Station.


The power station looms over the near-desolate land and can be seen from almost anywhere on the estate.


Property on the estate is reasonably priced. A three-bedroom house, originally built for military personnel, can now be rented for £400 (€560) a month, according to The Guardian.


Residents who live here are attracted to the peace of the lonely peninsula and say Dungeness Power Station’s “hum” is a soothing comfort.


The vast expanse of land was bought from Southern Railway by G T Paine, who created the estate in 1964. In a press release issued by Strutt & Parker, trustee of the estate, Maurice Ebe, said:

The estate has been in a family trust for many years and it is with some sadness that the trustees have decided it is time to sell.

The buyer of the estate stands to make a healthy profit over time. It generates more than £130,000 (€195,000) per year from a range of leases and licenses such as fishing agreements and tenants of the on-site homes.


Ebe says she has known the landscape intimately for 40 years and “never fails to be moved by it” on her regular visits.


Remnants of its past as a Southern Rail transit hub still remain.


It had a once-thriving fishing industry: 30 to 40 years ago the peninsula’s community was mainly made up of fishermen and their families.


Other than the power plant workers, estate residents and the occasional tourist, it’s rare to see any other signs of human life.


“I can safely say, that in my 25 plus years at Strutt & Parker, I have never sold or will ever sell, anything quite like the Dungeness Estate,” said Mark McAndrew, head of Strutt & Parker’s estate and farm sales.


All images: Strutt & Parker

- Charles Clark

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