Tower used to defend Portsmouth becomes one of Britain's most valuable homes

A brick house with a hot tub on the roof and balcony area
The tower was originally used in Tudor times to protect and warn of potential invaders but has now been transformed into one of Britain's most expensive houses (Image credit: Channel 4)

A former sea defence tower on the coast in Portsmouth has been transformed into one of Britain's most lavish homes.

The house which is owned by retired policeman Mark, and is also featured on Channel 4's 'Britain's Most Expensive Houses', offers views of Portsmouth Harbour, the Solent, and the Isle of Wight. Not to mention being a rather unusual and interesting place to live, bursting with history.

Nestled within the historic conservation area of Old Portsmouth, this house showcases what can be achieved when renovating a house and is now up for sale for £4.95 million.

Built in area used to defend against invaders

Although the home itself was only built in 2004, the area the house was built is of significant historical importance.

The home was built in a shipping yard in Portsmouth and was a key post for the defence of the harbour from enemies and was home to the Royal Navy.

Centuries ago during the reign of Henry VIII invading ships were kept out from the harbour using a long chain known as "the wall" which could be raised in order to block the entrance to the harbour using two towers on either side of the port's entrance.

The area is also where Nelson walked before setting off on the Battle of Trafalgar, and a statue in his memory is along the walk to the house.

Lift installed to access each of its four floors

The home makes use of the full size of the tower, unfolding across four floors inside with a lift for movement between the levels. 

The entrance hall leads to the ground floor where there's a living room with access to a two-tier waterside terrace. 

A semi-circular dining room and study area meanwhile give 180-degree water views which Mark confessed: "I spend many hours looking out the window rather than actually doing work."

The oak kitchen and breakfast room come with a kitchen island as well as an AGA and black granite worktops. There's also a utility room, cloakroom, boiler, and security control room that are accessible from the hall. The ground floor is finished with Karndean flooring throughout with nautical-themed motifs as a nod to the home's history.

En suite bedrooms and balconies galore

This is a home with plenty of en suite bathrooms. All three bedrooms on the first floor have them. The bedrooms have a pretty decent view too, being able to see out right across Portsmouth's harbour. 

The principal suite though is Mark's favourite due to its balcony and the fact "you can sit right at the water's edge." John Fisher also stated: "It's a lovely room. Lovely proportion, its light and with that view... I could have this one."

Meanwhile, on the second floor, there's a galleried landing with access to the main terrace. This floor is also where the master bedroom suite is, which has its own private balcony and large bathroom. 

Rooftop hot tub and views

From the main terrace, an external staircase leads to the roof terrace, where you can unwind in the swim spa while relishing the mesmerising 360-degree views of the Solent, harbour, Isle of Wight, and the iconic Spinnaker Tower.

The home is also equipped with gas central heating, double glazing, a video entry phone, a CCTV security system, and an integrated Bose sound system.

This property offers brilliant home renovation ideas for your project.

Joseph Mullane
News Editor

News Editor Joseph has previously written for Today’s Media and Chambers & Partners, focusing on news for conveyancers and industry professionals.  Joseph has just started his own self build project, building his own home on his family’s farm with planning permission for a timber frame, three-bedroom house in a one-acre field. The foundation work has already begun and he hopes to have the home built in the next year. Prior to this he renovated his family's home as well as doing several DIY projects, including installing a shower, building sheds, and livestock fences and shelters for the farm’s animals. Outside of homebuilding, Joseph loves rugby and has written for Rugby World, the world’s largest rugby magazine.