Estate agent seeks to sell tower

A London estate agent has written to the Tower of London to offer its selling service. Addressed to the ‘legal owner’, the letter said the company was valuing property in the local area and buyers and tenants were waiting for new homes in the area.

The official address of the Tower is Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress, The Tower of London – perhaps if they had correctly addressed the letter Foxtons might have realised their mistake.

Thirty six Yeoman Warders, or Beefeaters as they are known, live in the grounds of the Tower of London with their families. They include Spike Abbott and his wife Lisa, who have lived in their two bedroomed flat at 22 The Casements, Tower of London, for six years. On receiving the letter, Mr Abbott tweeted:

“Thanks for the very kind offer @foxtons to sell or rent out the 12th century property that HM Tower of London provide me with, however, I think it may raise a few eyebrows when your sign appears outside my house.”

The replies rolled in, some suggesting that offers to upgrade the conservatory and double glazing would be next, and asked whether the building had planning permission for an extension or off road parking.

In November 2012, a lapse of security led to the keys being stolen. Although apparently none of the keys were for high security buildings such as the Jewel Tower, the locks were changed.

The Yeoman Warders and their famous ravens give tours of the Tower of London to over three million tourists every year, but historically the job entailed guarding the gates and, of course, Crown Jewels, and later the royal prison.

The fortress that is the Tower of London was first built by William the Conqueror in the 1070s. It was extended by Henry III and Edward I, who built the defensive curtain wall and a series of additional towers.

For 500 years it was used by England’s kings and queens as a luxurious palace, and for 800 years was used as a prison for their enemies and rivals. Only 22 executions have taken place inside the Tower of London, the last a German spy in August 1941.

The Tower was home to the Royal Mint until 1810, and was used as the Royal Armoury until the 1800s. The Royal Menagorie (zoo) held animals including lions, an elephant, a polar bear, tigers and kangaroos until it was closed down by the Duke of Wellington in 1835, when the animals moved to London Zoo in Regents Park. It still houses the Crown Jewels, estimated value more than £20 billion, which are protected by a garrison of soldiers.

There are in fact 21 different towers on the 12 acre site, including the Bloody Tower, in which 12 year old prince Edward V and his younger brother Richard, Duke of York, were murdered in 1483 by their uncle who became Richard III.

Although we appreciate it probably won’t be put on the open market, we thought perhaps one of our independent Chartered Surveyors might provide a survey to assess the risk of flooding, particularly due to the site’s riverside location?