Tower House – UNDER OFFER: Noss Head Lighthouse Station

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FOR SALE UNDER OFFER

DETACHED, FORMER LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER DWELLING

5 BEDROOMS

OFFERS OVER: £249,000.

Tower House, Noss Head Lighthouse Approaching Midnight In June.

This is a big house for sale!

If you prefer some certainty in purchasing this former lighthouse keeper’s house, we are advised that the the cleanest offer at or above £275,000 SOLD is likely to receive a positive and contractually solid response, thereby securing your position as purchaser and ultimately the new owner.

Comparable property prices sold via this website for this style of building range between £295,000 and £330,000: Click Here.

To be clear on what is being sold, here is a red outline of Tower House delineating exactly which building is for sale…

Tower House, Noss Head

Lighthouse TOWER Not Included

For clarity, Tower House for sale is outlined in red.

It must be emphasised that the 59 foot tall lighthouse TOWER behind the main house is still retained/operated by the Northern Lighthouse Board (NLB) and NOT included in this sale.

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FOR SALE – UNDER OFFER

Full description section…

A DETACHED 5 BEDROOM, FORMER LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER’S HOUSE – located adjacent to a particularly photogenic lighthouse tower, as can be seen in this aerial picture…

Noss Head Lighthouse Compound, Wick, Caithness, KW1 4QT

Photo (c) 2018 Courtesy of Maciej Winiarczyk

Tower House is directly opposite the main light tower. The courtyard is included in the sale. To help illustrate the internal keeper’s house layout, a floorplan is provided (given in good faith but only as a guide, prospective purchasers need to satisfy  themselves as to accuracy)… 

Tower House, Noss Head Lighthouse Station: Floorplan For Guidance

All of this building and a large garden is for sale: £249,000 – UNDER OFFER.

Room measurements given at foot of this page.

In addition to the detached 5 bedroom former lighthouse keeper’s home, this sale has approximately 0.88 of an acre plot of land (38,481 feet²), including ownership of the main courtyard between the house and the tower. The general curtilage is shown here (subject to final Title Deed/ Disposition document illustrated at the foot of this page)…

Tower House – At Noss Head Lighthouse Station.

Photo (c) 2018: Oracle Drone Services.

Boundary of Tower House land, garden and parking outlined in red.

There is also a rectangular piece of land on the southern side of the driveway (right hand side of aerial photograph above) measuring approximately 43 feet 2 inches on the roadside curtilage with a width/depth of 25 feet 2 inches. This is designated for private parking (the rectangle outlined in red ink) and included within the Tower House sale.

PLEASE NOTE, AS OF 4TH JULY 2018, TOWER HOUSE IS “UNDER OFFER” 

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INTERIOR OF TOWER HOUSE

The beginning of the interior tour of Tower House at Noss Head Lighthouse Station is now illustrated here in photographs taken during May and June 2018. The living room and main kitchen are likely to require redecoration. The building as a whole is currently very comfortable and certainly habitable.

For the internal tour of Tower House, we start at the front door which is accessed across what will be the new owner’s courtyard, leading into the main hallway…

Tower House, Noss Head Lighthouse Station – Entrance Hallway

From this hallway, there are two of the five bedrooms plus the kitchen door and, lounge door. At the end of this corridor is the bathroom/WC door.

We move onto the bedrooms. All have modern large screen televisions (available, along with other furniture and electrical goods via separate negotiation). All have a very good signal and full suite of Freeview and terrestrial television channels. The 4 old aerials from the 1990s mounted upon four tired looning scaffold polls affixed to various parts on the Tower House exterior have been removed and a far more discreet single aerial has been retained. The Sky television satellite dish has also been removed from the property. 

Internally via the BT landline, there is WiFi internet access in Tower House. The internet hub works well in the lounge, and most of the time in all of the bedrooms. Please remember – the walls are up to 3 feet thick, so occasionally the WiFi can go a bit temperamental in one or two of the bedrooms furthest away from the internet router.

Bedroom 1 – Tower House, Noss Head Lighthouse Station  

Bedrooms 1, 2, and 4 have just been freshly redecorated from the 1997 version of interior finish. With new carpets fitted and new beds + new mattresses installed during January 2018. Bedroom 3 had this completed during 2017.

For the current repaint of Tower House, advice, especially in respect to pantone colours has been obtained from the Northern Lighthouse Board (NLB) and related stakeholders/authorities/experts. In addition the current owners have been fortunate in having input from the last lighthouse keepers’ to live in the buildings at the original time of listing. Future owners should be made aware that there are protocols to be observed in relation to what colours you can paint the “Grade A” lighthouse buildings.

^^ Bedroom 2 – Tower House, Noss Head Lighthouse Station ^^

Doorway at left hand side of the photograph shown above leads to a small closet room.

The new pine bedframes and mattresses along with bedroom furniture and wall pictures are not included in the sale price, but a mutually amicable agreement can be reached about including what the new owners may need.

^^ Bedroom 3 – Tower House, Noss Head Lighthouse Station ^^

^^ Bedroom 4 – Tower House, Noss Head Lighthouse Station ^^

^^^ Tower House, Noss Head Lighthouse Station – Main Lounge ^^^

^^^ Main Lounge – Looking From The Southern Doorway ^^^

^^^ Tower House, Noss Head Lighthouse Station – Kitchen/Diner ^^^

The main lounge and kitchen could do with a redecoration, but rather than the current owner inflict their tastes of kitchens and bathrooms on the new owner and risk wasting a money if new decor is not liked by whoever purchases the building, the current owner has elected to reduce their price by sufficient margin from the very similar Tarbat Ness Lighthouse Dwelling – with that having an actual resale figure of £330,000 achieved in 2014…

COMPARABLES

…to a significantly lower price guide for Tower House – the declared guide price of £249,000 (UNDER OFFER) for the Noss Head property. This should give the new owners ample spare funds and grace to redecorate with their own preference.

Notwithstanding future kitchen and bathroom overhaul – the main kitchen and 2 bathroom/shower rooms are currently fully functional and in good working order.

The accommodation has been very well received by family, friends and also Northern Lighthouse Board staff/contractors who have visited and stayed since the current owners acquired this lighthouse home at Noss Head. 

PLEASE NOTE, AS OF 4TH JULY 2018, TOWER HOUSE IS “UNDER OFFER” 

 ^^^ Bathroom & W.C.1 ^^^

 ^^^ Bathroom & W.C.1 ^^^

^^^ Shower Room & W.C.2 ^^^

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EXTERIOR REPAINT

Northern Lighthouse Board Standard.

During June 2018, Tower House was professionally repainted by the Northern Lighthouse Board (NLB) contractors who had also been working on the main Lighthouse Tower.

The NLB quality of new paintwork on Tower House cost somewhat more than a routine repainting, but this has been completed using the Northern Lighthouse Board’s own protocols that they use with their Grade A listed lighthouses and generally lasts between 8 and 12 years…

NLB LIGHTHOUSE TOWER “BEFORE” REPAINT…

Northern Lighthouse Board (NLB) Contractors Preparing Main Tower For Repaint

Photo (c) 2018 Unique Property Bulletin

The Northern Lighthouse Board are renowned for over-engineering their lighthouse building construction and maintenance – and this extends to the NLB high standard of repainting. The current owners of Tower House believe it is well worth emulating the meticulous preparation and painting that was applied by the NLB to the main tower…

NLB LIGHTHOUSE TOWER “DURING” REPAINT…

Specialist & Highly Qualified Rope Access Teams At Work.

Photo (c) 2018 Unique Property Bulletin

This trio of: “before”, “during” and “after” photographs illustrate the work undertaken on the Northern Lighthouse Board’s Tower at Noss Head…

NLB LIGHTHOUSE TOWER “AFTER” REPAINT…

Noss Head Lighthouse Tower: Completed Paint Work.

Photo (c) 2018 Unique Property Bulletin

The NLB paint comes from a specialist supplier and the systems used generally last 8 to 12 years between repainting. This is all the more impressive as lighthouse towers can be situated in some fairly exposed places with “interesting” weather.

Noss Head Lighthouse Tower – Completed Repaint Work: 2018

This tower NOT included in this sale. But it does form part of your beautiful views

In the 1990s when an absentee owner acquired Tower House, it became badly neglected and the building suffered as a consequence. In 1997 Mr Ian Sinclair and Joan Burton bought the property and spent a great deal of time, effort and money restoring the various lighthouse buildings at this site. There was significant liaison with Historic Scotland on how best to protect and restore the neglected building.

Once habitable again, Ian and Joan established Tower House as the “Clan Sinclair Study Centre” within these premises (opening in 1999). This was a B&B with an educational element. Residential courses were frequently run at the property.

Noss Head Lighthouse Station.

Tower House is the large detached building and courtyard immediately behind the main tower. This photograph was taken in March 2017 long before the refurbishment works. The tatty appearance has been banished, as has the derelict caravan!

In 2006 Tower House was purchased by the Earl of Caithness, plus Viscount Thurso and H.R.H. Prince Charles via their registered charity, the Clan Sinclair Trust.

This was to assist those visiting nearby Castle Sinclair Girnigoe and wishing to avail themselves of the facilities at Tower House. As part of the project, Mr Ian Sinclair had a life rent at Tower House and provided archivist plus clan librarian and host  duties at the Clan Sinclair Study Centre in Tower House.

HRH Prince Charles At Noss Head

Adjacent Castle Sinclair dedication ceremony. Between 2006 & 2017, HRH Prince Charles, Viscount Thurso and the Earl of Caithness were custodians of both Castle Sinclair and the Noss Head Lighthouse buildings.

By 2012, Ian Sinclair had become terminally ill and the residential bed and breakfast + educational study centre he had been running from Tower House became challenging for him to upkeep. In 2014 this gentleman passed away at hospital and the building was left empty relatively dormant for 3 years until Viscount Thurso, the Earl of Caithness and HRH Prince Charles took the decision to sell the lighthouse compound part of the estate, and concentrate their efforts and the funds raised by the lighthouse station sale, on the primary project of stabilising and restoring the adjacent Castle Sinclair. Noss Lighthouse compound was sold on 23rd May 2017.

The current owners only require two parts of the lighthouse compound to run their internet websites from. The two dwellings of Principal Keeper’s Cottage (PLK) and Tower House are surplus. PLK Cottage was sold in October 2017 and Tower House is now (under offer) for sale as of June/July 2018.

When the current owners bought the lighthouse compound in 2017, Tower House was looking somewhat forlorn…

Stark Contrast: Can You See The difference?

Tired Tower House (Left). Freshly Refurbished Lighthouse Tower (Right).

The current owners have liaised with architects specialising in historic buildings, along with former lighthouse keepers and the various stakeholders.

The modern exterior lighting and related fittings that had been attached to Tower House after Grade A listing (28th November 1984), such as a Sky television satellite dish, rusted scaffold flagpole, surplus street lights from the M25 motorway were removed…

BEFORE REPAINT

Actual M25 Motorway Lamps Affixed To Tower House

These have been carefully removed and the rust-stained areas made good. The specific Northern Lighthouse Board original pantone ‘bamboo’ colour has been restored to the 1984 official Grade A listing exterior cornices.

AFTER REPAINT

No More Motorway Lamps!

The steel shutters – all affixed to Tower House in 1998 – outwith the Grade A standard process were denuded from the building in order to comply with the 1984 listing. Furthermore, the Northern Lighthouse Board protocols at high quality maintenance have been applied…

“BEFORE” TOWER HOUSE REPAINT WORKS

Tower House: North Gable End Before The 2018 Repaint.

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“AFTER” TOWER HOUSE REPAINT WORKS

Tower House: North Gable End Before The 2018 Repaint.

Many years of low quality paint were carefully removed, and in consultation with the NLB/TRAC experts alongside input from the former lighthouse keepers who worked/lived at Noss Head and/or retired close by, plus invaluable wise counsel from listed building architect experts – the current owners have ensured the building has been returned to the proper and historic state it was in at the time of original Grade A listing.

MAIN ELEVATION OF TOWER HOUSE: “BEFORE” REPAINT WORKS

Tower House Immediately Before 2018 Repaint.

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MAIN ELEVATION OF TOWER HOUSE: “AFTER” REPAINT WORKS

It should be noted that extensive preparation, sympathetic to the structure was followed by a Northern Lighthouse Board approved process of high quality long life paint layers to produce this significant reinstatement to how the building should look.

BEFORE…

AFTER…

Tower House After The 2018 Repaint.

Temporary fence in the foreground to comply with Health & Safety regulations whilst the main tower was being repainted during 2018.

It is of significant good fortune that the main lighthouse tower was being refurbished during a time when Tower House was requiring some sympathetic work.

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ROOF OVERHAUL

The Northern Lighthouse Board/NLB/TRAC contractors resided in Tower House for 5 months whilst they worked on the main tower. This produced several thousand pounds in rent which was then put back into the work required on the house. Particularly the roof overhaul…

Tower House. Photo Taken From Atop The Lighthouse Tower

Specialist Sarnafil Roof. Similar To RNLI D Class RIB Lifeboat Sponsons: Here.

This photograph was taken after the major roof overhaul. Of particular importance has been long overdue maintenance of the chimney masonry and vents. The manufacturer of this specialist flat roof system is a very reputable company called Sarnafil. The estimate is between 5 and 7 years remaining until the next major overhaul.

The Northern Lighthouse Board’s main tower refurbishment is now complete and this iconic building is looking the best it has in a decade… 

Noss Head Lighthouse Tower & Quarterdeck Building

Major refurbishment completed: May 2018

Tower House being painted to the Northern Lighthouse Board (NLB) standard and protocols is aimed at ensuring the paint system will last between 8 and 12 years. This is the longevity that professional paint-work systems on the NLB lighthouse towers usually last for. It costs approximately 30% more than the price of lower quality DIY paint overhauls, but the current owners believe this is the most effective way to ensure Tower House is best maintained for the future.

General enquiries and/or viewings of Tower House, please…

Email: unique at uniquepropertybulletin dot org

Tel/Text: 0793 557 2803.

Landline: 01955 603417.

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EPC CERTIFICATION

The EPC Certification for Tower House is as follows…

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UTILITIES

Tower House has mains electricity plus mains water. There is a septic tank (emptied in may 2018). The BT landline is connected and the building has Broadband and WiFi with a full suite of internet and freeview television access.

Tower House is has oil fired central heating via radiators in each room. This winter’s quarterly bill was £447. It is a very economic system.

Bin collections are made by Highland Council each week, alternating rubbish/recycleables alternating weeks.

Tower House has a “B” Council Tax Band. That translates to a current payment of £99 per month including water (there are no separate water rates in Scotland – it is included in the council tax bill). Local council tax for waste wheelie bins plus all standard services such as police, education, road repairs, transport. In addition there are local doctors, dentists, an NHS hospital, primary and secondary schools.

There is a full range of shops in Wick Town Centre (5 miles from Noss Head lighthouse). Plus major outlets such as Tesco Superstore and Argos, Lidl etc.

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NEIGHBOURING BUILDINGS

From The Left: Engine House + Lighthouse + Tower House + Principal Keepers + Keeper’s Cabin + Barn.

The reason that the current owners bought the Noss Head Lighthouse Compound (on 23rd May 2017) was to secure a suitable office to base their increasingly popular website: Unique Property Bulletin.

This website has been run with just 4 volunteers since 2011 (evolved from the paper format Unique Property Bulletin, originally established in 1992). It is apparent that with 70,000+ readers and several thousand emails each month that the publication needed restructuring so that there are employed staff to help take things forward.

This has been achieved. The requisite office space for newly employed staff is in the former office of Earl Caithness at the Old Engine House which is to the north of Tower House (lower leftmost in photograph above).

As a consequence, Tower House is effectively surplus to requirements. The big house could be kept – however after a great deal of consideration, the family + friends and Unique Property Bulletin that own the entire compound have decided to sell Tower House. 

Tower House, Noss Head Lighthouse Station: December 2017 

Tower House was originally the First Assistant Lighthouse Keeper’s home AND the immediately adjacent Second Assistant Lighthouse Keeper’s house.

Noss Head Tower House has good access to the major town of Wick. There is a full range of shops, schools, leisure/recreational facilities, tourist attractions, the North Coast 500 route, plus GP centres and even it’s own hospital.

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LOCATION + CONNECTIVITY & LOCAL FACILITIES

Connectivity Is Good In This Area

Wick Airport is just a 10 minute drive from Noss Head. It is a very civilised facility with none of the Terminal 5 at Heathrow pandemonium. You can get parked near to the airport terminal without any great hassle, and 3 to 4 scheduled flights a day is not noticeable in the town of Wick nor surrounding areas.

Wick Airport. Flight Destination Information: Click Here.

Onward flights to London, Europe, America & All International Destinations

Wick Airport

It is also worth mentioning that Wick is on the North Coast 500. This Highland route has become a modern day phenomenon and consists of a 500 mile tour around some of the most spectacular and interesting parts of the country.

North Coast 500. Further Reading: Click Here

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EXTERNAL FIELDS

Noss Head Lighthouse Station

Photograph (c) 2017 Oracle Drone Services

There are also several acres of fields outwith the Noss Head Lighthouse Station compound. The new owners of Tower House are welcome to walk around and enjoy these at their leisure. There are some beautiful spots and lots to see and enjoy.

There is an annual £100 prize for the best painting of the landscape, the loch – or indeed any subject, whether lighthouse tower, puffin, flora and fauna, etc.

Other guests roam around these grounds too…

Puffins Make Excellent Candidates For Painting & Photography

Though please don’t get too close to the birds, especially in breeding season when they protect their eggs. Besides, you might not want to look like Tippi Hedren after a date with Alfred Hitchcock (here).

Castle Sinclair Girnigoe: Another Excellent Artist Candidate – Photo or Canvas

Copyright: Grant Golding

Another thing to look out for is Castle Sinclair Girnigoe.

The castle neigbours close to the Tower House grounds and can be visited by an access track just before you reach our main gate. Castle Girnigoe Sinclair is very popular and well worth a visit when you are up here. Further details of the castle: here.

Whilst on the subject of paintings and photography, it would be remiss not to include sufficient photographs of the main lighthouse tower…

Noss Head Lighthouse Tower at Sunset.

A rare picture illustrating the temporary LED lights affixed to the external balustrade. The beautiful main rotating light that has been turning since 1849 was extinguished in 2017.

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NOSS HEAD LIGHTHOUSE – BEAUTIFUL LOCATION

Tower House, Noss head Lighthouse Station, Wick, KW1 4QT.

It isn’t just the lighthouse that is a spectacular building to see. The location is none too shabby either.

Amazing for photographers, artists, bird watchers, walkers, drone enthusiasts, private pilots – Wick Airport is a great wee landing spot just 7 fields away. We have whale watchers, purpoise-peerers, and dolphin devotees looking out over our cliffs to the sea – some days as far as Orkney, which is usually visible from the Noss Head Lighthouse Station.

A crown jewel at Noss Head during winter is the Aurora Borealis. This far north, the purity of vision between the Earth’s surface, upwards to infinity and beyond, gazing at the rich night sky.

 The Aurora Borealis Over Noss Head Lighthouse and Loch Mor

Photo: Gordon Mackie – British Astronomical Association

The Aurora Borealis is a brilliant treat during the mid-winter months at Noss Head. 

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PLEASE PHONE/TEXT BEFORE TRAVELLING UP TO NOSS HEAD LIGHTHOUSES

If, after reading this fulsome page, you would like to visit our lighthouse keepers’ buildings, please PHONE OR TEXT BEFORE coming up.

Tel/Text: 0793 557 2803.

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TOWER HOUSE MEASUREMENTS

Guide Measurements given in good faith. Prospective purchasers should satisfy themselves as to accuracy:-

Lounge: 21 feet 5 inches by eleven feet 5 inches.

Kitchen/Dining Room: 16 feet 10 inches by 11 feet 4 inches.

Bedroom 1: 11 feet 2 inches by 10 feet 10 inches.

Bedroom 2: 11 feet 4 inches by 11 feet 2 inches.

Bedroom 2 Closet: 13 feet 7 inches by 5 feet 6 inches.

Bedroom 3: 12 feet 4 inches by 11 feet 4 inches.

Bedroom 4: 12 feet by 11 feet.

Bedroom 5 /Study/Library Room: 11 feet 10 inches by 10 feet 10 inches.

Bathroom/WC1: 9 feet 10 inches by 8 feet 10 inches (widest).

Shower Room/WC2: 9 feet 5 inches by 5 feet 4 inches (widest).

Entrance Hallway1: 18 feet 10 inches by 9 feet 3 inches (widest).

Entrance Hallway2: 18 feet 9 inches by 9 feet 3 inches (widest).

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DRAFT PLAN FOR DEED/DISPOSITION & LEGAL CONVEYANCE

Draft Title Plan

Tower House, Noss Head Lighthouse Station, Wick, KW1 4QT

Red ink lines denote the boundary.

Shaded orange denotes right to pass over, in perpetuity.

This DRAFT plan drawing provides a reasonably clear delineation of what land is included in the sale. It is given in good faith. Prospective purchasers need to satisfy themselves of the accuracy prior to entering into a contractual purchase process. 

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ENQUIRIES

PLEASE NOTE, AS OF 4TH JULY 2018, TOWER HOUSE IS “UNDER OFFER” 

Text or Telephone: 0793 557 2803.

Landline: 01955 603417

Email: unique at uniquepropertybulletin dot org

Please assemble our email address from description above. This technique is utilised so as to avoid internet email spam hoovers!

Or write to:

Tower House, Noss Head Lighthouse Station, Wick, Caithness, KW1 4QT.

Title: Feuhold: Freehold Equivalent. Feuhold is the best quality of title available in Scotland.

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