Flat with stunning river views sells for just £1 because no one can access it

Jimmy Nsubuga
·2-min read
TThe property (in between Bridge Ins and Tasty China) in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire (Picture: SWNS)
The property (in between Bridge Ins and Tasty China) in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire (Picture: SWNS)

A town centre flat with stunning river views has sold for £1 because no one can get to it or knows what’s inside.

The property consists of one 129 sq ft room with no doors - nestled between shops above a high street in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire.

It has one long window at the front overlooking a river and far-reaching views over the picturesque town.

But there is no access via stairs and the room above an alleyway is boarded up - so no-one knows what is inside.

There is also no record of anyone ever having used it or lived there.

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The property sold for just £1 (Picture: SWNS)
The property sold for just £1 (Picture: SWNS)

Despite its limitations, it was sold at auction by Norfolk-based auctioneers William H Brown, with an initial guide price of £100.

But this guide price dropped to £1 at the last minute - and a local unnamed businessman snapped it up.

The contents and condition of the unusual property remain a mystery as even the auctioneers were unable to access it.

When it first went on their books, auctions partner Victoria Reek described it as "certainly one of the weirdest ones we've had at auction", and admitted it was "probably just full of cobwebs".

The unusual property, located at 5-6 Nene Quay, is in a terrace of old buildings, believed to have been built as granaries or shops in the 16th century.

Today, it sits between Tasty China restaurant at number 5, and Bridge Insurance office next door.

The property has brilliant views (Picture: SWNS)
The property has brilliant views (Picture: SWNS)

Fenland District Council, which has owned it since 1966, put it up for sale alongside other "surplus properties" with Norwich-based auctioneers William H Brown.

The auctioneers said it was the cheapest they had ever seen a property sell for.

But the buyer will have paid more in fees than the actual price of the property, paying around £1,000 in total and no doubt paid for the lot in full rather than simply putting a deposit down.

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The room is above an alleyway (Picture: SWNS)
The room is above an alleyway (Picture: SWNS)

The auction details state: "This is an opportunity to acquire a flying freehold which extends over part of a vehicular access passageway and comprises a single, currently inaccessible room, measuring approximately 12 sqm.

"There is limited information and we have not, at this stage, gained access."

A 'flying freehold' means it has no structure underneath but extends over a passageway.

Flying freeholds are most common where an older, large building has been converted into several smaller properties.

At some point, the room may have belonged to the building next door but somehow got separated over time.