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Perfect Timing

18.11.21

Weston Homes has announced the launch of the spectacular 2,088 square foot three bedroom Clock Tower Penthouse, whose history combines Royalty and a stolen Russian bell, located in the 109 feet tall clock tower on the top of The Cambridge, the central building at Gun Hill Park, which includes the transformation of the Grade II listed Cambridge Military Hospital in Aldershot into a new address providing a total of 140 apartments and houses.

The most striking and unique penthouse launched in 2021 outside of London, the Clock Tower Penthouse skillfully combines contemporary living spaces with heritage features, providing accommodation over six floors starting with a main lower level located across part of the top floor of The Cambridge apartment building. This main first floor provides a striking entrance hall forming a long gallery, staircase, spacious living room, family kitchen with dining area, the principal bedroom suite, with a walk-in dressing room and ensuite bathroom, and a second bedroom with ensuite bathroom.

The clock tower above provides a further five levels, each with a unique hexagonal floorplate, starting with a private cinema/media room on the second floor; on the third floor is a spacious bathroom; with the fourth floor offering a bedroom with a high vaulted ceiling and feature windows

The fifth floor, located in a cupola with arched windows (which originally housed a bell), forms a viewing platform which offers breath-taking panoramic views from the porthole windows over Aldershot and the countryside beyond. The top sixth level comprises the clock turret itself, the face of the clock being eight feet in diameter.

The Clock Tower Penthouse has a colourful history. The Cambridge was originally built in 1875-79 as the main hospital building, designed to resemble a grand stately home, which now provides 74 homes including apartments and houses. The Cambridge was built by local firm Martin Wells & Co in an Italianate neo-classical style based on design principles championed by Florence Nightingale, under the auspices of Queen Victoria, who wanted Britain’s soldiers to be given good treatment in quality accommodation, hence the magnificent architecture.

The Cambridge was built on a hill, known as Gun Hill, because Florence Nightingale believed that the fresh atmosphere of the summit and the wind would sweep away any infection and clean the air. As a result of this raised location, the central clock tower dominates the surrounding buildings and is a landmark for many miles making the new Clock Tower Penthouse the most elevated home in Aldershot.

The design of the clock tower at The Cambridge was inspired by the clock tower at Osborne House, Queen Victoria’s holiday home on the Isle of Wight. The hospital was opened on 18th July 1879 and the clock was ceremonially started by HRH Prince George, Duke of Cambridge, who was the cousin of Queen Victoria and in whose honour the hospital was named.

In the cupola bell tower below the clock turret the Army installed the famous Sebastopol Bell, a bronze Russian church bell by Moscow sculptor Nicholas Samtoum, weighing 877.25kg, brought to Britain in 1856 at the end of the Crimean War as a trophy, the bell used to create a booming chime which struck the hours and the quarters.

The Sebastopol bell had a twin, the pair removed from the Crimea’s Church of the Twelve Apostles and shipped to Woolwich Arsenal where they were stored until 1879 when, under instructions from Queen Victoria, one bell was installed in the Aldershot clocktower, the other taken to the Round Tower at Windsor Castle, where it still hangs, struck only to toll the death of the Sovereign.

In 1961 the bell in the clocktower at The Cambridge was removed and relocated to the St Omer Army Barracks in Aldershot and turned into a monument commemorating the dead on both sides in the Crimean War.

When HRH Princess Margaret visited Aldershot to close the hospital on 2nd February 1996 she toured the clock tower to enjoy the sweeping views, with the hands of the clock set and frozen at midnight to mark the closure of the complex and the departure of the military.

In 2011 the hospital was sold by the Ministry of Defence with planning consent for new homes provided in 2014. In May 2019 Weston Homes acquired the hospital buildings and devised the plans for its transformation into Gun Hill Park.

Now that the restoration and conversion work is complete the Clock Tower Penthouse and other homes available for sale at The Cambridge are available for immediate occupation. Access to The Cambridge is via a sweeping carriage driveway, with a new square in front of the restored building which has a rill water feature and a statue of Florence Nightingale.

The Clock Tower Penthouse offers a premium fully inclusive specification and is equipped with Hyperoptic superfast full fibre broadband, ideal for homeworking. The contemporary kitchen has quartz stone worktops and upstands, a wide range of integrated appliances and stainless steel sink with integrated removable chopping board, tap with hose-spray extension, instant boiling water tap and neat integrated soap dispenser. The penthouse bathrooms have Arctic white suites, walk-in Fascino smart showers or freestanding sculptural bathtubs, heated towel rails, integrated vanity storage, a mirror with de-mist feature.

Bob Weston, Chairman & Chief Executive of Weston Homes, says: “The Clock Tower Penthouse is the jewel in the crown of The Cambridge, a trophy totally unique apartment which offers unrivalled panoramic views over the local region and combines modern interiors with retained heritage features and an outstanding luxurious specification. The new penthouse owner will be the King or Queen of Aldershot in their own skyhigh residence.”

The Clock Tower Penthouse is priced at £850,000. Other homes at Gun Hill Park are priced from £299,000 for an apartment with houses priced from £500,000.

www.weston-homes.com

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