So you want to live... in a former guard house

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The Independent Online

Who was guarding whom?

Who was guarding whom?

Built in 1795 to house the 15th Regiment of Light Dragoons (and their 63 horses), the barracks, near Deal, Kent, needed a jailhouse for the occasionally miscreant cavalry. Passing on to the Royal Marines in the late 19th century, the barracks eventually became the Royal Marine School of Music in the 1930s - the Guard House was an instrument workshop - before finally closing down in 1996.

What state are the barracks in now?

Everything from the gymnasium to the medical centre (and, of course, the Guard House) has since been converted into a rather rarefied residential complex, with a large green and parade ground at its heart (now ideal for evening soirées and games of cricket).

And the Guard House?

The current owners brought the L-shaped, 3,076sq ft brick and slate property and converted it themselves over 12 months. The results are impressive. You get a four-bedroom home over two levels, with an impressive array of reception rooms. Starting with a lovely family room with exposed brick chimney-breast, there's also an extraordinarily well-lit living-room, a study and dining-room. The large, timber-floor kitchen/breakfast-room is a perfect space to bring the family together.

Who are the other residents?

A mixture of retired professionals and former service personnel, 30 per cent of whom have a family. With only one controlled entrance, we're talking a highly secure property.

And the area itself?

Located not far from the sea front, the barracks is about half a mile from Deal, which is dripping with period charm and free of the usual high-street chains - a real badge of honour.

How much?

The Guard House is being marketed at £375,000 through Cluttons (01227 457441).