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Von Essen property Thorn Island is sold to Kent Mushrooms

02 November 2011 by
Von Essen property Thorn Island is sold to Kent Mushrooms

The administrators of Von Essen Hotels have sold Thorn Island, a Grade II listed Napoleonic fort off the Pembrokeshire coast, to Kent Mushrooms.

Situated in Milford Sound and originally constructed as one of three forts forming the outer line sea defences to protect the Royal Dockyard, the island was put on the market, alongside 26 hotels in the UK and one in France, following the collapse of Von Essen, with debts of more than £250m in April, by the administrators Ernst & Young.

Kent Mushrooms, the owner of historical locations including Chislehurst Caves in Kent, plan to explore the possibilities of future commercial use of the island.

Access to the two-acre site, which operated as a hotel in the 1980s and 1990s, is by boat. The property has been unoccupied since its previous sale in 2000 to Von Essen. Andrew Davis, the chairman of Von Essen, had intended to refurbish the fort and reopen it as a hotel.

Property agents Christie + Co received 12 bids for the island.

"Thorn Island is an amazing retreat that attracted strong interest from domestic buyers with several offers also received from overseas investors," said Simon Stevens, director of Christie + Co. "The eventual buyer completed the deal within eight days of agreeing terms."

Cliveden tops the price tag on Von Essen hotels >>

Andrew Brownsword snaps up four Von Essen hotels >>

Longleat buys former Von Essen hotel Bishopstrow House >>

By Janet Harmer

E-mail your comments to Janet Harmer here.

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