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Off-grid beachside cottage goes on the market for £550,000

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An off-grid ‘oasis’ on the beach with no mains water or electricity has been put on the market for £550,000.

Perched above the secluded Mansands Beach in Devon, the former coastguard cottage is the ultimate retreat for those wanting to escape the modern world – with an outside toilet, ‘gravity’ shower and no wifi.

It is one of three cottages built by Napoleonic prisoners of war in the grounds between Kingswear and Brixham – and the two-bedroom house has spectacular panoramic views of the National Trust-owned beach and the sea.

The houses also share access to a private bay below and were built in the early 1800s by French inmates for the Coast Guard to keep tabs on tobacco smugglers. There were originally five cottages, later reduced to three.

They were used by the Coast Guard until the 1950s – and the cottage for sale is in the middle of the three. It has 1,345 m² of accommodation, mostly on the ground floor with a large attic room above.

Off-grid beach ‘oasis’ on the Devon coast with no mains water or electricity is on the market for £550,000

The two bedroom cottage has spectacular panoramic views of the sea and South Devon coastline

The two bedroom cottage has spectacular panoramic views of the sea and South Devon coastline

The Devon seafront property has 1,345 sq ft of accommodation, mostly on the ground floor with a large attic room above

The Devon seafront property has 1,345 sq ft of accommodation, mostly on the ground floor with a large attic room above

The house has an entrance hall, sitting room, dining room, kitchen, two bedrooms, a shower room and a back porch

The house has an entrance hall, sitting room, dining room, kitchen, two bedrooms, a shower room and a back porch

It is one of three cottages, built by Napoleonic prisoners of war, above the secluded Mansands Beach, owned by the National Trust

It is one of three cottages, built by Napoleonic prisoners of war, above the secluded Mansands Beach, owned by the National Trust

The houses were built in the early 1800s by French inmates for the Coast Guard to keep tabs on tobacco smugglers

The houses were built in the early 1800s by French inmates for the Coast Guard to keep tabs on tobacco smugglers

It has an entrance hall, sitting room, dining room, kitchen, two bedrooms, a shower room and a back porch. The reception rooms have multi-fuel burners for heating, while the kitchen has a gas cooker and gas lamps.

Water is supplied by a rainwater harvesting system or there is access to a well fronted well. At the rear of the property are two stone sheds and the sawdust toilet. There is also a wildflower garden.

A 4 wheel drive car is required to access the lane and driveway to the remote site. Michelle Stevens of The Coastal House, which is selling the property, said: ‘The beach is National Trust property and very idyllic.

‘You usually need a 4×4 to go to the beach. It’s a good 15 minute walk from the car park so that puts off a lot of people meaning it’s not overcrowded.

‘The cottages also have access to their own private bay which is just below them. There are some stairs leading down when the tide is out. It’s just a beautiful place.

At the rear of the property between Kingswear and Brixham are two stone sheds and the sawdust toilet

At the rear of the property between Kingswear and Brixham are two stone sheds and the sawdust toilet

There were originally five cottages built in the 19th century by French prisoners, but this was later reduced to three

There were originally five cottages built in the 19th century by French prisoners, but this was later reduced to three

The Devon Coast properties are believed to have functioned for the Coast Guard into the 1940's or 1950's

The Devon Coast properties are believed to have functioned for the Coast Guard into the 1940’s or 1950’s

Water is provided by a rainwater harvesting system or there is access to a well with well at the front of the house

Water is provided by a rainwater harvesting system or there is access to a well with well at the front of the house

The reception areas have multi-fuel burners for heating, while the kitchen has a gas stove and gas lamps

The reception areas have multi-fuel burners for heating, while the kitchen has a gas stove and gas lamps

A 4WD vehicle is required to access the lane and ramp to the remote Devon coast site

A 4WD vehicle is required to access the lane and ramp to the remote Devon coast site

The property is one of three cottages built by Napoleonic prisoners of war in the grounds between Kingswear and Brixham

The property is one of three cottages built by Napoleonic prisoners of war in the grounds between Kingswear and Brixham

‘These houses were built by prisoners of war. The Napoleonic War was expensive and I believe the government decided to build coast guard houses to keep an eye on smugglers and earn some money back.

“They operated for the Coast Guard into the 1940s or 1950s. Spring water is routed through the area. For the shower, fill the bag and use a pulley system. You can warm it up or use it fresh.

‘The owners describe it as a three-quarter shower rather than as it were. There is also a rainwater harvesting system which supplies the kitchen tap and LPG for the fridge, cooker and gas lamp, and there is a telephone line.

‘The outside toilet is in a stone shed, it’s very discreet and looks like a normal toilet, but it’s actually a sawdust toilet. The owners have used it as a second home and have had many great holidays.

“They’ve rented it out for vacations from time to time. You can enjoy your own private oasis, listening to the crashing waves and withdrawing from the stress of everyday life. This is a very rare opportunity.’

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