Bank that stored the Crown Jewels during World War Two is up for sale

A bank with a huge vault said to have stored the Crown Jewels during World War Two is up for sale.

The former Natwest in Chard in Somerset was apparently used by the Bank of England to protect Royal gems from German bombers during the Blitz.

The bank is also said to have stored vital documents and banknotes.

The three-storey building has a freehold guide of £150,000 to £200,000 and is going up for auction on February 7.

The vault measures a massive 383.63 sq m (4,000 sq ft) according to Clive Emson Auctioneers.

Auctioneer Graham Barton said: “At first glance this is simply a prime town centre building with the potential for a number of flats and a shop or two with land to the rear having scope for a new build residential scheme, plus parking and garaging.

“The near unique twist in the tale comes at the north of the site under a huge protective bund (a constructed retaining wall around storage) where there is a vast underground vault.

“Local legend has it that the Bank of England stored vital documents, banknotes and even the Crown Jewels here during the Second World War.”

“How much truth lies in the tale is unknown but on the basis that the enemy aircraft knew where Threadneedle Street and the Tower of London were but had probably never heard of 7 Fore Street, Chard, it might just be true.

“It would certainly help explain the amazing ‘above and below’ ground feat of building and engineering.”

Graham added: “Whatever its history, today the property offers a diverse array of opportunities for sub-division, newbuild and conversion, all subject to the necessary consents.”

The auction takes place at the St Mellion International Resort, St Mellion, Cornwall, on Thursday, February 7, 2019.


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