Tower auction hits heights as Emson hits £20m

A disused water tower near Stevenage was one of the highlights of the Clive Emson Land and Property Auctioneers’ biggest sale of the year when it was the subject of a saleroom bidding war.

The concrete Aston Water Tower at Aston went under the gavel for a sky-high £190,000 at the September auction after sustained competition from bidders who saw the potential in it and the square 0.07-hectare (0.17-acre) site on which it sits.

The towering structure, with open countryside views, was sold as an investment acquisition as it is currently let to phone companies EE and BT for telephone mast purposes, but there may be future alternative uses, subject to all the necessary consents being obtainable.

The tower was just one of many highlights as Clive Emson reported sales in excess of £20 million from the auction – the sixth of eight sales this year which took place across five days in five venues from September 9-13.

Britain’s largest independent regional land and property auctioneer achieved a sale rate of 70 per cent at the sale after cataloguing a year-high 170 lots.

Managing Director James Emson said: “The water tower is one of the more unusual lots to have featured in a Clive Emson auction, but it is an excellent example of how a property a little out of the ordinary can capture the imagination of the public.

“The excellent result achieved for both seller and buyer on the tower demonstrates once again that the auction room remains the best and most transparent method for successful property and land transactions.

“The tower may be a little bit different from the vast majority of our properties, but the business of promoting it, arranging viewings and auctioning is exactly the same with every lot we handle.

“Our experienced and dedicated team of specialists offer a second-to-none service to all clients so now is a very good time to bring your land or property – no matter how unusual – to market through Clive Emson, as demand remains high.”

Other highlights of the September auction included:

  • Mid-19th century character cottage Jasmine House and six acres at St Just, Cornwall, immortalised in a painting by acclaimed contemporary artist Kurt Jackson, sold for £400,000.
  • The attractive Plough Inn, a pub on a plot of 0.22 hectares (0.55 acres) in the picturesque village of Grateley, near Andover, Hants, went under the gavel at £360,000.
  • A toilet block and land with potential on an approach to the sea at Birchington, Kent was sold for £52,000 on the instructions of Thanet District Council.
  • A saleroom bidding war led to Brickmakers Arms pub, on a good size plot of 0.10 hectares (0.24 acres) on the outskirts of Uckfield, East Sussex, to sell for £334,000.

The firm holds a regional auction at five locations every six weeks. The seventh sale of 2019, starting at 11am, is at the following venues:

Essex & North and East London – Monday, October 28 at the Chelmsford City Racecourse, Chelmsford.

Kent & SE London – Tuesday, October 29 at the Clive Emson Conference Centre, Detling, Maidstone, Kent.

Sussex & Surrey – Wednesday, October 30 at the Hilton Brighton Metropole, Brighton.

West Country – Thursday, October 31, at the St Mellion International Resort, Saltash.

Hampshire & Isle of Wight – Friday, November 1 at the Solent Hotel at Whiteley, near Fareham.

Clive Emson also stages a fixed date, online only auction. The next one concludes on Thursday, November 7. Full details can be found at


  • Clive Emson Auctioneers has 50 staff and is a property and land auctioneer to estate agents, commercial property agents, statutory bodies and private clients. It was established by namesake founder and Chairman Clive Emson in 1989, and holds eight auctions a year across five venues.

The firm’s reach is across southern England, from Kent to Cornwall and now Essex and North and East London too with a new office in Chelmsford and it is one of the top four auctioneers in the UK by way of value and volume of residential sales.

Lots regularly generate newsworthy stories, from nuclear bunkers and sea forts to churches, clubs, pubs, former public toilets and historic properties, as well as the more usual homes under the hammer and which are often of keen interest to local residents. A number of newspapers utilise the news releases to run as ‘What’s Happening Here?’ columns.

Website: Tel: 0345 8500333.


News release issued by:
Cliff Moore, Account Director
Deep South Media

Mobile: 07469 158458 Office: 01202 534487

Twitter: @DeepSouthMedia


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