Carol Kirkwood quizzed by Dan Walker on Beefeater history
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Yeoman Warder Spike Abbott, 59, couldn’t believe it when Foxtons sent him a letter saying it was valuing property in the area and wondered if he would be interested in one of their agents coming round. Mr Abbott lives within the Tower of London with 35 other Yeoman Warders and their families.
Tweeting of the incident, the Beefeater said: “Thanks for the very kind offer Foxtons to sell or rent out the 12th-century property that HM Tower of London provide me with, however, I think it may raise a few eyebrows when your sign appears outside my house.”
The letter – believed to be from the Wapping branch of the agents – said “we are valuing property in your area next week” before offering to give a “no strings attached” professional “opinion of the sales or rental value of your property in the current market”.
The Beefeaters are the oldest military corp and existing military corp royal bodyguards in the country.
They consist of ex-military members who have served at least 22 years and hold the Long Service and Good Conduct medal.
One of their main jobs in modern times is to show tourists around the 12-acres which encompass the site, but they are still tasked with protecting it from intruders.
The Tower of London welcomes over 2.8 million tourists per year.
Mr Abbott served for 35 years in the RAF, before joining the Tower six years ago.
When he first moved into the property in 2015, he said: “I’m living in a two-bedroom flat in a converted hospital block with all the other Beefeaters.
Speaking about the ambience in the community he said: “It’s got a village feel. We even have our own pub, the Yeoman’s Club.”
In terms of valuations, it is unclear if the bloody history of the Tower would affect the pricing of the listing.
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It is where two young princes are said to have been murdered and buried under a staircase.
In 1483, Princes Edward and Richard, aged 12 and 9, were sent to the Tower for their own protection by their uncle the Duke of Gloucester – who later become King Richard III.
But they were never seen again, sparking rumours they had been smothered in their beds and in 1674 the skeletons of two young boys matching the ages of the lost princes were found under a staircase in the White Tower.
And the courtyard of the Tower served as the stage where Anne Boleyn was beheaded at the request of her husband King Henry VIII.
The Tower and its grounds are said to be haunted by the ghost of the former Queen, whose headless ghost has been spotted leading a procession of knights of ladies towards the scene of her death.
Guy Fawkes was famously tortured to death at the Tower, and his screams are said to be heard through the walls – which could draw some complaints from any new neighbours.
Foxton’s have been contacted by express.co.uk for comment.
A spokesperson for Foxtons said: “We’d like to thank Mr Abbott for bringing this to our attention. We asked if he would mind passing the letter on to the legal owner, but seeing as that’s the Queen it is unsurprising that we’re yet to hear back from her.
“We are London’s biggest estate agency and get hundreds of thousands of enquiries from people looking to buy a property so we’re always searching for new properties to sell to our customers. Sometimes, letters like this could go out as a result – we can’t check every one by hand, as we’re too busy selling and letting the genuine ones!”
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