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Buy a British treasure for less than the cost of a postage stamp: The Cliffs of Dover SSSI. Photo / Callum Wale, Unsplash

The White Cliffs of Dover are a national monument and a symbol of UK maritime history. So you might be surprised to learn that the UK Ministry of Defense has put the National Treasure up for sale.

The beach at the foot of the chalk cliffs was auctioned today for a low price of £ 1 (or around $ 1.97).

The 7.48 ha multi-storey beach may be lacking in sunshine, but there is a lot of history.

Located in the Kingsdown Conservation Area, 10 km from Dover, it was first used by the Royal Marines as a firing range in the late 1800s. It also saw some action during WWII as an evacuation site for thousands of Dunkirk in 1939.

Bids for the beach start at $ 1.97.  Photo / Lambert Smith Hampton Auctions, provided
Bids for the beach start at $ 1.97. Photo / Lambert Smith Hampton Auctions, provided

Dubbed “the icon of Great Britain” by the British conservation group National Trust, the beach faces France across the Channel. It is only 35 km from Calais.

So you might be wondering why the strand is for sale.

There is of course a catch. The low beach is completely submerged at high tide, and its location on a Site of Special Scientific Interest makes it difficult to plan large beachside projects.

The beach adjoins the famous White Cliffs of Dover.  Photo / Supplied, Lambert Smith Hampton Auctions
The beach adjoins the famous White Cliffs of Dover. Photo / Supplied, Lambert Smith Hampton Auctions

There are development possibilities, according to auctioneers Lambert Smith Hampton, but it is done without a building permit.

Nearby beachfront properties in the town of Deal recently sold for as much as $ 8 million.

“The property includes a former coastal military firing range and is now a section of beach and waterfront adjacent to the White Cliffs of Dover,” the Kingsdown Riflle Range listing reads.

“The northern part of the site is wider and includes a beach, flat meadows and sea defenses.”

While it was auctioned last night for a small fee, the 4pm BST closing bid was £ 192,101.



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