A traditional red phone box has gone on the market for £45,000 – up to nine times the price of a family home in Hartlepool.
The 100 year-old kiosk in London‘s Square Mile financial district is being advertised on Rightmove as a business opportunity and is just one of 224 of the iconic pieces left in the UK.
Its eye-watering price-tag is more expansive than a family home in some parts of the country. In Hartlepool, three-bedroom terraced houses usually start at around £30,000, but one is currently being auctioned for £5,000, nine times cheaper than this kiosk.
The telephone box in London’s Square mile is nine times more than a whole home would cost in Hartlepool
The iconic kiosk is being advertised on Rightmove and is one of only 224 red telephone boxes left in the UK
The famous British telephone boxes were designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, the architect behind some of the most well known British buildings such as Battersea Power Station, the Tate Modern and Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral.
The K2 box is so small the Rightmove listing offers no floor plan and the advert states: ‘Own an iconic piece of British heritage located in the City.
‘Run your own business, advertising potential or alternative uses STTP. Electricity is connected.’
Included in the sale price will be a new lick of paint for the buyer.
Similar phone boxes have previously been turned into libraries and shops.
This three-bedroomed terrace in Hartlepool is going for £5,000 on Right Move. The buyer of the telephone box could own nine of these instead, for the same price
The listing for the phone box on right move described the booth as ‘historic’ ahead of the auction on May 26
This three-bed terraced family home in Hartlepool is expected to go for around £5,000 when auctioned
It continues: ‘Historic England has listed to preserve these iconic red kiosks, and many have transformed them to coffee shops, libraries, museums, bakeries, florists and defibrillators.
‘In 2006 the K2 telephone box was voted one of Britain’s top ten design icons.
‘Between 1926 and 1935 1,700 examples of the K2 were installed with the total number of surviving K2 kiosks being only about 224 in the UK.’
Describing its location, the listing adds: ‘The City of London is a historic financial district, home to both the Stock Exchange and the Bank of England.
‘Modern corporate skyscrapers tower above the vestiges of medieval alleyways below.
A phone booth next to a pub in Plymouth is expected to go for £7,500. All the phone boxes being auctioned with BidX1 Commercial are currently owned by the same client
This phone box in Nottingham is expected to go for £30,000. The auction will be held online on May 26
A phone box on Bournemouth is expected to fetch up to £19,000 at auction
‘Affluent workers frequent its smart restaurants and bars.
‘The K2 Kiosk is located at the west end of Austin Friars on its junction with Cophall Avenue and Throgmorton Avenue immediately opposite the offices of BlackRock.’
The phone box is being marketed by BidX1 Commercial, who are auctioning off several boxes across the UK.
They have four more in Central London, all expected to go for around £40,000 – £45,000.
Another is being auctioned in Nottingham, where the guide price is £30,000 and others are being auctioned in Bournemouth, Devon and Southport for £7,500 – £19,000.
Phone boxes have previously been turned into libraries, coffee shops and even a fast-food takeaway.
Tayyab Shafiq, 25, set up a takeaway business in a red phone box on Uxbridge High Street in London
Mo Abouelsaad opened a one-stop shop in a red telephone box on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile
Alona and Umar Khalid opened a telephone box cafe in Hampstead High Street
A spokesperson for the auction confirmed that all the phone boxes currently listed are currently owned by just one client and one was alredy sold in Edinburgh last month for £20,000.
Mat Harris, Director at BidX1, said: ‘We’re delighted to have sold twelve of these much-loved red kiosks on our digital platform.
‘The purchasers have acquired an iconic piece of British heritage via a very modern sales method.
‘I’m looking forward to seeing how the new owners put their own stamp on these distinctive red boxes , whether that’s a coffee shop, bakery, defibrillator or miniature art gallery.’
The auction will take place on May 26.
The iconic kiosks that are ALL listed and can be found as far afield as Bermuda
The first phone box was in Kingston-upon-Hull, Yorkshire in 1921.
Sir Gilbert Scott won a competition to redesign the boxes in 1923.
The famous architect originally suggested the boxes should be silver, but the Post Office wanted them red.
There have been six designs in total, the last of which was in 1936 to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of George V.
The Rolling Stones posed for their iconic photo alongside the phone boxes in 1963, cementing the pieces as synonymous with London culture.
Rock and roll band posed for this iconic photograph alongside red telephone boxes in 1963. Left to right: Keith Richards, Bill Wyman, Mick Jagger, Brian Jones and Charlie Watts
In 1986, all red telephone boxes became Grade II listed.
The same phone boxes can be found throughout Malta, Bermuda and Gibraltar.