Estate agency offers a real ‘Dirty Den’ for homebuyers

Bernards Estate Agents was contracted to sell all 64 luxury apartments in former prison Old Portsmouth Gaol – once home to Eastenders’ Dirty Den.

Old Portsmouth Gaol

Talk about being banged up for life! South coast-based Bernards Estate Agents has been flogging homes to buyers who really want to be at His Majesty’s Pleasure in their ‘forever home’.

The agency was contracted to sell all 64 luxury apartments in The Old Portsmouth Gaol – formerly HMP Kingston on the south coast (main picture).

And now there are just 15 of the properties left to shift.


Martin Merrett, Bernards’ director based out of the firm’s Waterlooville branch, tells The Neg: “Interest in this development has been amazing. We’ve literally had zero to no movement on asking prices and even with the market turning the way that it is it’s not going to impact on sales.

Yes I would live there!”

“They are and have been selling and just based on the location yes I would live there – despite it once being a prison.”

Leslie GranthamAnd it’s a prison that has a celebrity past – once housing former Eastenders’ Albert Square villain Leslie Grantham (pictured), AKA Dirty Den.

The 64 two-bedroom pads were available for up to £325,000 each in the Grade II listed prison built in 1877.

HMP Kingston in Portsmouth exclusively housed men doing life after the abolition of capital punishment in 1965.


One was Grantham, who shot and killed a German taxi driver while in the Army in 1966. He died in 2018 aged 71.

The prison closed in 2013. Now renamed Old Portsmouth Gaol, the building’s interior looks familiar but the flats are contemporary.

Merrett adds: “It was a lifers’ prison, so it certainly does bring new meaning to the phrase ‘forever home’.”

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