Sea forts built to counter French invasion now offer luxury living

Three sea forts built off the British coast in the 1860s to protect against a potential invasion by France are on the market – for a combined price of £9 million.

The sea-based defences were constructed when the fear of an attack by Napoleon III and his army was high.

Named after former Prime Minister Lord Henry Palmerston, they are located off Portsmouth and are being sold by estate agent Strutt and Parker.

The cheapest of the three forts on the market is Horse Sand Fort which is priced at £750,000, reports BirminghamLive.



It was in an abandoned state when purchased having been unoccupied for decades and required painstaking renovation. Now Horse Sand is ready for a wealthy buyer with great vision to help it reach it’s full potential, and transform it into a luxury sea-locked estate.

No Mans Fort is the most expensive of the three properties, having been put on the market for £4,250,000.

The fort has been converted to a top-of-the-range hotel called ‘Solent Forts’, with a total of 23 suites, seven-bedroom staff quarters, private dining and a traditional English pub located inside.

It underwent a multi million pound refurbishment back in 2015.



Sea forts built to counter French invasion now offer luxury living

No Mans Fort also comes equipped with a rooftop terrace and bar, hot tubs, saunas and BBQ decks making it the dream location to throw an epic party or hold weekend events.

It is a 35-minute boat journey from Gunwharf Quays, or it can be reached via helicopter.

On offer for an even £4,000,000 is Spitbank Fort which has nine luxury suites plus substantial staff accommodation across 33,000 sq. ft. over three floors, and has 15 ft. thick constructed granite walls.

The property shares all the same exclusive additions as No Mans Fort, also having been extensively refurbished in 2012.

Spitbank Fort is a 15-minute transfer from Gunwharf Quays by boat making it the closest to the harbour out of all three locations.

James Mackenzie, Head of Strutt and Parker’s Country Department said: “We’ve been inundated with enquires for the Solent Forts, mainly from UK buyers wanting to create a private getaway.”

“Interested parties include those of the sailing fraternity who are already familiar with the water and those who want to create their own private playground”

“When it comes to isolated properties like a fort, you can be selective when it comes to allowing people to stay. One of the most interesting aspects aside from their unique location, has to be the incredible history of these Napoleonic Forts.”

“Drawing fresh water from beneath the sea bed and their role in defending the coast from invasion attracts interest from far and wide. When you buy into property like this, you’re buying a slice of British history which is utterly unique and truly special.”

“This interest doesn’t stem from domestic buyers only; for the international buyers, especially those from the States, the history sparks great fascination. The opportunity to convert the forts into residential dwellings has attracted interest from media worldwide.”

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