Derelict Solent fort sold for £715,000

A derelict sea fort built to deter a French invasion in the 19th Century has been sold for £715,000.

Horse Sand Fort is one of a group of four so-called Palmerston’s Follies – artificial island fortifications – in the Solent.

It was sold by businessman Mike Clare, who has transformed two of the other forts into luxury hotels.

According to the BBC, estate agent Colliers said the unnamed UK buyer aimed to ‘develop the site for a leisure use’.

Previously the firm said Horse Sand Fort had planning permission for 22 luxury residential apartments.

In a marketing brochure, it said the property boasted ‘100 original chambers and living quarters, plus original gun carriages and armour-plated walls’.

Clare, who founded the Dreams bed company, put all three of his forts up for sale in 2019.

He has set a deadline of 26 November for offers for No Man’s Land Fort after dropping the asking price from £4.25m to £3.6m, Colliers said.

His third fort, Spitbank, has been marketed for £4m.

Construction work on the Solent forts began in 1865 under former prime minister Lord Palmerston.

By the time they had all been completed in 1880, the invasion threat had passed.

The hotels on No Man’s Land and Spitbank Forts were officially closed to guests in 2020.

Solent Forts’ website said reopening would be deferred until there was no threat of further coronavirus restrictions.

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This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

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