Former Solent hotel No Man’s Fort sold at auction for slashed price

renovated granite fort off coast with striped lighthouse and sun terrace

Two former Victorian island forts – Spitbank Fort and former hotel No Man’s Fort – have sold at auction for a fraction of the original price.

Located in the Solent off the UK south coast, the forts were sold at auction yesterday (18 June) through Savills after being on the market for several years. No Man’s Fort – a former hotel with 23 bedrooms fetched £1,120,000 under the hammer, while the smaller nine-bedroom Spitbank Sea Fort sold for £1,010,000.

The forts are two of the three Palmerston Forts that encircle Portsmouth and were built in response to the 1859 Royal Commission dealing with the perceived threat of a French invasion.

view out to see from roofterrace of renovated fort
No Man’s Fort

No Man’s Fort is set out across a whopping 99,000sq ft. The granite fort has 23 ensuite bedrooms, crew quarters, multiple bars, restaurants and a number of multipurpose rooms. Currently arranged as a hotel and event space, No Man’s Fort has a helipad in place and 2 landing stages for visitors by sea.

luxury bedroom suite with roll top bath

According to Savills: ‘The lowest level of the fort has been converted into entertaining space including laser battle, whilst the roof deck provides further facilities such as hot tubs, a fire pit, bar and Nordic bothy. The newly opened Lord Nelson pub, The Cabaret Bar nightclub and additional entertaining spaces are located on the upper and lower levels of the fort. 

Spitbank Fort’s circular design, predominantly crafted from granite, brick, and stone, features upper walls fortified with thick armour plating. Comprising nine guest suites, the fort also features a restaurant, crows nest function suite, wine cave, roof terrace, pool, sauna, fire pit and sun deck.

spitbank fort portsmouth with open sea behind

The Victorian forts were intended to defend the dockyard in Portsmouth. Construction was carried out by the royal engineers and civilian contractors (under royal engineer supervision).

One response to “Former Solent hotel No Man’s Fort sold at auction for slashed price”

  1. Richard Andrews says:

    I really enjoyed my time there 10 years ago, working as Marine Superintendent, ferry skipper and chief engineer.

    Can the big one now get its proper name restored to it: No Man’s Land fort? (Since it it sits on “No Man’s Land”!) I did think it was wrong to rename it, simply because of (presumably) a marketing prerogative.

    The owner spent a lot of money on each fort, but crucially didn’t invest in the harbour, something that’s required really for more reliable access to No Man’s Land fort especially. The engineers who were responsible for the artificial reef in Dorset had a workable proposal to use the same build techniques for a small harbour on the western side, which would have enabled the parking of small ferry boats etc with a degree of safety. This is the big issue with the forts – getting people on and off!!

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