Former military fortress off English coast blasts onto market

Spitbank Fort, which has 15-foot-thick granite walls, was built to guard against French ships

National Weekend Edition /
Nov.November 01, 2020 02:00 PM
Spitbank Fort (Images via Solent Forts; Pixabay)

Spitbank Fort (Images via Solent Forts; Pixabay)

Social distancing at this secluded property won’t be too difficult.

A former military fortress in England is hitting the market for just over $5 million, according to the New York Times.

Known as Spitbank Fort, it was built half a mile off the coast of Portsmouth during the mid-to-late 19th century to guard against French ships.

It was decommissioned in 1950 and has been used for a variety of purposes, including a museum, nightclub, and most recently a hotel. It has never been for sale as a private residence.

The circular property is 150 feet in diameter and has about 33,000 square feet of living space across three floors, including 12 bedrooms, two kitchens, and a pool, according to the Times.

The interior spaces are built in two circular rings around a large central courtyard, encased in 15-foot-thick granite walls.

The rooms on the lower decks are built into cavernous spaces with vaulted brick ceilings, while bedrooms on the upper decks have riveted metal ceilings, windows and wood floors. There’s also one bedroom on an elevated crow’s nest.

Seller Mike Clare bought Spitbank Fort — along with two other similar but much larger forts in the strait — in 2009 and turned it into a hotel and event space. Clare likened the property to “a huge yacht.”
The two other forts are each three times as large, but only one has been renovated. They can also be had as a package deal for $12.4 million. [NYT] — Dennis Lynch


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