Iconic Solent fort set to be sold for £875k

HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier leaves Portsmouth Naval Base for the first time on October 30. 

Picture: Malcolm Wells

HMS Queen Elizabeth due into Portsmouth next week

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A HISTORIC fort which once protected Portsmouth from attack by the French is to be auctioned for almost £1m.

Horse Sands has sat unchanged in the Solent for more than 150 years.

Now, the iconic battlement is set to be sold off for £875,000.

Completed in 1880, the site is the largest of four forts in the Solent.

The military bases were never called into action and became known as ‘Palmerston’s Follies’ after the prime minister who ordered their construction.

But Horse Sands was armed during both world wars, playing a key part in the city’s maritime defences.

In the 1960s, the Ministry of Defence declared the fort surplus to requirements.

Built from concrete and granite, the fort comprises two floors and a basement and has a circular road along the inner perimeter.

Agent Lambert Smith Hampton is marketing the circular fort, which measures 73 metres in diameter, and lies four miles out to sea, on behalf of owner Clarenco LLP.

Despite the site being listed as a Scheduled Ancient Monument, planning permission for conversion to 14 luxury apartments was secured in 2004.

The fort is due to go under the hammer on October 11 at London’s Le Meridien Hotel.