Two maritime forts will go up for auction next month

The Solent Forts have already been converted into boutique hotels

Two historic Victorian Forts will be auctioned at Savills on 18 June, offering buyers the chance to own a piece of rarified maritime architecture.

No Man’s Fort and Spitbank Fort are among four armour-plated Solent Forts commissioned by Prime Minister Lord Palmerston in 1865 as a line of defence against Napoleon III’s forces. These artificial ‘granite islands’ were completed in 1880—at a cost of £1,177,805— after the threat of invasion had passed, though they weren’t fully decommissioned until the 1950s.

Both forts have a guide price of £1m each. They have been under the same ownership for the last 12 years and were restored by businessman Mike Clare as unusual boutique stays.

Lot 499, No Man’s Fort, is located between the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth, two miles south of the city’s Harbour, and spans a whopping 99,000 sq ft across four storeys. It was converted into a 23-suite hotel with crew quarters, a restaurant and bar for up to 200 guests, a pub and a nightclub.

Spitbank, lot 498, is the smaller of the two at 33,000 sq ft and is located in the mouth of Portsmouth Harbour. It operated as a nine-suite hotel with spa facilities, a swimming pool, and several event spaces across three storeys, including a restaurant, bar, wine cellar, and games room.

Both hotels shuttered during the pandemic. Their future could offer further commercial development or potential conversion into really unusual off-grid homes. Each is equipped with its own private water source, marine generators, and sewage treatment. They’ve also got pre-existing planning permission for residential conversion (though alternative uses or fractional ownerships would require further planning requisites).

Interested parties can contact Savills’ Director Robin Howeson about the upcoming sale.

Spitbank Fort. Credit: Savills
Spitbank Fort. Credit: Savills
No Man’s Fort. Credit: Savills

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