We found the perfect sea bunker to ride out the pandemic. The Spitbank Fort is a unique piece of military history turned boutique retreat. Constructed in the 1800s and decommissioned by the military in the 50s.
The fort was purchased in 2009 and fully renovated, transforming the spartan outpost into a property with nine guest suites, a bar, a restaurant, a wine cave, a rooftop terrace with a hot tub, and a sauna, among other amenities.
The property is ready to serve as a private fortress or to be operated as a business. The Spitbank Fort is a 15-minute boat ride from Gunwharf Quays, with London just a short commute away.
Spitbank is one of three Solent Forts that date back over 150 years when fear of invasion by the French led by Napoleon III resulted in the commissioning of these sea-based defenses by British Prime Minister Lord Palmerston. With 15ft granite walls and armor plating, these structures are testament to the skill of Victorian engineering. Taking 15 years to complete, by the time the forts were ready for occupation, the threat of invasion no longer existed and hence, the forts became known as “Palmerston’s follies”.
During the First World War, these man-made fortresses came into their own as a line of defense when they were equipped with 4.7- and 6-inch guns, allowing them to target smaller fleets of ships trying to slip through the heavy military defenses.
During WWII the forts were used as defenses for the Portsmouth dockyard. Life on site was grim with basic facilities and those serving were deliberately chosen based on their inability to swim, to avoid any attempts at escaping their post. After the Second World War they were completely decommissioned from military service.
Thanks to its extensive renovations, you can now own this historical fortress of luxury. The property is listed for $5.2M.