Inside Horse Sand Fort


Graham Horn / CC BY-SA 2.0

It was once used to defend the country from invasion, but Horse Sand Fort on the Solent has now been sold for more than £700,000 and is expected to be redeveloped for leisure use.

The fort, located just off the coast of Portsmouth, is 1 of the 3 historic forts in the Solent – the other 2 having already been developed into luxury hotels. It is currently used to record the history of the follies and retains the 100 chambers and living quarters, original gun carriages and armour-plated walls.

After paying a total of £715,000 for the derelict Palmerston Folly, an undisclosed private buyer is set to transform Horse Sand Fort into another luxurious destination.

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All 3 forts have been on the market as a result of owner Mike Clare deciding to sell up. The 2 hotels are being sold through global real estate advisor Colliers and the freehold estimate for them combined is more than £8million.

Paul Barrasford from Colliers’ Hotel Agency has said:

“Following our recent sale of Horse Sand Fort, Mr Clare is keen to progress on No Man’s Fort and has reduced the asking price to £3.6m and set a deadline for offers to come forward.

“There are not many people who can say that they own a fort, this site could be an amazing addition to a property portfolio, whether it is used as a hotel as it is now, a holiday residence or converted into a different use.

“For a creative investor it could be many uses such as a data centre, specialist athletic training venue, a filming location, or even a headquarters for a fast-growing start-up. Its remote location offers the ultimate privacy and security.”

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Hope Springs
Hope Springs
1 month ago

Three historic forts? Spit Sand, Horse Sand, No-man’s Land and St Helens seem to add up to four.
Perhaps arithmetic has moved on in the 65 years since I was taught.

Karen Walker
Karen Walker
1 month ago

Horse Sand Fort housed the last remaining Semaphore Arm which enabled the Admiralty to get a signal from the Solent to London. I went out to the Fort with my Father in about 1975 to rescue this. It was fully restored and now resides outside Mercury Building at HMS Collingwood.


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