Palmerston Sea Forts

Thursday, 11th January 2007 by

Back in the 1850s, Britain was worried that France would try and invade, so Lord Palmerston (the Prime Minister of the time) decided to build the Palmerston Forts to defend Portsmouth's dockland, four of which were built out at sea.

Of course, France never did invade, and by the time the forts were finished the perceived threat of invasion had passed anyway, rendering the forts completely redundant. They were built to be strong however, and so nearly 150 years later they're still standing, and over the years have been adapted for various uses.

At 240ft across, No Mans Land Fort is joint largest and is currently a private residence. If you look closely you'll see the fort has two helipads as the only means of access.

Nearby, Horse Sand Fort is currently in the process of being converted into flats. Perfect if you're a very private person but a nightmare if you don't get on with the neighbours.

The smaller fort Spitbank is available for parties and such as "The Ultimate Venue!", assuming your idea of an ultimate venue is a inaccessible lump of rock that has been "virtually unaltered since 1870".

Unfortunately the smallest fort, St.Helen's, is just outside the high-resolution imagery.

Thanks: Saul David