News, Pre-WW1, WW1

Historical Welsh Fort With D-Day Connection up For Grabs

Fort Hubberstone, a property in the Welsh coastal town of Milford Haven, is up for sale. The price? £190,000 (nearly $230,000). So, if you ever dreamt of owning a historic fortress that once housed enough artillery for a small army, this might be your chance to make it a reality.

Fort Hubberstone: A Trip Back to World War Two

The Grade II listed building served as lodgings for American soldiers during the D-Day landings. But worry not. It still comes complete with gun rooms and a pub that is sure to take you back to World War Two.

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Although the property has seen better days, it presents a unique opportunity for a prospective buyer. Nevertheless, undertaking extensive refurbishment and restoring it to its former glory is no easy job.

Fort Hubberstone, completed in 1863, was constructed under orders from former Prime Minister Lord Palmerston. The dusty old fortress stands on the side of Milford Haven in Pembrokeshire, Wales. The whole structure came at a cost of £55,000 back then.

The impressive fort has sadly been the victim of vandals. Let’s hope it has a change of fortune soon.

During the D-Day landings in France, the fortress was a secret base for American forces deployed in Operation Bolero. During their stay, the Americans left their mark on the building. The listing agent confirms that the American influence can still be observed today.

So What’s in it For The Buyer?

The property consists of two main buildings, separated by scrubland.

The upper building, which used to house approximately 250 men, included soldier quarters, guard rooms, a pub, washrooms, kitchens, and a coal store, all arranged around a raised parade ground.

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The lower building comprises seven gun rooms, magazine rooms, and a complex network of light and ventilation passages with impressive stonework and brickwork.

The fortress is rich in history, with evidence of its past found in the gun tracks, fireplaces, wooden framework of the arched windows, and the decorations on the walls of the washrooms.

Explore The Unexplored!

According to the agent, additional rooms, including a sunken corridor known as a caponier and a submarine spotting station, remain unexplored. The property covers nearly 3 acres of land, with the boundary extending beyond the fortress walls all the way to the mean tide line.

There’s a lot of work to be done on the fort but the potential is there.

At the lower boundary of the property, there is a private shoreline located at the end of an access road. The property offers breathtaking views of the entire haven as well as numerous neighbouring artillery defences that safeguarded Pembrokeshire during World War Two.

The prospective buyer should be prepared for a significant renovation project. The selling agent suggests that the property will likely be converted into a multi-housing development.

A Constant State of Decline

Over the decades, Fort Hubberstone has continued to suffer at the hands of vandals and unwanted trespassers. As a result, the once glorious structure has earned a place among the ‘most endangered buildings’ in the United Kingdom.

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For some time, it seemed that the constant decline was about to end when a history fanatic, Guy Anderson, bought the crumbling fort in 2020. The 52-year-old had plans to open the site to everyone, making it ‘accessible to everyone.’

“It’s working out what’s there. First, it’s cleaning it out, then installing some information panels and getting some basic exhibitions in there. It’s a blank canvas,” said Anderson. “On a beautiful summer day, it could be a place to hold a fashion show.”

The fort is said to haunted. But for a relatively low price you can put up with the ghouls.

The man came with high hopes of turning the place into a tourist attraction, a Torch Theatre for cinema nights even. Nevertheless, Hubberstone returned to the market once again – the baton to save the falling fort must be passed on. The battle against entropy must continue.

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This was not the first time the fort saw hope, though. In 1919, a proposal suggested converting the structure into social housing. But that, too, came to nothing. Remember the part where we mentioned that the fort has a rich history? In 1875, Lieutenant Walter of the militia was killed by Doctor Alder in a drunken fight. Now would you dare to grab the baton? Who knows, you might come across a World War Two ghost or two in your endeavors.