Calls for 160 year-old Pembrokeshire fortress to be given sustainable future
Calls have been made for a 160 year-old Grade II-listed Victorian fortress in Pembrokeshire to be given a sustainable future.
Fort Hubberstone, a post Napoleonic Fortress located on the side of the Milford Haven Waterway, is currently listed with West Wales Properties for £190,000.
The fort was completed in 1863 to defend the town against invasion, and was used as a secret base for the Americans for Operation Bolero in the D-Day Landings.
It was abandoned after the war, but represents an “incredibly rare opportunity” for a prospective buyer, according to agents West Wales Properties.
Phil Russell, chairman of the Palmerston Fort Society, which aims to educate about and foster wider interest in Victorian forts, said it is vital the right buyer is found.
“They can’t all become museums or be open to the public, but what must happen with this one, a scheduled ancient monument, is that it has to be saved,” he said.
“We owe it to future generations to save these remarkable buildings and finding a sustainable future for them is important.
"This might be as accommodation or whatever other creative use a new owner can imagine. These once proud sentinels were built to last and they deserve to do so.”
Today, after decades of decline and vandalism, Fort Hubberstone is in ruinous condition, requiring significant investment.
Other Forts in the region, however, have found new uses as holiday accommodation, activity centres and museums.
Chapel Bay Fort, on the southern shore of the Milford Haven Waterway, was turned into a museum in 1995, while Dale Fort, west of Milford Haven, has been a field centre since 1948.
In 2020 Fort Hubberstone was purchased by Pembroke Dock town councillor and local businessman Guy Anderson for £2,000, with plans to turn the building into a “living ruin” which would be opened to the public in stages.
In 2021, Anderson resigned as a councillor. The fort still remains closed to the public, and was listed for sale this month.
The site is roughly 2.95 acres, with the boundary running past the fortress walls and to the tide line. There are two main buildings with scrubland in between.
The top building, once the accommodation block for approximately 250 men, was made up of guard rooms, soldier housing, pub, wash rooms, coal store and kitchens, centred around a parade ground with a raised centre.
The bottom building is made up of seven Gun Rooms, Magazine Rooms and an intricate channel of light and ventilation passages displaying masterful stone and brickwork.
"The fort is steeped in history which is evident everywhere," say West Wales Properties.
"Some rooms - currently inaccessible - are yet to be discovered, including a submarine spotting station and caponier (sunken corridor).
"You can see the gun tracks, the fireplaces, the wooden framework in the arched windows, and even the decoration on the washroom walls.
"This fascinating building has so much to explore.”