No Man's Land Fort

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No Man's Land Fort
Solent, England
No Mans Land Fort Geograph 1263735 87977ef9.jpg
No Man's Land Fort
No Man's Land Fort is located in Isle of Wight
No Man's Land Fort
No Man's Land Fort
Coordinates50°44′23.7″N 1°5′42.78″W / 50.739917°N 1.0952167°W / 50.739917; -1.0952167Coordinates: 50°44′23.7″N 1°5′42.78″W / 50.739917°N 1.0952167°W / 50.739917; -1.0952167
Site information
OwnerAmaZing Venues
Open to
the public
Official nameNo Mans Land Fort
Designated12 Jun 1967
Reference no.1018589
Site history

No Man's Land Fort, also referred to as No Man's Fort, is a sea fort in the Solent, near Portsmouth, England. It is one of the Palmerston Forts built between 1867 and 1880 after the recommendations of the 1859 Royal Commission. It is 200 feet in diameter,[1] and lies 1.4 miles (2.3 km; 1.2 nmi) off the coast of the Isle of Wight.[2]


The fort was designed by Captain E. H. Stewart, overseen by Assistant Inspector General of Fortifications, Colonel W. F. D. Jervois. Construction work began in 1865, and the fort was completed in 1880, long after the threat of a seaborne invasion from France had passed, at a cost of £462,500.[3]

A 2020 report stated that during the Second World War, "the forts were used to defend the Portsmouth dockyards. Life on site was grim; those serving were deliberately chosen for their inability to swim, to avoid any attempt to escape".[4]

No Man's Land Fort is almost identical to Horse Sand Fort. It has been used as a luxury home/hospitality centre for high-paying guests – due to the privacy it offers – with an indoor swimming pool and two helipads. In July 2004, Legionella bacteria found in the hotel's water system forced its closure.[5] The Fort was put up for sale in 2005 and again in 2007, but the company collapsed.[6][7][8] In March 2008, Harmesh Pooni, claiming to still be the owner, barricaded himself inside the fort in protest against the administrators KPMG.[9]

The property was eventually sold by KPMG for £910,000 in March 2009.[10] In March 2012, it was purchased by Clarenco LLP[11] who also purchased Spitbank Fort and Horse Sand Fort, with the intention of refurbishing it as a hotel.[12] The fort opened as a hotel in April 2015.[13]

Other sea forts include Spitbank Fort, St Helens Fort and Horse Sand Fort.

An October 2018 report stated that "the 22-suite No Man’s [was] open for business, whether overnight stays, corporate events or weddings".[14]

In 2020, No Man's Land Fort, Spitbank Fort and Horse Sand Fort were listed for sale. No Man's Fort was described as a "99,000 sq ft hotel, restaurant and leisure complex on four floors, including a helipad".[4]

In popular culture[edit]

The 1972 Doctor Who serial The Sea Devils used the fort as a filming location for several scenes.[13]


  1. ^ "Solent forts", National Museum of the Royal Navy
  2. ^ Google. "No Man's Land Fort" (Map). Google Maps. Google.
  3. ^ "History of the Solent Forts". Royal Naval Museum. Archived from the original on 12 July 2018. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  4. ^ a b Live in your choice of Victorian sea forts, from a boutique delight with helipad to a crumbling wreck that’s a blank canvas
  5. ^ "Legionella bacteria found at fort". BBC News. 9 July 2004. […] now off limits "until the health risk is controlled".
  6. ^ "Converted sea fort hotel for sale". BBC News. 10 July 2007.
  7. ^ "Who will buy fort used in Doctor's adventure?". The News, Portsmouth. 9 July 2007.
  8. ^ Ward, David (16 July 2007). "Bolthole in the Solent goes on sale for £4m". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 20 May 2010.
  9. ^ "Besieged man barricaded in fort". BBC News. 7 March 2008. A sea fort […] is under siege from creditors, prompting a businessman to barricade himself inside.
  10. ^ "'Bargain' sale of £14m Victorian seafort". BBC News. 3 July 2009. Retrieved 20 May 2010.
  11. ^ Clarenco to operate a trio of forts in the Solent,
  12. ^ "Millionaire snaps up three forts off Portsmouth". BBC News. 26 March 2012. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
  13. ^ a b "Historic No Man's Fort in the Solent re-opens as hotel". BBCNews. 23 April 2015. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  14. ^ Solent Forts an amazing visit off the Hampshire coast

External links[edit]