Castles and Fortifications of England and Wales

THORN ISLAND FORT


THORN ISLAND FORT
Photo Charles Taylor

The island was used for the construction of a fort in 1854, and was the last to be built to combat wooden sailing ships and to protect the entrance to the haven and the Royal Dockyard at Pembroke Dock. The fort was equipped with nine 68-pounder smooth bore muzzle loading guns and was manned by a garrison of around 110 men. As with other forts around Milford Haven, the guns were soon rendered obsolete as they were ineffective against iron-clad ships. The armament was upgraded in 1901 and was manned during WW1. In 1932 it was sold and became a hotel, but was then requisitioned in 1939 and used by the admiralty. Its post war life has been partly as a hotel, particularly through the 1980's and 90's. The von Essen hotel group went into administration in 2011 and the island was sold in November of that year. It appears that the island and associated buildings are now in need of a new role. The fort on Thorne Island was constructed of local stone between 1852 and 1854 as an outer defence to Milford Haven, at that time a large naval base. It was designed for a garrison of 100 men. It was sold by the state in 1932 for conversion to a hotel and is Grade II* Listed as a well preserved Fort of Lord Palmerston's Haven defences. Now converted into a 10 bedroom house, it was for sale in 2016 for only £550,000 in 2016


Photo Charles Taylor

 

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