Spitbank Fort, built to repel the French, has been sold just 24 hours before going to auction

One of Spithead’s historic sea forts has been sold just 24 hours before it was due to go to auction. Spitbank Fort is reported to have been snapped up by an unknown buyer for a price in excess of £1 million.

The fort, which took 17 years to build, was completed in 1878 as part of Portsmouth’s defences against the French. It was later used as a gun platform during both world wars but has been in private hands since being sold by the Ministry of Defence in 1962.

In recent years it has been operated as a museum and a meeting and function venue with its own dance hall and restaurant, while permissions have been granted to include a nightclub and casino, recording studio and microbrewery.