Freshwater, Isle of Wight


Guide price

  • Bedrooms: 5
Originally constructed in 1856, Fort Albert now comprises 7 impressive waterfront apartments with the rare benefit of direct Solent access from the adjoining slipway. The extensive West Penthouse is offered to the open market for the first time in some 40 years and is presented in immaculate condition having underdone an extensive and sympathetic refurbishment, which included a further floor being constructed as a principal bedroom suite. The works warranted a sought after RIBA award, illustrating the thoroughness and design qualities of the upgrade. This is a unique split-level penthouse with a lift and stair access and with all windows/doors delivering genuinely awe-inspiring views across Christchurch Bay, The Needles, Hurst Race/Castle and The New Forest National Park Coastline to the east. The sandy bays of Colwell & Totland can be viewed from this vantage point and it is possible to catch fish directly from the balconies.

The property overlooks Hurst Race, (the narrowest section of the 30-mile-long Solent waterway), just ¾ of a mile to the north is Hurst Castle with its Henry VIII circular section being visible.

Predominantly west facing, this property promises some of the best sunsets in the UK from the large windows, vast roof terraces and a Juliet balcony. Located in one of the busiest waterways in the world, it is the perfect viewpoint to observe the vibrant boating activity that takes place directly in front. There are four double bedrooms (two with en-suite facilities), a bunkroom and a newly constructed bedroom suite which has its own access and offers magnificent views from both the bedroom and shower room/wc to the side. In total there are 5 w/c's and

5 bath/shower rooms. The main hallway to the property is large and boasts a large central roof lantern for natural light. The property has two staircases and a corridor to the rear with low level LED lighting and windows looking into old gun turrets which are often full of nesting birds.

The current owners have recently completed a meticulous refurbishment of this Grade II Listed property which included ramping up its green credentials with its large bank of income producing photovoltaic solar panels and a pair of Hitachi (new in December 2020) air source heat pumps. There is zoned underfloor heating, LED lighting, double glazed windows/doors and an amazing living room offering uninterrupted 180+ degree views.

Great care has been taken during the refurbishment to retain much of the original character with some of

the original wartime light fittings, exposed iron trusses, lookout tower with heavy duty galvanised staircase and turrets all being visible. This particular apartment has ownership of one of the lookout towers which sit high above the Fort and it was refurbished to include a heavy duty galvanised staircase leading some two levels higher to a room with astonishing views.

Fort Albert was one of the Royal Commission forts built in the 19th Century as part of Lord Palmerston's defences against the possibility of a French attack from Napoleon III. Designed to defend the Needles Passage, it was completed in 1856, after some 4 years of construction. With the introduction of armoured ships, the fort became obsolete by 1858. In 1886 it was selected as one of the UK locations for the Brennan torpedo. After this, only small guns were mounted on the fort. It was closed to military use in 1957 and converted into residential apartments in the 1970's and 1980's.


The West Penthouse has one main roof terrace leading out from the sitting room on the lower of the two

levels and leads around the north/west and south sides - all of it is enclosed with the south side having the original heightened armament turret walls which provide excellent wind shelter. On the upper floor there is a further roof terrace and a Juliet balcony which forms the newly constructed principal bedroom suite. There is parking and each apartment has a garage - useful also for storing boat/ fishing equipment.


By Road From our Yarmouth office proceed westwards over the River Yar revolving bridge up Halletts Shute onto the Colwell Road for about 1.5 miles. Turn right into Monks Lane and carry on until the end and drive

up to the electric barrier, which will lift. Pass up through the park and turn left onto Cliff End, Fort Albert is located at the end. By sea in calm conditions, there is a seawall on the east side of the fort and a slipway on the west side - both of which are accessible.

Other Notes

The property cannot be commercially holiday let - it can be leant to friends and family. It can be let for normal residential long lettings.

Tenure Held on a 999-year lease with a share of the freehold. The freehold boundary includes a proportion of adjoining seabed to the north-west and the cliff that is located to the east & west side of the driveway.

ServiceCharge/Management Expenses

There are seven apartments in the Fort. West Penthouse is responsible for 20% of the overall service charge. Over the past 24 months there have been some exceptional costs such as a lift upgrade, new sewage pump, a voluntary contribution of £12,000 towards the Monks Lane resurfacing (just been completed), new fire doors and alarm system, new pointing of seaward side walls. The 2018 overall service charge for the whole Fort was £34,845 and in 2020, it was £92,323, due to exceptional items. Further information on this can be provided.


Mains water and electricity serve the property. PV cells on roof generate electricity that is fed back to the grid for income. There is a waste drainage system that serves all the apartments.


Viewings will be strictly by prior arrangement with the selling agents, Spence Willard.

Important Notice

1. Particulars: These particulars are not an offer or contract, nor part of one. You should not rely on statements by Spence Willard in the particulars or by word of mouth or in writing ("information") as being factually accurate about the property, its condition or its value. Neither Spence Willard nor any joint agent has any authority to make any representations about the property, and accordingly any information given is entirely without responsibility on the part of the agents, seller(s) or lessor(s). 2. Photos etc: The photographs show only certain parts of the property as they appeared at the time they were taken. Areas, measurements and distances given are approximate only. 3. Regulations etc: Any reference to alterations to, or use of, any part of the property does not mean that any necessary planning, building regulations or other consent has been obtained. A buyer or lessee must find out by inspection or in other ways that these matters have been properly dealt with and that all information is correct. 4. VAT: The VAT position relating to the property may change without notice.

Marketed by Arrange viewing 01983 761005

Spence Willard - Yarmouth Office

The Square, Yarmouth, Isle of Wight

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