One of the most exciting restoration projects to hit the Pembrokeshire property listings in recent years is the monumental Grade II* listed Defensible Barracks at Pembroke Dock, which has hit the market for half a million pounds.
Past residents of this imposing structure include Arthur Lowe, who played Captain Mainwaring in Dad’s Army and Gordon of Khartoum, who was later deployed to join the fighting in Crimea.
During the First World War, the fort was a siege training school for the Royal Artillerymen while in the Second World War it was used as the Milford Haven headquarters.
“This really is a property of monumental proportions which is of great historical and national importance,” commented a spokesperson for Strutt and Parker who are acting as agents for the property’s sale.
“As a result, it has been given Scheduled Ancient Monument status.”
The barracks was built to house the dockyard’s garrison of Royal Marines and to cover the landward side of the dockyard from an infantry assault. It was probably the last ‘trace bastion’ fort to be built in Europe.
Since then it has housed regiments including the Royal Marines, the Pembrokeshire Artillery and the 24th Foot (South Wales Borderers).
The imposing structure was built between 1841 and 1846 and comprises a 20-sided stone fort surrounded by a dry moat measuring 16 feet deep by 42 feet wide.
The moat is crossed by a fixed modern steel bridge that replaced the original wooden sliding drawbridge that leads to the gatehouse which is in the middle of the north wall.
A parade ground occupies the centre of the fort and remains notable for being possibly the finest Georgian-style square in Wales.
It is enclosed by blocks of barrack rooms, mess areas, magazines and gun sheds while the basements were originally used for laundry, stores, latrines and magazines. and is crossed by a fixed modern steel bridge that replaced the original wooden sliding drawbridge.
Strutt and Parker have confirmed that in 1986, The South Pembrokeshire District Council granted permission for development of the property into hotel accommodation following positive conversations with CADW and the local authority for conversion into residential properties.
In September 2019 the barracks was acquired by a private developer, with plans to convert it into residential accommodation.
“The nature and presentation of the buildings through the courtyard in particular could make for some very attractive townhouse style properties subject to necessary consent,” continued the spokesman.
“The potential here is tremendous, be it in relation to individual houses or a hotel development.”