‘Monumental’ task but two men are determined to reopen Fort Paull

Nick Taylor, right, and Nick Moore have set up a gofundme appeal to help reopen Fort Paull in Holderness
-Credit: (Image: Nicolas Taylor/gofundme.com)

A funding bid has been launched to bring East Yorkshire’s former visitor attraction Fort Paull back to life.

Business partners Nick Taylor and Nick Moore, who call themselves the Two Nicks, have taken on the task of restoring the historic artillery battery in Holderness as a heritage site and events venue. Starting a gofundme appeal with a target of £10,000, the Two Nicks said: “We have taken on the monumental task of reopening Fort Paull – gulp!

“We are trying our best to breathe life back into the fort. Over the last few weeks we have been grafting every day to get the site cleared, made safe and also to line up some amazing events for everyone to enjoy moving forward, which we hope will bring in the required funding to be able to reinvest back into the fort to help preserve the site for years to come.”


Fort Paull, on the banks of the Humber Estuary, was originally built in the 1500s and finally closed in January 2020. An application to East Riding Council by the owner Brian Rushworth, to turn the site into a caravan park, was turned down in March of this year.

Nick Taylor, a former Royal Marine, became temporary caretaker at the site last autumn. He has been granted permission by Mr Rushworth to reopen the fort with Nick Moore, who was behind a campaign to keep Fort Paull open, as a heritage site with a museum.

Aerial view of Fort Paull, captured in 2007
Aerial view of Fort Paull, captured in 2007 -Credit:Hull Daily Mail

The Two Nicks said: “Since going public with our new venture the response has been incredible and we soon realised how much this local historical asset has been missed from the local area. We really hope that with our endeavours we can save this historical site for generations to come.

“The reason we are trying to gain funding is to help us retarmac the entrance to the bar, fix some of the leaky roofs and, if we have anything spare, we would love to buy our first museum artefact to give the public something to enjoy on their visit with us. Having the entrance to the bar relaid will allow safe and disabled access down to the bar - who doesn't like a beer!

“But we are also looking at using the bar as a multifunctional area for WWI plays, silent book groups and teaching vulnerable youth groups.” Earlier this year, a £60,000 appeal was launched by Solway Aviation Museum, based at Carlisle Airport in Cumbria, to rescue and preserve the last surviving Blackburn Beverley transport aircraft, which is housed at the closed-down Fort Paull.

Speaking in February, Dougie Kerr, the aviation museum’s chairman, said: “This is a last gasp rescue mission for the Beverley. Once it is here it will form an important part of our collection of iconic British-made aircraft.

“Blackburn Beverley XB259 has faced an uncertain future since the closure of the small museum at Fort Paull in 2020.” That appeal currently stands at over £46,500 and work to lift and transport some of the huge sections of aircraft has begun.

The Two Nicks have set up a Fort Paull Battery Heritage Site page on Facebook, which already has 9,000 followers. Last weekend they shared the news that they had acquired their first museum piece – a sign for an air-raid shelter.

In an earlier post, they related a “kill count” of the tools broken so far in their bid to clear the Fort Paull site’s internal roadway, that was first installed during the Second World War, and had returned to nature. Currently in the planning stages is a Christmas Market at Fort Paull, over the weekend of November 16 and 17, 2024, with arts, crafts and food stalls.