Stock Rock Fort: The Abandoned Maritime Marvel in Wales

Built between 1850 and 1852, Stork Rock Fort is located in the Milford Haven Waterway, Pembrokeshire, Wales. It’s unclear why it was built, with several theories attempting to describe it. Some say the fort was part of a larger defense network intended to protect the British Isles from possible invasions. Others believe the Stock Rock Fort symbolizes how powerful the British Empire’s naval forces were. Either way, the fort was undoubtedly special and strategically placed. But why would such an architectural masterclass be abandoned? What is its current state? Here is everything you need to know about the Stock Rock Fort.

The History of Stock Rock Fort

Although Stock Rock Fort was built in the mid-19th century, its conceptualization first happened in the 16th century. Thomas Cromwell, an English Statesman and lawyer, was the first to propose the fortification at Stack Rock in 1539. He hoped that the building would protect the British waterway in that region. There were similar proposals in 1748, notably from Lewis Morris. He recommended that a fort be built in Stock Rock to aid in reporting shipwrecks and fostering easier navigation.

After much planning and consideration, the Stock Rock Fort was finally built between 1850 and 1852. It was part of the “Palmerston Forts,” a series of fortifications constructed during the Victorian era. It was later renovated, and its architecture was designed into the maritime marvel that it finally was by 1871.

Why Was Stock Rock Fort Abandoned?

Stock Rock Fort served its purpose to the tee for about half a century. Besides being fully armed, the fort could accommodate 4 officers and about 152 other security guards. However, after the end of World War II, the majority of the soldiers previously stationed there had been taken away. No longer able to serve its purpose, Stock Rock Fort was fully disarmed in 1929.

Stack Rock Fort Current State and Ownership

After its abandonment in 1929, Stack Rock Fort was placed on the market for the first time in 1932, where it was sold for £160. It was again resold in 2005 for more than £150,000. In 2013, the fort faced security concerns, with reports of trespasser activities circulating. In 2020, a private owner bought the fort for an undisclosed amount. According to the records from the Land Registry, Stack Rock Fort currently belongs to a community interest company (CIC), which bought it for £191,000 in 2021.

Like most abandoned structures, the Stack Rock Fort is currently in a state of disrepair. The majority of rooms are dilapidated, and some of the walls are falling. It is basically everything you can expect from a building that hasn’t been touched for over a century.

Can You Visit Stack Rock Fort?

The Stack Rock Fort is undoubtedly one of the most significant symbols of the United Kingdom’s naval history and prowess. However, while there is hope that it will one day be restored and opened to the public, the fort is a lifetime away from it.

At the time of writing, Stack Rock Fort is privately owned and fully secured. You can only access it with the owner’s permission – visits can be arranged in advance. On the other hand, you can take advantage of the boats passing by it. This way, you get a closer look at the architectural marvel, take photographs, and enjoy the scenic views.

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