Haile Sands Fort Every man’s dream to own their own fort for that perfect game of BATTLESHPS..
An Insight to the owner of Haile sand Fort- Portrait of a Stanley Lad 1947 – 2010
One Mans Dream sadly unfulfilled but a testament to his commitment and passion to revive the Fort.
Richard Smales was the owner of Haile sand fort.
He lived most of his life at Aberford Road, Stanley, Near Wakefield.
After leaving school he qualified as a Structural Engineer after studying at Whitwood College, and went on to work at Parkhill and Wistow Collieries.
A Euro record was set at Wistow for 101,203 tons of coal produced in a week back in November 1989. Richard also went on to produce various pieces of equipment for the mines which included a ‘Rack a track’ and ‘Safety Man baskets’. After the Mines, Richard moved to Tilcon based at Wakefield, travelling all over the country to weld and repair heavy machinery.
Richard was definitely a “workaholic” never really taking time off, if he did he was sure to have a project of his own to work on.
Richard had always wanted to own Haile Sand Fort and had a huge interest in all things Military and Industrial, this project was prime. He knew he had the necessary skills required to bring her back to something of her former glory. He was also offered Bull Fort, but refused as he wanted to fully commit to Haile.
Richard was never one to rest on his laurels, and had purchased a large woodland where he hoped to self-build a home. While there he built a Massey Fergusson from scratch! Unfortunately for his partner after Seeing Haile advertised on the local news and travelling to London to purchase, all of their free time was then spent there…
The amount of concrete required was immense. Sand, Stone and cement had to be ferried out with the help from HMYC – as well as metal, pilings, rods, paint etc. Innumerable trips to and fro were required. On one such trip the boat struck an object and capsized, Richard not only managed to save his partner, but the boat as well, holding onto both until the RNLI arrived! Richard was a perfectionist in everything he did, and everything he made was made to last including each window of Haile, which had to be made individually as each is a different size. He made doors, beds, and a stand for a wood burning stove. He was also in the process of building a crane, to replace that on Haile.
Unfortunately some dreams are a bridge too far and Sadly Richard died, beaten by cancer 7 years ago. He is greatly missed by his partner, his family and many friends and will never be forgotten. A quiet man, with a wicked sense of humour! Who worked incredibly hard all of his life and I am privileged to say…was my friend…
Work on Haile Sand Fort began in May 1915 and was completed in March 1918 with a reputed cost of over £500,000. At the end of the first world war ,the fort was placed in care and maintenance. Some reconstruction work took place in 1938 but by the outbreak of war in 1939 work on this had ceased and the only personnel aboard the fort were a section of Royal Engineers to man searchlights. This and other information can be found in (Guardians of the Humber), a book by Jeffrey E Dorman or on line.
The fort is accessed by boat and the shortest journey would be from the Humber mouth Yacht club where use can be made of their launching facilities and the others of a more social nature. I understand membership is available.
Haile Sand Fort, Humber Estuary
Photograph Courtesy of Steve Fareham
This genuinely unique place is now for sale. Haile Sand Fort is one of two such defensive structures at the Humber Estuary (click here).
The Journey to the Fort
Heading Out Still a way to go
Almost there Home Sweet Home
Planning and Utilities
Water is from a spring and was pumped up through the building but this is currently broken but could be repaired and brought back into use. Electricity has been from generators although it was once via cable from land but we are not sure if this could be reinstated but believe a combination of generators with wind and wave generation would be the best way forward. There is a wood burning stove used by the current owners for heating and gas bottles for cooking.
Planning has not been applied for so it is an open canvas and there are many opportunities that abound
Try this one
Private residence, hotel and conference centre, adventure centre, bed and breakfast and of course would make an ideal location for the UKIP Headquarters.. I jest and no political statement intended, other political parties are available.
Sadly no work done in the past 6 years due to the loss of the owners husband, the main driving force with the skill and the vision to carry out ideas but the current owner is passionate about the Fort, its wonderful and unique location and the sheer majesty of the structure A pleasure to visit in the summer and winter alike albeit it can be a challenging trip in the middle of a gale.
The work in the early days – and you do have to be seriously into DIY – Big Time
Interior Works albeit these were undertaken some 6 years ago. There are ladders and steps that have been fabricated that simply need to be installed by the new owners…
and a bit of concreting..
A bit more info and a few ideas
The one for sale is Haile Sand; an off-shore fort built between 1915-18. Constructed from reinforced concrete and brick, clad with riveted steel armour plating so don’t lose your front door key as this will present a problem! General access is via a timber and steel jetty. Exploring the internal elements of the fort, there is a circular tower on hexagonal base – balcony at sea level. Three further floors in brick to south-west, with basement and magazine below sea level. Topped off with an additional two storey observation tower. For a little inspiration of what you might manage to renovate this fascinating property into, have a look at what an amazing achievement has been made at Solent Forts. Their owner’s website can be studied: click here.
Haile Sand Fort, Humber Estuary
Photograph Courtesy of David Wright
It is very rare for one of these man-made island properties to come onto the sale list and we are delighted to have it for sale on Unique Property Agency.
We are arranging for extra interior photographs of this historic and fascinating building to be included then. Whilst this fort is clearly utilitarian in design, it has an amazing location, and some truly beautiful sunsets to view. The middle floor at Haile Sand Fort has a group of three projecting turrets, the middle one supported on a cylindrical shaft with a row of shuttered windows beneath a flat roof.
Haile Sand Fort, Humber Estuary
The approaches to the River Humber have been guarded by this fort with gun batteries and anti-submarine nets of steel mesh stretched between them across the mouth of the estuary (now removed). Originally Haile Sand Fort had full amenities for a garrison. It is believed that 40,000 tons of concrete and steel went into the construction, at a cost of around £1,500,000. Haile Sand Fort was constantly manned during both world wars, and often under attack from aircraft and submarine. The army left in 1956, but the fort was still manned until the early 1960’s.
Haile Sands Fort At Low Tide
Check out how shallow the water can get by looking at the sand-to-fort access ladder heights.
You can see how low the water can get towards ebb-tide. A very easy false sense of security that can happen on tidal islands.
Location: Haile Sand Fort, Gayton Le Marsh, Tetney, Lincolnshire, DN36 4EZ
Guide: Price Reduction Offers Over £250,000 but for a Limited Period Only
Unnamed Road, Hull HU12 0UG, UK