Remote private island with fortress for sale for £550k:10-bedroom hideway on Thorne island in Wales is one of the most viewed properties this year

The 19th century fort has been uninhabited for more than 10 years and is only accessible by boat...

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The fairytale dream of owning a private island with spectacular coastal views could be a reality for a buyer willing to take on a serious New Year renovation project.

A converted Napoleonic fort on Thorne Island, near Angle in Pembrokeshire, Wales, was listed for sale with an asking price of £550,000 in November this year - and has become one of the most viewed properties on Rightmove this year. The 2.5-acre island is completely private and only accessible by boat from the mainland. 

Formerly a hotel, the Grade II-listed property has not been lived in for more than a decade and some interiors are in dire need of modernising.

The living space is arranged primarily on ground level around a large, imposing courtyard. There are also 10 bedrooms, three bathrooms, three reception rooms, a kitchen, two bars - and perhaps the biggest draw - magnificent views of the Welsh coast.

Anthony Clay, partner at Knight Frank, says: "Thorne Island has received a huge amount of interest since we launched it to the market. The idea of owning an island and fortress has brought out the Enid Blyton in us all I think – it’s a magical place and, being less than half a mile off the coast, is not too inaccessible.

"The fortress needs a fair bit of investment and this isn’t the sort of property you would buy on a whim, but it is perfect for someone who is passionate about bringing it back to life."

The sandy beach of West Angle Bay is about a quarter of a mile away, with the village offering local amenities, a shop, two pubs and a primary school. For a wider range of shops, the historic town of Pembroke is nine miles away.

Seclusion is to be expected, but communications are rapidly improving, with fast access to Carmathen and the M4. The fort has private water, drainage and electricity supplies, as well as a telephone.

Thorne Island will appeal to outdoors types, with popular local activities including swimming, sailing, fishing and lobstering. The surrounding area is one of Britain's most breathtaking national parks, packed full of scenic countryside and beautiful beaches.

The fort was built on the rocky outcrop in 1854 to defend the nearby Milford Haven naval base from the French. It was the scene of the famous Loch Shiel shipwreck in the late 19th century before being sold by the state in 1932.

Several owners, including the collapsed von Essen hotel chain, have taken on Thorne Island with the aim of converting it into a luxury hotel, but its potential is yet to be fulfilled.

Thorne Island was the most viewed unusual property on Rightmove last month, and estate agent Knight Frank says it has attracted a lot of interest since going on sale in late November, mainly from buyers interested in the commercial possibilities it offers.

Thorne Island is for sale through Knight Frank


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