Time-wrap island ‘untouched for 100’ just off England’s coasts

Off the coast of Milford Haven in Pembrokeshire sits an island stuck in a time warp. Stack Rock Fort is a stunning, yet eerie, circular fort and is now covered in greenery.

It was built between 1850 and 1852 to defend the Royal Naval Dockyard at Pembroke Dock against a Napoleonic invasion. Once upon a time, 150 soldiers were stationed there. Now it’s home to gulls and seabirds. 

The Grade II listed building was disarmed in 1929. It was first up for sale in 1932 and is believed to have sold for just £160, but when it went up for sale again in 2018, it sold for £400,000. 

The property has now been bought by Anoniiem, a community interest company that plans to preserve it. 

Company director Nicholas Mueller said: “We want to preserve it in its current state”.

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Nicholas and his wife stumbled across the fort and were left in awe at the ‘fantasy and magic”. They formed a partnership with another company who had hoped to turn it into a community space. 

They said: “It’s definitely a passion project and preserving it for the future.”

Because of its position, it’s difficult to access. The only way to reach it is by boat and that’s if sailing conditions are ideal. On certain weekends, some people such as photographers, videographers, historians, and interested community members can visit the fort – obviously with prior permission.

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Nicholas has a team of volunteers who are working to secure the structure but feel they are “a lifetime away” from being able to open it up to the public.

“It’s a hell of a project,” he said. “It’s been effectively untouched for 100 years so the preservation is on another level.”

“The fact that nature is taking over again is part of the appeal of it, it’s all aesthetically so incredible.” 

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