Nestled in the Milford Haven Waterway of Pembrokeshire, Wales, the Stack Rock Fort is a remarkable Grade II* listed building and a Scheduled Monument. It sits on a small island, showcasing its impressive military architecture and intriguing past. In this article, we will delve into the history of Stack Rock Fort and uncover its secrets.
Origins of Stack Rock Fort
The idea of building a fortification on Stack Rock dates back to 1539 when Thomas Cromwell proposed its construction to safeguard the waterway. However, the plans did not materialize then, and it took several centuries before Stack Rock Fort was finally built. In 1748, Lewis Morris conducted a survey of the Milford Haven waterway, suggesting the construction of a small fort in the area. Another survey followed in 1817. Finally, in 1850, the construction of Stack Rock Fort began to defend the Royal Dockyard at Pembroke Dock from the sea.
Design and Upgrades
Between 1850 and 1852, a 3-gun fort was constructed, designed for two decks of artillery casemates. However, only the first floor was completed, which housed a garrison of one officer and thirty men. In 1859, a new building was constructed, completely encasing the original gun tower. The fort was upgraded to include sixteen 10-inch and seven 9-inch RMLs between 1859 and 1871. In 1902, the armaments were changed again to include four 12-pounder QF guns.
The Fort in Use and Disarmament
During World War I, a small number of men manned the fort. However, by this time, only two 12-pounder QF guns remained. The fort was disarmed in 1929, and in 1932, it was put on the market and sold for £160. In 2005, it was sold again for £150,000. Following the discovery of potential trespasser activity in 2013, concerns were raised over the security of a nearby LNG jetty.
The fort was sold once more in 2020 to a private owner for an undisclosed amount. In January 2021, it was sold for £191,000 to a community interest company (CIC). Stack Rock Fort continues to fascinate history buffs and curious visitors, offering a glimpse into the military architecture and defense mechanisms of the past.
Stack Rock Fort is a fascinating testament to the history of the Milford Haven waterway and Pembroke Dock. Despite its tumultuous past and changing ownership, the fort remains a symbol of resilience and strength. As a Scheduled Monument and Grade II* listed building, it is a valuable cultural heritage site that deserves to be preserved and cherished for generations to come.