IT’S a slice of Hampshire history which has remained unchanged for more than 50 years - and it could be yours for £875,000.

As well as a huge wad of cash it would also be handy if you had access to a boat or helicopter or both.

Horse Sands, an historic Solent fort, is being sold at auction next month.

It is one of the largest of four forts in the Solent, completed in 1880 as a military base to protect Portsmouth, the home of the Royal Navy, against the French.

The forts were never called into action and became known as ‘Palmerston’s Follies’ after the prime minister who authorised their construction.

Horse Sands was armed during both world wars, then declared surplus to requirements by the Ministry of Defence in the 1960s.

Built from concrete and granite, the fort comprises two floors and a basement and has a circular road along the inner perimeter, known as ‘the Street’.

Agents Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) is marketing the circular fort, which measures 73 metres in diameter, and lies four miles out to sea on behalf of owner Clarenco LLP.

Despite the site being listed as a Scheduled Ancient Monument, planning permission for conversion to 14 luxury apartments was secured in 2004 – a scheme which could be revived, said Suzanne Taylor the CEO of Clarenco.

The firm also owns Spitbank fort, about a third of the size of Horse Sands, and No Mans, which is the same size, both of which converted into luxury venues for weddings and other functions.

However, Horse Sands remains undeveloped and still boast many original features including gun carriages and armour plated walls.

Ms Taylor said: “Over the last five years we have developed castles in Scotland, a monastery in Wales and a chateau in France and focussing on them and making them operational means that we haven’t had the time to devote to Horse Sands.”

She said that although the fort offered many commercial opportunities perhaps its future lay as a “fully fledged tourist attraction” trading on its history.

Clarenco bought Horse Sands at auction for just under £1m. so if it was to sell at the guide price the firm would be making a loss on their investment Oliver Childs, national head of auctions at LSH comments: “Over the years we have sold nuclear bunkers, telecommunications masts, former reservoirs, beaches and airfields to name but a few.

"Unique assets such as this appeal to buyers with creative vision and we are expecting worldwide interest.”

Horse Sands will go under the hammer on October 11 at London’s Le Meridien Hotel.