Historic Yorkshire fort established by Henry VIII could be turned into caravan park under new plans

Fort Paull could be turned into a caravan park if plans submitted to East Riding Council get the go ahead.

The fortress, established by Henry VIII, could see one of the most significant changes in its centuries of history if the 64-pitch caravan park plan is approved.

The plans, from owner Brian Rushworth, propose putting the pitches in parts of the site used for exhibiting military aircraft and vehicles before Fort Paull Museum closed last year.

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Plans propose keeping the site’s existing cafe and bar, located in a vintage train carriage, with caravan pitches inside the fort complex.

Fortifications have existed on the site, also known as the Paull Point Battery, since the reign of Henry VIII when an emplacement with 12 guns was built in 1542.
Fortifications have existed on the site, also known as the Paull Point Battery, since the reign of Henry VIII when an emplacement with 12 guns was built in 1542.

The proposal states parts of the museum and heritage centre would be brought back into use if plans are approved, adding the site could be opened to the public.

The developer also stated a holiday park would help to generate the income needed to afford an ongoing 24-hour security presence and would deter vandalism.

It comes as the museum announced its closure in January 2020 following a staff member’s bereavement and the retirement of another.

The site was bought in August last year after an auction opened the previous March, with much of its collection sold off in September.

Local campaigners Save Fort Paull and the Beverley Aircraft Group mounted an ultimately unsuccessful bid to buy the site after its closure was announced.

Campaigners created a community interest company (CIC) in an effort to keep it as a local heritage asset but the site’s owners did not accept their bid.

Fortifications have existed on the site, also known as the Paull Point Battery, since the reign of Henry VIII when an emplacement with 12 guns was built in 1542.

Later fortifications were added by Charles I during the English Civil War which lasted from 1642 to 1651 and it was garrisoned during the Napoleonic Wars.The current structure was built from 1861 and was completed in 1864 and was one of 10 erected in the north east. They were collectively known as ‘Palmerston Forts’ after sitting Prime Minister Lord Palmerston.

Fort Paull housed artillery until 1915 when it became the home of the Humber Fire Command and was also used for gun training until the mid-1930s.

It stored ammunition during the Second World War and supplies for shipping to the Soviet Union.

The Ministry of Defence sold the site off in 1960 and the Friends of Fort Paull group took it on in 1964 and began restoring it to open it to the public.

Fort Paull Museum opened in 2000 showcasing the site’s history and featured exhibitions on war and conflict over the past 500 years while also displaying military hardware.