Following a successful Round 2 Heritage Enterprise bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund and a competitive tender process, Pritchard Architecture was appointed to develop the project in June 2018. The project looks to regenerate the Priddy’s Hard site, with the adaptive reuse of seven redundant listed buildings into various non-residential uses including a museum, brewery and holiday let and the residential development of the rest of the site in partnership with a developer.

Priddy’s Hard is located on the coastal edge of Gosport, overlooking Portsmouth Harbour. Consisting of some of the finest collection of defensive earthworks and naval shell stores in the country, the site contains many historic buildings, the Explosion Museum, as well as more recent housing developments and open ground. The site overlooks the SSSI coastal waters and is a designated RAMSAR site.

The site has a long military history which began in 1750 when the Board of Ordnance purchased 40 acres of agricultural land in Gosport, by an Act of King George III, and a boatyard from Jane Priddy and Thomas Missing. An earthen rampart was constructed to extend the defences of Portsmouth Harbour and the Royal Dockyard. Completed in 1757, the land which it enclosed was known as Priddy’s Hard Fort and was manned by the Army. In December 1766 a decision was made to relocate the gunpowder stores from the Square Tower in Portsmouth to Priddy’s Hard. For the next 200 years, the site was used as one of the main ordnance depots for the Royal Navy and British Army.

The Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust now owns the site and this project is part of a long-term strategy for sustainability; rescuing heritage at risk; opening up the museum site; revealing the historic landscape, increasing visitor numbers and providing commercial opportunities to ensure future resilience.

The project is part of larger development plan which will include new houses and the sensitive conversion of historic buildings. PNBPT will use its income from the residential scheme to match-fund HLF’s support for the project, establishing new community facilities and innovative sustainable uses for at-risk buildings on the site.

  • Conservation and re-use of E-Magazine and the Proof House to create a microbrewery.

  • Conservation and alteration of Building M into a gastropub.

  • Conservation and conversion of Building U into a holiday let.

  • Conservation and conversion of Building Q to provide a student let to support the Boatbuilding Academy at Boathouse 4, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

  • Conservation and alteration of C-Magazine to become a base for the museum volunteers.

  • Conservation and alteration of Building P into the Coastal Forces Trust Museum.

Project Details

  • Client: Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust

  • Designation: Scheduled Ancient Monument, Grade II* and II Listed Buildings

  • Status: Delivery Phase

  • Contract Value: £3.8m

  • Funder: National Lottery Heritage Fund

  • QS: Michael Edwards Consultants Limited

  • Structural Engineer: SFK Consulting

  • M&E Engineer: Chapman BDSP

  • Project Manager: Conservation Plus

Clare Dawe