About a mile and a half from the coast of the Isle of Wight, off the south of England, a fort sits out in the water. Built in the second half of the 19th century, the building was once home to in excess of 70 military personnel. They had been sent there to help guard the city of Portsmouth.
Driven by fear of attack from Britain’s old enemy, France, the U.K. government commissioned four massive fortresses. They proved to be the biggest and most costly defenses constructed during peacetime. Yet fate decreed that they’d never see any military action. At best, you might regard them as an effective deterrent to invasion.