CHATHAM DEFENCES

In 1667 the Dutch raided the Medway, then protected only by Upnor Castle. This started a program of work to protect Chatham dockyard with the addition of Cockham Wood and Gillingham Forts which were built in 1669 and later in 1756 the Cumberland lines, defences around the dockyard, and Fort Amherst. Forts Pitt and Clarence were added in 1805 and then a ring of forts was built around the south, north and east of Chatham dockyard between the late 1870's and 1900. These were based on a polygonal design for the land forts and a circular plan for the island forts on Darnet and Hoo.

Gillingham Fort Part of the dockyard defence dating from 1669, replacing Upnor Castle. Now vanished. 1669
Cockham Wood There are some overgrown but visible remains of th 1669 fort built on the north side of the river opposite Gillingham. 1669
Cumberland Lines These surrounded the whole east side of the dockyard down to St Mary's Island. Now almost completely built over. 1756
Townsend Redoubt Built over. 1756
Fort Amherst Open, being restored. 1756
Fort Pitt In use until 1828, then used as a hospital until 1919. The site has been used as a school since 1929 and although much of the structure has been built over parts of the walls and ditches still remain. Private. . 1805 -19
Fort Clarence On the east bank of the Medway, it has a three storey tower. Now converted to flats. 1808-12
Grain Fort On eastern end of the Isle of Grain. Demolished in 1962. 1860's
Grain Dummy Battery South of Grain Fort, in fair condition. 1860's
Grain Tower Battery Off shore of Grain Fort, in fair condition. 1855
Garrison Point Fort On the north-western tip of Sheerness Docks. Private. 1872
Slough Fort On the north coast of the Hoo peninsula, it is now a riding stable. 1860-68
Fort Bridgewood The site was demolished in 1975. 1890
Fort Luton

In use until 1961, now private and closed.

1876 - 92
Fort Borstal On high ground overlooking Chatham. In poor condition. 1875 -85
Fort Horsted Now used as a business centre, private. 1870 -1900
Fort Darland Demolished. 1870 -1900
Twydall Redoubts Near the coast east of Gillingham at Grange & Twydall. Status unknown. 1870 -1900
Fort Darnet A circular fort on an island in the Medway built between 1861 and 1872. Armed with 11 seven & nine inch RMLs, manned by a complement of 100. It can be visited by boat. Photo and map below. 1871
Fort Hoo Same design as Darnet, 1km away on another island in the Medway. Built on the site of a 17th century gun battery. Private. Photo and map below. 1871

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Hoo Fort

Darnet Fort

 


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