Castles and Fortifications of England and Wales

SOUTHERN CHATHAM DEFENCES


Fort Horsted
Photo Charles Taylor

Chatham Forts

The southern approaches to Chatham and its dockyard were protected by five forts built between 1860 and 1900 to strengthen the 18th century fortications around the perimenter of the dockyard.

Forts Horsted, Luton and Borstal are still standing, Forts Bridgewood and Darland have been demolished. They were all built to a similar five sided, low level design and surrounded by a deep dry ditch but differed in size with Fort Horsted the largest. Access into the forts was through a single, well protected, gateway.


Fort Luton

Overlooking the Luton Valley, it was built in 1876 - 1892 and was in use by the army until 1961. It was a land fort, protected by a rolling bridge that could be withdrawn back into the fort and it was never armed although it was an anti-aircraft Command Post in World War 2. Fort Luton has been under new ownership since 2012 and it has now become a Community Interest Company to allow the public to access and enjoy the Fort. A small group of volunteers have helped to restore parts of the Fort to give it a new lease of life. An underground museum is also under development. See Fort Luton website for details.


Fort Luton photo Charles Taylor Fort Luton photo Charles Taylor Fort Luton photo Charles Taylor Fort Luton photo Charles Taylor
Fort Luton photo Charles Taylor Fort Luton photo Charles Taylor Fort Luton photo Charles Taylor Fort Luton photo Charles Taylor

Fort Horsted

Constructed in 1870 - 1900, it fell into disrepair and became totally overgrown in the late 20th century but is now used as a Business Centre. Private.


Fort Horsted photo Charles Taylor Fort Horsted photo Charles Taylor
Fort Horsted photo Charles Taylor Fort Horsted photo Charles Taylor Fort Horsted photo Charles Taylor

Fort Borstal

Built between 1875 - 1885 on high ground overlooking the western approach to Chatham. Derelict and in poor condition from the outside. On the west side of Borstal, next to the prison, overlooking the M2. Private.


Fort Borstal photo Charles Taylor

Fort Bridgewood

The site was in use by the army from 1890 until 1970 but was then demolished in 1975.


Fort Darland

Constructed in 1870 - 1900, it has been demolished.


 

Directions
Off M2, J3, at Gillingham
Fort Luton - Magpie Hall Road, Chatham, Kent ME4 5XJ
Fort Horsted - Primrose Close, Chatham ME4 6HZ
Fort Borstal - Fort Road, Rochester, Medway ME1 3NT

 



View Larger Map of Fort Luton

 


View Larger Map of Fort Horsted

 


View Larger Map of Fort Borstal

 
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