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Report - Grain Tower Battery, Kent.

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by DigitalNoise, Feb 12, 2009.

  1. DigitalNoise

    DigitalNoise 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    I expect a few of you on here know the history of this place. I'm feeling lazy today, so for those that don't, Sub Brit has an informative page on it.

    Built in 1855, the fort guarded Sheerness port and has been heavily modified since, becoming a point for the boom defence preventing enemy ships entering the port. Originally, the fort had three gun emplacements, two periods of modification left it with just the one six pound QF position for attacking high speed torpedo boats and a smaller 4.7'' gun. The ominous Battery observation post was added with this
    The fort is accessible by foot at low tide, it is about half a mile offshore, quite a walk! Tidal information for the area can be found here.

    Anyway, on with the pics.....

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    The causeway out to the tower. The tidal window lasted for about four hours.
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    Looking up with the 'new' barrack block on the left and the BOP standing high.
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    What was the entrance, access is quite difficult now the steps have gone. Note the boom defence chain, now placed around the fort.
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    Looking into the entrance.
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    Now inside, there are several chambers with a 'new' partition wall dividing them. small corridors cut through the building.
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    The first main room you enter is the magazine. Originally this was the barrack room but after the modification an electrically operated shell lift was installed.
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    The shell lift.
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    This nice doorway led through to more ammunition storage. Note the central pillar, which rose up to meet the vaulted ceilings.
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    Looking through to a window, you can see how thick the walls are. On the seaward side I would estimate they are eight feet thick.
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    One of the large rooms, they all look very alike. This one had a modified window which leads through to the CASL position.
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    Looking from the CASL position to Sheerness fort. The hatch in the floor could be quite nasty if you didn't notice it! This goes straight into the sea, although I am unsure of it's exact use.
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    Another room inside, this could be the mess. It has another hatch in the floor. This leads to another level below which was flooded. I doubt this was used for anything.
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    The stairwell leading up to the top of the fort.
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    The top of the stairwell.
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    In a room on the top level there is a boiler and a fireplace.
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    There are another couple of uninteresting rooms up top. I had several scary moments when startled pigeons came hurling out of the darkness!
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    Looking over the walkway to the barrack block. I didn't go in as the building is completely stripped and I was running out of time.
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    The four storey Battery observation post. The top floor was for the gun director and rangefinder whilst the lower was to direct the searchlights.
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    From the BOP looking towards the 4.7'' QF position. It's condition is deteriorating.
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    The searchlight director post. Sheerness fort is in the background.
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    Looking back to land, Grain Powerstation dominates the skyline. You can see how high the BOP is and how far out the fort is from dry land.
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    The stairs are in a poor state. It felt quite dangerous heading up to the top, especially as I was on my own and the wind was howling by. Still, I stopped for a smoke and took some time to enjoy the view.
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    Inside the top level of the BOP is the concrete post for the rangefinding equipment. The armoured door and shutters are still in place.

    Well, with the tide now lapping at the base of the tower, my camera batteries giving up the ghost and the added worry of wether my car would be torched, I thought my time to leave was due and carefully lowered myself and my kit down onto the mudflats. It's a shame I didn't get to explore the whole thing, a couple of areas evaded me. I fell in love with this place as soon as I saw it so I'm glad to have finally done it, even if it was kinda spooky being on my own!!!

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