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Report - Grain Tower Battery - July 2010

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by Urbex13, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. Urbex13

    Urbex13 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Likes Received:

    The date stone set over the entrance to Grain Tower Battery reads 1855, the tower itself was modelled on the earlier Martello towers, built along the south and east coasts to guard against invasion from Napoleonic France. The original battery was constructed from bricks encased in granite. The battery formed part of the Chatham defences protecting the river Medway and was flanked by two other forts, Grain fort itself on the western headland and Garrison Point fort on the eastern headland.

    The first of many alterations to the site came in 1910 with the addition of two 4.7" quick fire guns to defend against torpedo boats attacking ships moored at Sheerness or Chatham. A large boom defence was also constructed, a chain held a net which prevented ships entering the estuary. These guns were later removed in 1929. Further, quite severe alterations began in 1940 with the instillation of a twin 6 pounder quick fire gun was installed, again with the intention of targeting motor torpedo boats. A four storey Battery Observation Post was also constructed from reinforced concrete, with range finding apparatus mounted on the top floor. A barrack block was also added to the north side of the original tower to accommodate the increased presence necessary.

    The Tower was manned by 56 men and 2 officers in 1954 and closed in 1956. It was bought by local entrepreneur Simon Cooper in 2000, with the intention of using it as a hub from which to moor house boats but has since been put up for sale yet again with an asking price of £500,000.


    I'd always been attracted to Grain Fort, it stood out probably due to the alterations leaving it with such a unique shape. Grain itself was bleak to say the least, with many contrasts drawn between the batteries and forts along the sea, the dreary estate and the heavy industry. The spattering of power stations provided a fix of industrial urbex porn, just a matter of counting down the days. :popcorn

    Badwabbit gave me a brief tour of the dummy battery upon arrival and due to the slight mix up with tide times we wandered in search of the magazines at Grain Fort but as it turns out missed the fort completely :banghead.

    After watching the causeway emerge from the sea I was desperate to get out and explore, although the quicksand/mud/general crap halted my enthusiasm a tad. Overall this was a good explore and we spent at least three hours on the fort, the distance out was not as great as I expected and the tides not as precarious but despite the place being pretty chavved up, it's still well worth a visit.

    Thanks to Badwabbit for the driving.


    An imposing structure:


    Boom chain and stairs of death:

    Central Pillar, viz. Martello Towers:

    Six Pounder emplacement panorama, with shell hoist to the right:



    Accommodation added 1910:

    1940 Kitchen:




    Badwabbit, defending the Medway:


    As always constructive criticism is welcome,
    Cheers, 13.​

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    #1 Urbex13, Jul 27, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2010

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