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Report - - Grain Fort, Isle of Grain, Kent - Sept 2019 | Underground Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Grain Fort, Isle of Grain, Kent - Sept 2019


nji1000

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Grain Fort (not to be confused with Grain Tower) was a napoleonic era fort protecting the river Medway as it joins the Thames estuary. It was built between 1861 and 1868 and was demolished in the 1960s after service in WW1 and WW2.

The area is now a public park, with walks over the gun emplacements and thorough a nice wild area in the middle. The tunnels to the caponiers were severed sealed and the caponiers demolished. Happily the access to these has been re-opened and encouraged bats which is a good thing since they now have to stay open ;-)

There is a good history and some images on the SubBrit website and also on an orphaned and elderly site which has an excellent historic plan. There is a good eye-witness account of the site prior to demolition in a journal (free to access, just needs registration) (J. D. Wilson Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research Vol. 41, No. 168 (DECEMBER, 1963), pp. 182-199)

Two Y-shaped tunnels complexes are accessible - the entry points can easily be deduced from the plans, although one requires more hacking through scrub to find than the other. The larger complex has a nice ammunition lift and a central magazine with an interesting central lighting area. The smaller complex has less to see but is still worthwhile. If you combine this tide times correctly this could be paired with a trip to Grain Tower a short walk away. One of the most interesting features is the drawbridges and pits that protected each tunnel to prevent invaders overrunning the fort if they penetrated the caponiers. The wood is long since rotted but planks to cross have been placed helpfully. It is possible to see the metal framework and even the counterweight system within the wall to make them easier to move.

Beautiful brickwork and in a very good state and minimal graffiti and litter.

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