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Report - - Grain Tower Battery, Grain, Kent, 18th September 2011 | Military Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Grain Tower Battery, Grain, Kent, 18th September 2011


The_Construct

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
The History

Grain Tower Battery (aka Number 1 The Thames) was constructed between 1848 and 1855. It stands at the mouth of the River Medway with Southend visible on the other side of the estuary.

Construction is in the style of a Martello Tower with more modern additions made during WW1 and WW2. The initial 1850s purpose of the battery was to protect the dockyards at Chatham and Sheerness from the potential invasion by the French.

3 movable smoothbore guns were positioned on the roof. When obsolete, these were replaced with 3 rifled muzzle-loading guns with far greater accuracy and range.

During WW1 and WW2 the battery was adapted to cater for more modern Quick Fire (QF) guns to combat torpedo boat attacks - additional structures were added at these times. The tower also acted as a point of connecting a boom which stretched across to Sheerness with the purpose of stopping submersibles entering the area - the massive chain to which this was attached can be see in the photos.

The tower was decommissioned in 1956.

The Explore

The tower is accessible at low tide by walking out over a visible track. Myself and a friend stopped by a few weeks before and attempted to get out but hastily returned to dry land when we worried that the tide would swamp us.

We reviewed the tide tables and returned again on the evening of the 18th September and walked out to the tower in safety. We clambered up a convenient metal ladder which someone had kindly attached with rope and proceeded to explore. We did not have to rush - we came kitted out to spend the night and experience being surrounded by water in the estuary. It was great to see the structure from inside with the water rising up.

Not a massive amount of graffiti considering the place is easily accessible most of the day.

The Photos

Walking out to the tower on its imposing position at the end of the causeway:

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The causeway is in mostly good condition with some areas starting to be eroded and washed away:

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Looking back to land:

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View from the WW1 era lookout on top of the main tower:

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Any ideas on what this would have supported?

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The 1940s addition:

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Gun emplacements and supporting infrastructure:

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Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
Lovely report. You've caught a nice shot of those cobbles. They were mostly covered when I went. Are your shots film?
 

The_Construct

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
No, I think I used either a Canon PowerShot A85, or possibly even just my old Apple iPhone. My favorite shot is the last one of the chain. Any nice shots are purely coincidental, I was never intending to post them anywhere and was definitely not thinking of framing, lighting etc. back then. At most I was probably thinking what will look nice as my PC wallpaper and where will the icons go! I really want to visit this place again, would be interesting in a storm.
 

Wevsky

A Predisposed Tourist
Regular User
Was going to say it's nice to see how it looked back then, then i realised it was only a year later i wnt myself. god time flies .. Nice report though mate
 

KCM

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
That was different, liked that explore. Seems a nice place for a mini holiday. Hope you enjoyed your night there. Thank you...
 

Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
That was different, liked that explore. Seems a nice place for a mini holiday. Hope you enjoyed your night there. Thank you...
My mate many years ago, spent her 19th birthday here, had a full on party here. Got spotted by river police, spent the rest of her birthday in Southend cells. She said it was bloody freezing, sleeping there. Silly moo, it was November lol
 

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