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Report - - Grain Tower Battery, Isle of Grain (Kent) - August 2018 | Military Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Grain Tower Battery, Isle of Grain (Kent) - August 2018



Chloe Explores

Fisheye Enthusiast
28DL Full Member
History:
Grain Tower stands about 500 metres offshore at the eastern tip of the Isle of Grain, where the mouth of the Medway meets the Thames. It was constructed on the tidal sandbank of Grain Spit and is reached by a causeway running in an east-west direction from the shoreline. Its location enabled the tower's arc of fire to overlap with that of the guns at Garrison Point on the Isle of Sheppey, on the other side of the Medway.

Construction began in 1848 but difficulties were soon encountered in laying the foundations and construction paused until 1853. It took nearly two years for the Lincolnshire builders to build. It was completed in late 1855 and was handed over to the Ordnance authorities on 17 November that year. By this point it had gone more than 50 percent over budget, costing £16,798 (equivalent to £1,470,640 today).

The tower stands three storeys high, faced in granite ashlar, and is roughly oval in shape. Its base is 21.8 by 19.3 metres (72 by 63 ft), its original height was 12.9 metres (42 ft), and it has walls 3.6 metres (12 ft) thick. The gun crews lived in barrack accommodation within the tower, which also housed stores and ammunition. Its overall design is similar to that of a Martello tower, dozens of which were built around the coasts of Britain and Ireland during the Napoleonic Wars at the start of the 19th century; it can be considered the last Martello tower to be built in Britain.

In 1944 the tower was reduced to care and maintenance status before being decommissioned in 1956.

In 2005 a private owner purchased it from the Crown Estate and put it up for sale again from 2010, with a guide price of £500,000. The owner, a south-east London builder named Simon Cowper, said that "it just didn't work out well as a home – plus the cost of doing it [up]." It was reportedly sold in 2014 for £400,000, though the new owner wished to remain "under the radar" until they had secured planning permission for renovations.



Explore:
Yes this one has been done a lot, but I've wanted to visit this one for a long time... So me and a few friends drove a couple of hours up to the Isle of Grain for a nice summer explore.

We parked the car about a 10 minute walk away from the beach... we actually got greeted by an old woman when we parked the car and she gave us a map of the Isle of grain. She asked us why we was actually here as she didn’t recognise us and I explained that we are just taking pictures of the beach with the fort in the background and she just started chatting a lot about the fort saying how people go on it and stay overnight and that is very dangerous.... We started to walk to the fort. We was all joking around about what if we turned up and the tide was in... So when we started getting close to a view of how high the tide was it was like a countdown to the end of the world for us for some apparent reason... we was over the moon when we saw all of the sand and the fort was walkable...

This place is definitely a good place to explore in the summer because when you’re walking up to it on the wet sand you get that nice cold wind from the sea so it’s impossible for you to overheat whilst exploring - which is perfect for me because I hate the heat. It took about roughly 10 minutes to walk up to the tower from the beach and we had to climb a very wobbly ladder that was held up by bit of string attached to the big chunky metal chain wrapped around the Martello part of the tower.

Once we all climbed up this ladder we started to explore the tower. It actually is a really fun place to explore and I’m really glad I did it. One part is like a Martello tower and the other part is just like a basic building and I found that really interesting more than the tower part. I liked the peeling wallpaper all around the walls and especially on the staircase. Going to the top of the tower was a highlight for me as I could see a huge part of Kent from it. I could also see the tide coming in as well so we wasn’t on here too long. We actually took a risk here as when we planned to arrive it said the tide was coming in however we did get a good hour on the fort. When we arrived the tide was actually starting to go out but it came in very quickly so we obviously left when that happened. One of my friends actually couldn’t swim so I was kind of worried for her safety however we all got off and headed back to land. We found a land fort hidden in the overgrowth of a field. So we explored that for a bit and sat on the top of it for a hour. We then headed to our next location that was about half an hour away.

An amazing explore that I will never forget as this was a first for me - exploring an abandoned sea fort!

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Markdas

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
What a beautiful building too! I can see why someone bought that with their heart not their head and obviously the engineers and architects managed to convince them that it was just too hard.......can you imagine living there......great photos too.....I like the fisheye shots too (its a big investment for a lens that you only rarely use, but it has done you proud there)!
 

Chloe Explores

Fisheye Enthusiast
28DL Full Member
What a beautiful building too! I can see why someone bought that with their heart not their head and obviously the engineers and architects managed to convince them that it was just too hard.......can you imagine living there......great photos too.....I like the fisheye shots too (its a big investment for a lens that you only rarely use, but it has done you proud there)!
I mean.... my fisheye lens... I over use... to much... it’s my favourite lens.... I used it for 97% of this explore! And a lot on all my other explores!
 

Markdas

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Well....you make it work brilliantly....Im not clever enough to visualise things well enough to use one like that! Stock 50-70mm all the way or iphone x haha
 

the126

Reckless & irresponsible
28DL Full Member
Nice report:thumb
Always good to see this place and great to explore. It has my favourite address '1 The Thames '!
The other place is called Grain Dummy Battery
 

Chloe Explores

Fisheye Enthusiast
28DL Full Member
Nice report:thumb
Always good to see this place and great to explore. It has my favourite address '1 The Thames '!
The other place is called Grain Dummy Battery
Ah! I knew the land one had a name I just couldn’t remember what it was! Thank you!
 

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