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Report - - Grain Tower - Isle of Grain, Kent - January 2019 | Military Sites |

Report - Grain Tower - Isle of Grain, Kent - January 2019

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28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Another one from January I didn't get around to posting. Another one that's been done a lot too, but I've wanted to visit this one for a long time, but never been in the area at the right time for the tides to allow a safe visit. Not long after my birthday I was visiting friends who agreed to take me to the fort, the best present ever!

Apologies for photos not being the best; I only had my phone to take pictures with because I am an enormous idiot and forgot to put a memory card into my camera that wasn't full! Thank the lord for cameras on phones!

On to some history:

A mile off the coastline of the Isle of Grain, Kent, sits Grain Tower. A formidable structure, it once provided coastal defence to the confluence of the rivers Thames and Medway, as well as protect the nearby important dockyards at Sheerness and Chatham. From 1860 to WW2 it saw many changes and adaptations made, resulting in its striking and unique appearance. The original part of the structure was built following the same design as the Martello structures built along the British and Irish coastlines in the early 19th century. An example of one of these is Spitbank Fort in Portsmouth, another former off shore fort. Its position allowed it to be able to fire its guns in an arc that overlapped with the line of fire from Garrison Point Fort on the other side of the Medway at the Isle of Sheppey. In 1910 the fort’s guns were removed and the Tower repurposed into a communications tower until 1915 when two 4.7 inch quick firing guns were moved to it from the nearby Grain Battery to counter the threat of new fast torpedo boats. This required the construction of a raised concrete and stone structure on the tower's roof within which the new guns were emplaced, and a shelter was created to provide room for detachments, stores and fire control. The body of the tower was also altered to upgrade the ammunition storage. During the Second World War much bigger changes were made when the tower became the location, in 1939, for a twin 6-pdr. QF gun. A large roofed concrete emplacement was constructed on the roof to house the gun with a tall directing tower at its rear. A Defence Electric Light Emplacement was also added to the fabric of Grain Tower. At the tower's rear, a brick and concrete barrack block standing on stilts was constructed to house the gun detachment. It is a freestanding structure but is connected to the tower via catwalks. In 1944 the tower was reduced to care and maintenance status before being decommissioned in 1956.



















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