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New Tavern Fort, Gravesend

#9 of 22 in Things to do in Gravesend
Historic Site Tourist Spot
New Tavern Fort is an historic artillery fort in Gravesend, Kent. Dating mostly from the 18th and 19th centuries, it is an unusually well-preserved example of an 18th-century fortification and remained in use for defensive purposes until the Second World War. It was built during the American War of Independence to guard the Thames against French and Spanish raiders operating in support of the newly formed United States of America. It was redesigned and rebuilt in the mid-19th century to defend against a new generation of iron-clad French warships.By the start of the 20th century, the Thames defences had been moved further downriver to the estuary and the fort was disarmed. Its grounds were opened to the public as pleasure gardens, but the fort was taken back into military use temporarily during the Second World War. Today the fort and its magazines and other underground structures have been restored and are open to the public. It is unique in the UK for its display of guns and emplacements ranging from the 18th to the 20th centuries.DescriptionRamparts and emplacementsThe fort is situated on the south bank of the River Thames and was intended to support the much older Tilbury Fort on the north bank. The structure consists of a broad earthen rampart constructed in a zig-zag pattern, with a broad ditch in front of it. Eight emplacements, six of brick and two of concrete, are contained within the rampart with magazines underneath them. The interior of the fort - originally its parade ground - is occupied by a grass-covered lawn with flowerbeds, trees, ornamental bushes and a bandstand at the centre.
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
36 reviews
  • £1 entry, it was quite informative, you can take an audio pack to listen to the information, not really up my street but my partner enjoyed it, long tunnels with small rooms going off them with differ...  more »
  • Been doing the prom at Gravesend for years. Let's just say it has a special place in my partner and mines hearts. Been down to the waterfront so many times over time and going to the new tavern fort b...  more »
  • Love visiting the prom/ new fort tavern especially when the underground bunker is open which tends to be when the regatta is on. The area is open, clean with nice flowers planted while its steeped wit...  more »
  • This is a good park and has historical attractions at weekends

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