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New Tavern Fort, Gravesend

Categories: Historic Sites, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.6/5 based on 25+ reviews on the web
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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  • A nice park with lots to entertain children and adults. The park cafe is a wonderful place to rest with a sandwich and a cup of tea and the children can run around safe and sound. The shipping can be ...  read more »
  • Gravesend's history as a port and fort is long, and dates back to the fourteenth century; the New Tavern Fort incorporates elements of the town's past in a series of interesting displays and in a fine...  read more »
  • The last weekend in September can always be a bit of a hit and miss affair weather wise. However, the Saturday was set fair, although cloud moved over mid afternoon. The Forties at the Fort event was ...  read more »
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