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New Tavern Fort, Gravesend

(4.4/5 based on 30+ 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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  • Being rather local to the fort its nice to walk out the door some weekends and find a event going on, its well worth a visit if you have a weekend spare. I highly recommend exploring the bunker and th...  more »
  • As a child we always used to go to the prom, the gardens where always so well kept and the place was a family treat. However now this is more like a hang out for people to bunk school, sit in corners ...  more »
  • Lovely gardens, the level of mainatance and care is to be seen. I wish everyone else to visit and experience this.  more »
  • This is a good park and has historical attractions at weekends