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Coalhouse Fort, Tilbury

Categories: Historic Sites, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4/5 based on 50+ reviews on the web
Coalhouse Fort is an artillery fort built in the 1860s to guard the lower Thames from seaborne attack. It stands at Coalhouse Point in Essex on the north bank of the river, at a location that was vulnerable to raiders and invaders. It was the last in a series of fortifications dating back to the 15th century and was the direct successor to a smaller mid-19th century fort built on the same site. Constructed during a period of tension with France, its location on marshy ground caused problems from the start and led to a lengthy construction process. The fort was equipped with a variety of large-calibre artillery guns and the most modern defensive facilities at the time, including shell-proof casemates protected by granite facing and cast-iron shields. However, its lengthy construction and the rapid pace of artillery development at the time meant that it was virtually obsolete for its original purpose within a few years of its completion.The fort's armament was revised several times during its seventy years of military usage, as its role evolved in the river's defensive system. It was initially a front-line fortification, supported by Shornemead Fort and Cliffe Fort located to the south and east respectively on the Kent shore. Over time, as batteries and forts further downriver became the front line of the Thames defences, Coalhouse Fort was stripped of its main weapons and its fabric was altered to support smaller quick-firing guns intended to be used against fast-moving surface and aerial targets. Its last military usage was as a training facility for a few years after the Second World War.
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  • This is a brilliant place. The restaurant closes at different times (latest 5pm) depending on how busy it is. The toilets where clean and everyone was friendly!! Parking was free and the place was gre...  read more »
  • We go to the fort most days to walk the dogs the grounds are kept really clean and tidy. You can walk for miles and can go so many different routes. There's a pond to go crabbing, a park for kids and ...  read more »
  • I used to escape to the marshes as a relief from living on the Bata Estate. The fort became a challenge for an 11-year old boy. How do you get in? I can't remember, but I did. It was a great adventure...  read more »
  • Lovely unspoiled place to go x
  • Not really much to do here. When the fort is open its good, but otherwise unless you want a nice walk around the big lake, its not that good. There is a small play area for young children. The toilets don't seem to open very much in the winter which is silly. However, boat spotting from the 'beach' may interest older children. Worth a visit just to see the fort if nothing else.
  • very enjoyable times at the fort ... especially like the crash wrecks and the tour of the tunnels ....
  • Used to come here every sunday in the early seventies
  • What an amazing place!
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