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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Grain Fort, Isle of Grain

Grain Fort was built during the 1860s on the Isle of Grain to protect the mouth of the river Medway. It was constructed with a crescent shaped keep, which formed the casemated barracks and entrance to the fort. A raised earth bank behind this formed the terreplein, which was mounted with Rifled Muzzle Loading guns in large gun pits. The fort was protected by a surrounding dry ditch that was flanked by four caponniers. Guns continued to be mounted on the fort throughout WW1 and WW2, and it finally left army hands in the 1950s. Unfortunately, during the 1960s the fort was demolished, leaving only the underground sections. The site has never been developed, and it is open land, the shape of the gun positions and a wall here and there are the only reminders of this once impressive fort. The tunnels, which led to the trucanted caponniers and main magazine, still remain and were accessible some years ago; however it appears they have now been filled in.

The remains of the fort are on open land and can be visited with some parts still recognisable, although the underground sections have now been buried.

The original plans give some idea to what is buried at this site

Gun positions


View across the fort from the terreplein
One of the two surviving walls of the fort
One of the gun positions, with Grain Tower in the distance
Inside the Eastern tunnels
Chicane drawbridge

Shell hoist

The main magazine

Inside one of the West caponnier tunnels
Long passageLooking back to turn in passage
Looking towards junction in the tunnel

Looking down another tunnelThe sealed entrance into the fort


Anonymous said...

As always, a great set of photographs of this now lost fort. Someone out there must have taken pictures of the fort before it was demolished?

Peppy said...

My father was caretaker of the fort in the early 50s. My brother and I used to explore the fort. I remember live shells stacked in the magazine below the guns.
I too am looking for photos of the fort before it was demolished. The Royal Engineers Museum, Chatham has photos but charges to search for them.

Kevrobert said...

Great pictures. Could you help me locate the entrance to the fort tunnels as I visited it but could not find any way in! Would appreciate some help finding it.


Colin G said...

The tunnels were in the ditch, but have probably been filled back in by now.

Kevrobert said...

Thanks for that quick response, I think I was looking in the wrong place, I noticed a possible entrance filled in under one of the gun emplacements and was generally looking in the inner part of the fort. I guess I should of been in the overgrown ditch itself?

MartinF said...

We explored the opposite set of tunnels last week IE, NOT the tunnel with the magazine. I am told that one is accesible however. Access to the tunnels we did is easy if a little muddy. Just get down in the ditch and look for the hole under a tree.

Pix at:

Anonymous said...

As a kid I used to spend time in Grain with family friends. This was before the fort was demolished. We used to explore all the tunnels as well a Grain Tower. There was also a battery some way from the fort.

Anonymous said...

Hi MartinF
were the pictures on your link taken recently and have you got any further info on the exact position of the entrance.

Anonymous said...

mike sed thers a tunnel running underground from the tower to fort if that helps

Unknown said...

Within woodland by the park there is a deadend.. there is a bit of concrete sticking up and if u look down you can see the tunnels! You can easily get in there not that i would want to x

Anonymous said...

Wow this place is awesome. Thanks |

Anonymous said...

You have a great blog posted. Thanks |

Hkell said...

I’ve managed to find the tunnel with the drum, any pointers to the location of the one with the hoist and draw bridge

Anonymous said...

Go to the other side of the moat at the crossover bit