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Saturday, November 22, 2008
Fort Horsted, Chatham
Fort Horsted is a Royal Commission Fort which was completed in 1889. It forms part of a series of forts which were built to protect the naval base of Chatham from the East, the other surviving ones being Fort Luton and Fort Borstal. Horsted takes the shape of an arrow and, unlike most of the forts featured on this website, the surrounding ditch was defended by counterscarp galleries rather than caponniers. This meant that the guns were held in the outer wall of the ditch and accessed by tunnels beneath the ditch. In its recent past, the fort has been greatly neglected but has now had a new lease of life as a business centre, the owners of which are very considerate of the historical significance of the site. This has secured the fort's future and led to many parts being restored, with further restoration planned.
Further information about the development can be found at: http://www.forthorsted.co.uk/ And it was with their kind permission that we were allowed to visit the fort.
Entrance to the Fort Inside the main entrance
View along the tereplein
Some of the restored casemates, now occupied Passage into one of the unrestored magazines
This tunnel section has been damaged by fire
'Descent to Right Ditch Flank' above doorway to stairs to counterscarp gallery
Some of the unrestored casemates
Passage inside linking the casemates
Looking from within one of the casemates back to the main tunnel
Stairs down to the centre counterscarp gallery
Tunnel leading underneath the ditch
Inside the centre counterscarp gallery
One of the gun rooms
Passage within the casemates, going towards left flank gallery
Inside the left flank counterscarp gallery
There is a great deal of old graffiti in here, this one shows Charlie Chaplin
Looking between the gun rooms
Some more casemates, which are in use
The left flank counterscarp gun ports from within the ditch
The centre counterscarp gallery gun ports from the ditch