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Fancy a Fort?

Grain Tower Battery in the River Medway Estuary

Issue: 2 Date: 3rd April 2019

A copy free feature of the Grain Tower Battery built in the 19th century on shingle off the foreshore of the Isle-of-Grain on the Hoo peninsular

Grain Tower Battery 2007

Grain Tower Battery (September 2007)

The Artillery Tower was strategically placed at the Estuary of the confluence of the Rivers Medway and Thames to protect the important Sheerness & Chatham Docks during the Napoleonic Wars with France

Blockhouse (Left) Observation Tower

WW11 DF. Crew . Accommodation with blockhouse (left)
WW11 Observation Tower

The Grain Tower Battery around 1,600 feet offshore was based on the earlier design of the Martello Towers which are scattered along the south east and southern shores of the UK

Grain Tower battery at full tide

Grain Battery Tower at full tide, beyond Kentish Flats Wind Farm

Where are we?

Grain Tower battery chart

Location Grain Tower Battery

Grain Battery

Grain Tower Battery

Grain Tower battery causeway

Causeway to Grain Tower Battery

Though firmly sited in the mouth of the River Medway the Tower boasts the address #1 The Thames, Sheerness, ME3

Grain Tower battery muddy causeway

A muddy trek! (Photograph WT Architecture)

WT Architecture Grain Tower Battery future design option

Grain Tower battery & Sheerness Docks

Sheerness Docks, Garrison Point and the redundant Ferry Terminal

Garrison Point by Medway Lines

Constructed of granite and brick, completed in 1855 (carved into stone above main entrance door arch) it would have been armed with a 56lb and a pair of 32lb cannon

Grain Battery from Causeway

Grain Tower Battery from the Causeway

Grain Fort Steps

Grain Battery Steps

Note the heavy chain embedded into the circumference of the Fort base which formed part of the Medway Chain Boom stretching across the mouth of the river to Garrison Point Fort on the opposite bank

Brick built blockhouse Latrines



Smashed Urinal

Modified between 1910-1912 to take a pair of 4.7" QF (Quick Fire) guns, and again in WW11 with the addition of Direction Finding equipment crew room, accommodation block and a twin 6lb quick firing heavy gun

View from top Observation Tower

What a view! from top of observation tower (Photograph SWNS.Com)

Decommissioned in 1956 it's remained derelict

With adventurous ideas, the listed National Monument was purchased by Chatham born Simon Cooper in 2004 from Crown Estates

6lb Twin Gun mount & track

6lb twin gun mount and track

Looking towards Sheerness Docks

View towards Sheerness Docks

Much like notions for recreational use of the Maunsell Sea Forts Simon's plans came to nothing

3.7" Gun Mount

Quick firing 6lb Heavy Gun Mount

Press item sale Grain Tower Battery 2010

Press Report (16th May 2010)

The Tower was put on the market in 2010 and was still of sale priced at £500.000 (September 2014)

Fisheye view of Tower & Grain

Fisheye view of the Grain Tower Battery and Grain Power Station (River Homes)

Riverhomes Grain Tower Battery : Zoopla

N.B Power station demolished at 11am 7th September 2016

Tower on shingle 1km offshore

Low tide the Grain Tower Battery sits on a shingle bank about 1km offshore

Note chains again used to secure the western end of the boom which ran across the Medway to Sheerness

Evening over causeway towards Tower

Evening falls from the causeway

Access can be gained across a rutted and broken muddy causeway on foot at low tide, with a climb

Worth buying?

Contemplate a purchase?

Estimates in excess of £1 million are given to refurbish the Tower as a private residence, an Offshore Hotel, outdoor pursuit centre, film location, nightclub, casino (Where have we heard that before)

Grain Tower WWII observation post

Riverside with WWII Observation Post and Blockhouse (13th August 2017)

Grain Tower, clearly shows WWII additions

Upstream slightly east of Tower, clearly shows WWII additions (13th August 2017)

Seabed Chain

Close-up of the Seabed Chain Boom which was pulled up from across the mouth of the River to rip the hulls of wooden sailing vessels (13th August 2017)

Wreck SS Montgomery

Unwelcome neighbour; wreck of the SS Richard Montgomery on the edge of the Nore (1985)

Not for the faint hearted, Grain Tower Battery has no power, running water, plumbing or gas supply

Examples of completed Fort undertakings can be seen in Solent Forts

Additional photographs are credited where available

For more reading on the Grain Tower Battery see Medway Lines : Nick Catford : BBC News : Grain Tower Battery Camping

Also see our other feature Medway and Thames Defences the SS Montgomery the Thames Estuary Towers in Fort Fax

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